ED Magedson – Founder
South Carolina Legal ServicesInternet USA
South Carolina Legal Services Unbalancing the scales of Justice - Men needing help? out of luck Internet South Carolina
In Defense of South Carolina, I must say, I have researched and it appears this is not only a South Caroina issues, but a national issue as well:
Many states have legal services to help the needing whom are below the poverty level in regards to needing legal assistance via legal aid when they cannot afford to hire an attorney or law firm. However, It seems contrary to South Carolina Legal Services's slogan, "Balancing the scales of justice", this is contridictory at it's least.
What they want you to believe: They would like you to believe, if you are, below the poverty level, and are in need of legal assistance that fit into their criteria of cases they handle and/or can assist you with, you "may" qualify for legal assistance.
What they DONT want you to know:
IS it is with government assisted programs like - Medicaid, AFDC, WIC, Food stamps etc etc, the system leans more in favor of helping women versus men. Yes, they do occasiaonlly help men, but im quite sure it's to through the obvious off kilter and as to not get sued for inequality. However, if you ask their statistics, the numbers speak volumes.
MY RECENT EXPERIENCES:
I was, as I still am, in dire need of legal assistance in dealing with a retaliatory eviction. This is truly a case you would see a story on dateline or the leading news channels, a true horror story at it's core. We rent a home through a property management company, and have been renting this home for 10 months now. Since moving in, we have found SEVERAL health hazards, code violations, electical wiring problems. We have suffered an injury due to a faulty entry/exit door that was deteriorated at the base and floor causing it to cave in like saw dust thus causing an injury.
Our home was burglarized in March due to an open attic in which the burglars came into our home via that opening. All these issues were constantly reported to the property managment for repairs only to have them ignored. Even when the ultimate happened, an injury, we contacted management to report the damage as well as inquire about the property owners insurance carrier.
We were not going to sue for damages, only reimbursement for the medical bills being we have no insurance and is self pay. We were told flat out that, "they would NOT give us the contact information to the property owners insurance carrier and would NOT pay for the medical bills and DID NOT, repair the damaged door we could not use for 4 months. ( god forbid their would have been a fire, we certainly couldnt have went out that door to escape ).
Even after our burglary, the night of, the police officer had us call , in his presence, the property management after hours and leave a msg about the burglary and inform them they needed to get someone out to repair and secure the attic. NEVER happened.
Finally, we filed complaints with the city code enforcement. The inspector came out, found numerous violations, and gave the landlord 30 days to repair and be in compliant or face fines. The expiration gave them until April 10 to be in compliant. On April 10th, we were served eviction papers to vacate.
By law , this is a clear case of landlord retaliation and illegal eviction and several violations of the SC Landlord / Tenant act regarding the landlords responsibilities and duties to keep a home fit and in a healthy and habitable condition.
South Carolina Legal Services has this listed as something of an emergency they assist people with. We had a 10 day notice to vacate and time was of the esscence . We contacted SC Legal Services, filled out the application, gave all documentations, evidence, photos, Code enforcement complaint and list of violations as well as the eviction notice we were served with by the magistrate .
I am a single male, no children, never married, unemployed, no income and awaiting disability decision ( which is a WHOLE OTHER STORY). I feel I certainly would have qualified with the lack of income and being this a retaliatory eviction and needing emergency legal help.
I, as expected and not surprised, received a letter of appology that they could not represent me or help me. It did have the little paragraph about how you can appeal that decision ( as if I have time). Rather, I emailed them , faxed them, and called them to appeal. I informed them it was an emergency and needed assistance asap. They told me they would pass it on to the authorizing parties with the agency and get back with me. That was 3 weeks ago and after several email, fax follow ups from me, never a response.
I cannot help but believe, had I been a single female with or possibly without children, or a minority, I would have received a limousine to pick me up at my home to escort me to the legal offices for assistance. You all the time hear stories of women getting public assistance, legal assistance, but ask youself, how often have you heard, seen or read stories of a single male receiving assistance? not often im sure, if at all!
This is not a story to slam South Carolina, as stated above, at the begining, this is also a national problem that goes unanswered for. And again, as stated, the "system" will tell you they have helped me, but I assure you only a few and only for the purposes of being politically correct and not to stand out as discriminatory.
Think about it: when you DO contact such organizations for help and assistance, ever notice the majority of the representatives you speak to are 1. women 2. minority meaning african/american , Latino.
I dare say the systems checks and balances on equality are hardly that, "equal" as opposed to what they want you to believe.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/07/2013 11:13 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/south-carolina-legal-services/internet/south-carolina-legal-services-unbalancing-the-scales-of-justice-men-needing-help-out-1049065. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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