Dakota Plains Legal Services Case Acceptance Criteria


Dakota Plains Legal Services is a private, non-profit firm primarily funded by the Legal Services Corporation.  The Legal Services Corporation was established in 1974 to provide legal services to individuals who would otherwise be unable to obtain legal representation due to financial constraints.


ELIGIBILITY:  Eligibility for legal services is established according to your income and residence (click HERE for our areas served).  If you reside outside these areas and there is another office you can contact, DPLS will provide contact information for that office.


CASE PRIORITIES:  Dakota Plains Legal Services cannot accept every case of every eligible client.  Dakota Plains Legal Services is required by Federal Law and Regulations to establish case priority guidelines in deciding whether or not to accept a case even if the person is eligible for legal services.  The following is a list of types of cases which have been approved by the Dakota Plains Legal Services Board of Directors for acceptance in accordance with the case priority policy.


1.  Consumer/Finance

2.  Education

3.  Family Law

4.  Health

5.  Housing

6.  Income Maintenance

7.  Indian Law

8.  Individual Rights

9.  Wills/Estates

10. Economic Development Assistance and Incorporation


CONFLICTS OF INTEREST:  DPLS offices cannot provide assistance if a conflict of interest exists, regardless of income and residence eligibility.


SCOPE OF RETAINER:  For accepted cases, Dakota Plains Legal Services will provide 1 of 3 levels of assistance, depending on the available resources for this office and on the merits of each case.  The three levels of assistance are 1) advice only, 2) brief service (i.e investigation or preparation of paperwork) and 3) appearance as counsel of record.  Preparation of paperwork alone does not constitute a commitement by Dakota Plains Legal Services to make an appearance in court.