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Have you just been served with a complaint seeking to foreclose on your home or to change the child custody arrangement or to evict you from your apartment? Or are you considering bankruptcy?
You need to consult with an attorney. Our members are skilled attorneys who can fight for your rights, draft valid legal documents and stand by you in the courtroom. Don’t be misled by television ads for online legal forms. Notaries and petition preparers cannot give legal advice or accompany you to court. And “do-it-yourself” law is a fast lane to disaster. Our members know Pennsylvania law, are available for personal consultations and are accountable to you.
If you feel overwhelmed looking for the attorney right for you, go here for more information on what the Berks County Bar Association can do for you.
Foreclosure Mediation Program Continues
The Berks County Bar Association, in conjunction with the Berks County Courts and Neighborhood Housing Services, have created a program by which those threatened with the loss of their home can seek relief. The program began January 1 and is continuing. Those served with a complaint in a consumer debt or home mortgage case may take advantage of the program.
Read More› for a description of the program.
Chelsea Manning to undergo gender reassignment surgery following hunger strike
[JURIST] Chelsea Manning ended her five-day hunger strike [JURIST report] Wednesday after the Army agreed [ACLU press release] to allow her to undergo gender reassignment surgery. Manning, a former military private serving a 35-year prison sentence on an espionage conviction after leaking classified files to Wikileaks, said in a statement to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] that she is "unendingly relieved that the military is finally doing the right thing. I applaud them for that. This is all that I wanted—for them to let me be me." According to the ACLU, Manning was being investigated [JURIST report]... Full Story››
Turkmenistan lawmakers amend constitution to extend president's rule
[JURIST] Legislators in Turkmenistan on Wednesday amended [press release, in Russian] the nation's constitution to allow President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow [Britannica profile], to remain in power indefinitely. Berdimuhamedow praised the amendment[Reuters report], which not only extended the presidential term by two years, from five to seven, but also removed the 70-year age limit to be an eligible candidate. President Saparmurat Niyazov, Berdimuhamedow's predecessor remained in power until his death in 2006. The extension of presidencies has been an issue in many nations, including Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Earlier this year UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged [JURIST report]... Full Story››
Indiana state officials sued by transgender immigrant over name change law
[JURIST] A transgender non-citizen from Mexico filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] on Tuesday against Indiana Governor Mike Pence [official profile] and two other state officials over Indiana's law that prevents non-citizens from changing their names. The law was enacted [WSJ report] in 2010 to prevent identity theft and was primarily aimed at undocumented immigrants, though it equally affects immigrants residing in the US legally. The anonymous plaintiff has argued in the lawsuit, however, that the law subjects transgender non-citizens to harassment by not allowing them to assume a name that reflects their self-identified gender. The Transgender Law Center and the... Full Story››
Georgia voter registration system challenged
[JURIST] Several organizations filed a federal lawsuit [complaint, PDF] on Wednesday challenging Georgia's voter registration system. Since 2010, Georgia has required [AP report] voter applications to match databases managed by the Georgia Department of Driver Services and the Social Security Administration (SSA) [official websites]. Should a potential voter's identification information not match such databases, the state sends a notification to the person's residence and requires a response within 40 days before canceling the application. The state has noted that the US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] was fully advised of this system in 2010 and that such measures are... Full Story››
Congo war crimes suspect goes on hunger strike
Bosco Ntaganda [HRW backgrounder; JURIST news archive], a former rebel in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), has begun a hunger strike and is refusing to appear at his trial to protest the conditions of his detention. Ntaganda is on trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] on 18 charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity, which he has denied [ICC materials]. The presiding judge recently decided not to remove visitation restrictions for Ntaganda out of fear he might interfere with witnesses, but the judge stated that these restrictions do not prevent family visits. However, Ntaganda stated... Full Story››