A new law provides Illinois veterans and active duty service members with free legal help. The Access to Justice Act allows the Illinois Supreme Court to establish a pilot program setting up a legal hotline and access to attorneys.
Erica Borggren, director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, says those who served often deal with complex legal problems. “So the ability to call a hotline and run your issue past somebody – likely somebody who is a veteran themselves – is really very critical,” Borggren said.
Funding for the program will come from a $10 fee charged to both parties in civil cases.
The law also sets up programs designed to help everyday citizens, including funding for self-help center in Illinois law libraries, and establishes a task force to review fees imposed in both criminal and civil cases.