Issue 7 . July - September 2019 . Q4
Family Law Task Force Meeting: Kathleen Allen, Linda Kellum, Stephanie Saad, Brooke Wilsner, Nickie Perera, Brittany Tucker, Jessica Topor and Sharron Sanders.
ELDRS Annual Conference: Mireille Phillips, Kristina Martin, Dave Ballard, Lisa Maskill (LSSCM), Amanda Eicher, Alison Hirschel, Emily Miller, Laura Kubit, Nicole Shannon, Brittany Tucker, Natalie Cherry, Dan Wojciak (MEJI) and Roger West
PAAM Elder Justice & At Risk Adult Summit: Dave Ballard, Mireille Phillips, Erika Damstetter, Natalie Cherry, Laura Kubit and Roger West
Not seeing your picture in the newsletter? We would love to see more of you!  Please take a moment at hearings, trainings, outreach events or just in your office to snap a photo to share. Email pics to Emily Miller ( or Kathleen Allen ( 
Staff Updates
New Staff
Marie Nelson, CVLAP-DV
We are happy to have Marie join the CVLAP-DV team.  She will be working as a Staff Attorney in the Michigan Immigrant Rights Project in Ypsilanti.  Marie was previously senior attorney at Freedom House Detroit, she worked in private practice as an immigration attorney and she was a student attorney with the Harvard Immigration Project and the Predatory Lending Prevention Clinic.  For more about Marie go to our Staff Page.
New Staff
Sokainah Mahmutovic
Please also welcome Sokainah to the CVLAP-DV grant.  She is working as a Law Graduate in the Michigan Immigrant Rights Project office in Grand Rapids.  Sokainah previously worked as a Law Graduate with Michigan Immigrant Rights Project in the Grand Rapids office and she is fluent in Arabic. For more about Sokainah go to our Staff Page.
New Staff
Patricia Mandernach, CVLAP-DV
We are happy to have Patricia join the CVLAP-DV team.  She will be working as a Law Graduate in Legal Aid of Western Michigan's Muskegon office.  Patricia previously interned wtih Detroit Mercy Law Federal Pro Se Legal Assistance Clinic, Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office and the Washtenaw Public Defender. For more about Patricia go to our Staff Page.
New Staff
Kendall Dingwall, CVLAP-DV
Please also welcome Kendall to the CVLAP-DV grant.  She is a Staff Attorney in Legal Aid of Western Michigan's Muskegon office.  Kendall previously worked for the 7th Judicial Circuit Court of Genesee County, United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation. For more about Kendall go to our Staff Page.
New Staff
Jamila Odeh, CVLAP-DV

We are happy to have Jamila join the CVLAP-DV team.  She is working as  Law Graduate in Legal Service of Eastern Michigan's Saginaw Office.  Jamila previously worked as a Law Clerk with LSSCM, the Human Trafficking Clinic at University of Michigan, the Refugee Law Office at Legal Aid Ontario and the Michigan Civil-Criminal Litigation Clinic.  For more about Jamila go to our Staff Page.
New Staff
Ana Kolosova, CVLAP-DV
Please also welcome Ana to the CVLAP-DV grant.  She is working as a Staff Attorney for the Family Law Project in Ypsilanti.  Ana was an American Bar Association Taxation Section Christine A. Brunswick Public Service Fellow, a Law Clerk with LSSCM and Clinician with the University of Michigan's Low Income Taxpayer Clinic.  For more about Ana go to our Staff Page.
Departing Staff
Marla LaMae, CVLAP-DV
We want to thank Marla for all her work with CVLAP-DV out of the Legal Aid of Western Michigan's Kalamazoo Office.  We wish her the best of luck on her next adventure!
Departing Staff
Erika Damstetter, CVLAP-Elder
We want to thank Erika for her amazing advocacy with CVLAP-Elder out of Legal Services of Northern Michigan Alpena Office.  We wish her the best of luck as a public defender!
Departing Staff
Dave Ballard, CVLAP-Elder
We want to thank Dave for his zealous advocacy with CVLAP-Elder out of Legal Aid of Western Michigan's Grand Rapids Office.  We wish him the best of luck as a with LAWM's Medical Legal Partnership!
Job Postings
CVLAP currently has open staff positions in the following offices Battle Creek (Elder), Ypsilanti (Elder), Grand Rapids (Elder), Upper Peninsula (DV), Alpena (Elder).  For more info see MAP's application here
Quarter In Review 
In the 4th quarter of 2019 (July-September) CVLAP attorneys assisted 975 survivors of domestic violence and/or elder abuse, neglect or exploitation.  During this quarter we closed a total of 361 cases.  Of the closed cases, we provided extended services to 177 clients.  We are incredibly proud of our amazing staff attorneys across the state and want to share some of the good stories (see below) that exemplify the amazing and much needed advocacy that makes this project so vital.
Kristina Martin, CVLAP-Elder in the Lansing office of Legal Services of South Central Michigan, assisted a senior Client whose adult nephew was abusive, living in his home, not contributing any rent, had no lease and was not providing any assistance to Client.  Client’s nephew was significantly larger and physically intimidating to Client.   Client had attempted to obtain a Personal Protection Order to have his nephew removed but the Court denied this relief.  After this denial, Client became so uncomfortable and fearful that he moved out of his own home until his nephew could be removed.  Kristina undertook representation in Client’s case and pursued an eviction against the nephew, which resulted in the nephew voluntarily moving out several days before the court hearing was scheduled. Client has been able to safely move back into his home.
Brooke Wilsner, CVLAP-DV in the Grand Rapids office of Legal Aid of Western Michigan, assisted a Client seeking a divorce and safety protections after her abusive husband who had sexually assaulted while her two children were present in the home. Brooke obtained (and fought to maintain) a Personal Protection Order for Client. In retaliation for Client obtaining a PPO, her husband began to stalk her. He followed her to her friend’s home where he then stole her vehicle and removed her personal documents from the car (ex: her passport). He came to the marital home and attempted to get into the house by removing the new locks on the doors. He repeatedly violated the PPO by contacting Client by phone, including threatening to have her charged with a felony for “adultery” to scare her if she did not give him 50/50 custody of the children. Husband was ultimately charged with three counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct Third and Aggravated Stalking. Brooke remained involved in supporting Client throughout the criminal proceedings (including a jury trial) and also assisted Client in obtaining a divorce from her husband. Ultimately, husband was found guilty of the criminal charges and sentenced to a minimum of six years in prison. Client is now divorced. Her and her children are able to live safely, access counseling and move forward with their lives.
Administrative Updates
In June of 2019 the Michigan Supreme Court issued a list of revised SCAO approved forms, including:

CC377 Petition for PPO (non-domestic)
CC395 Petition for PPPO (sexual assault)
DC100 (a-e) Notice to Quit
DC109 Motion/Order re Escrow LL/T
DC111 (a-d) Answer to Eviction
FOC23 Verified Statement (
req 12/31/19)
MC01 Summons
MC07 Default (
req 12/31/19)
MC09 Dismissal

Remember to update your forms!
Training Updates
CORT Trainings
Michigan, Ohio, Indiana
The remaining CORT trainings for 2019 include: TAST on August 5th (OH), Health and Public Benefits on August 15th (IN) and Discovery on Oct 1st (MI). To register please go to CORT's website here and email Emily or Kathleen to request approval of any trainings you want to attend.
MPLP Task Force Meetings
The MPLP Task Force meeting schedule for housing, consumer, elder, family and public benefits is here.  The remaining in-person meetings include: Housing & Consumer on August 1st (Lansing), Family on August 20th (Lansing) and the Roadshow from Oct 21 - 25th (Okemos).
Elder Justice Updates
Elder Abuse Task Force Prepares Legislative Proposals to Achieve Guardianship Reform
The Attorney General’s Elder Abuse Task Force has been working for several months to draft legislation to address long-standing issues in the guardianship process.  Although additional legislative proposals are likely to follow, the Task Force intends to have an initial package of proposals ready to introduce within the next month.  These proposals include:
  • A comprehensive process to prevent unnecessarily removing individuals from their homes, which is often coupled with throwing away virtually all of their personal property.
  • Mandatory accounting for guardians.
  • Heightened due process to prevent “temporary” guardianships from turning into permanent guardianships.
  • Prohibiting guardians from limiting communication of individuals subject to guardianship, except in rare circumstances.
  • Allowing a court to put guardianship proceedings on hold while an individual executes powers of attorney or establishes representative payees or other alternatives to guardianship which would allow the petition to be dismissed.
  • Revamping the guardian ad litem and medical evidence statutes to provide courts with useful information as opposed to a rote recitation of an individual’s diagnoses and medications.
  • Certification of professional guardians.
  • Requiring specific findings of fact before passing over a family member or other individual with priority in favor of a professional guardian.
The Michigan Elder Justice Initiative is working with the Department of the Attorney General to finalize, coordinate, and expand the proposals before they are submitted to the Legislative Services Bureau.

Below is a link to the Attorney General's first EATF Newsletter.
Domestic Violence Update
Update on Address Confidentiality Program (SB 70-76)
The Senate unaimously passed the seven bills that comprise the Address Confidentiality Program (ACP).  The ACP permits survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and human trafficking to keep their street address confidential while creating a confidential address for receipt of mail, including court notices.  In addition, survivors may use the confidential address in place of their actual address for voting, driver's licenses and other state documents.  A similar legislative package was recently introduced in the House.  If the package of bills are enacted, Michigan will join 37 other states that have already creating an address confidentiality program. 
New Legislation to Address Multiple Barriers Faced by Survivors
A package of five bills was introduced in the Senate to address housing discrimination, unemployment benefits, paid leave and privacy rigths that impact domestic violence survivors.  SB 602 would prevent landlords and realtors from discriminating against individuals based on domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.  SB 603 would require eviction protection for survivors of domestic violence.  SB 604 would ensure an individual is not disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits for conduct stemming from domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.  SB 605 would modify the Paid Medical Leave Act of 2019 to include stalking, domestic violence and sexual assault as protected classifications for paid sick leave. Finally, SB 606 would extend the privacy rights of adult crime victims to match those of minors, allowing them to elect to use a pseudonym or initials in court documents.  In addition a resolution, SR 88, urges Congress to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act. Similar bills have been introduced in prior legislative sessions, but have not been successful. 
Domestic Violence Initiative
Rebecca Shiemke - Consulting Attorney
Emily Miller - Managing Attorney
Kathleen Allen - Supervising Attorney
Stephanie Saad - Staff Attorney
Brooke Wilsner - Staff Attorney
Nickie Perera - Staff Attorney
Brittany Tucker - Staff Attorney
Linda Kellum - Staff Attorney
Cat Villanueva - Staff Attorney
Sharron Sanders - Staff Attorney
Jessica Topor - Staff Attorney
Marie Nelson - Staff Attorney
Sokainah Mahmutovic - Law Graduate
Ana Kolosova - Staff Attorney
Patricia Mandernach - Law Graduate
Jamila Odeh - Law Graduate
Kendall Dingwall - Staff Attorney
Elder Justice Initiative
Alison  Hirschel - Consulting Attorney
Emily Miller - Managing Attorney
Kathleen Allen - Supervising Attorney
Nicole Shannon - Systemic Advocacy
Roger West - Staff Attorney
Mireille Phillips - Staff Attorney
Natalie Cherry - Staff Attorney
Brittany  Paulk - Staff Attorney
Laura Kubit - Staff Attorney
Kristina Martin - Staff Attorney
Amanda Eicher - Staff Attorney
The Crime Victims Legal Assistance Project is funded by a Victims of Crime Act of 1984 (“VOCA”) grant from the Michigan Crime Victims Services Commission of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to the Michigan Advocacy Program.
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