ECLAA = free legal help on civil law crises for low-income Essex County NJ residents

For free legal aid, call 973-622-0063. ECLAA attorneys are @ work remotely.

For free legal aid, call 973-622-0063. ECLAA attorneys are @ work remotely.

For free legal aid, call 973-622-0063. ECLAA attorneys are @ work remotely.For free legal aid, call 973-622-0063. ECLAA attorneys are @ work remotely.For free legal aid, call 973-622-0063. ECLAA attorneys are @ work remotely.

For COVID-19 safety reasons, ECLAA's Newark office is closed. Call our attorneys Mon-Fri 9am-1pm or email us HELP@eclaanj.org

Our focus is civil law only (e.g., for tenants).

For free legal aid, call 973-622-0063. ECLAA attorneys are @ work remotely.

For free legal aid, call 973-622-0063. ECLAA attorneys are @ work remotely.

For free legal aid, call 973-622-0063. ECLAA attorneys are @ work remotely.For free legal aid, call 973-622-0063. ECLAA attorneys are @ work remotely.For free legal aid, call 973-622-0063. ECLAA attorneys are @ work remotely.

For COVID-19 safety reasons, ECLAA's Newark office is closed. Call our attorneys Mon-Fri 9am-1pm or email us HELP@eclaanj.org

Our focus is civil law only (e.g., for tenants).

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Above all, do not wait until the morning of your Landlord-Tenant or other hearing. It is best to see us at least a week before your court date, so that we can prepare you in advance.

DURING THE COVID-19 CRISIS: If you need legal advice about a civil matter and qualify for free legal services, DO NOT come to ECLAA in Newark at our office in Room 118 at the Newark Hall of Records, 465 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Newark, NJ 07102.  


INSTEAD, CALL ECLAA AT 973-622-0063. OUR ATTORNEYS ARE WORKING REMOTELY AND ARE ANSWERING CALLS MONDAY TO FRIDAY FROM 9 A.M.-1 P.M. THE PHONE IS BUSY, PLEASE LEAVE A MESSAGE SO AN ECLAA ATTORNEY CAN CALL YOU BACK.  YOU CAN ALSO E-MAIL US AT HELP@eclaanj.org IF YOU CANNOT CALL. EITHER WAY, PLEASE TELL US YOUR NAME, YOUR ADDRESS INCLUDING CITY, A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE LEGAL PROBLEM, A PHONE NUMBER WHERE WE CAN CALL YOU BACK, AND YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS.  THANK YOU FOR REACHING OUT TO ECLAA TO SEEK FREE EMERGENCY LEGAL HELP WITH YOUR CIVIL LAW CRISIS.

  

Our practice is focused on civil law for low-income residents of Essex County.  The most common forms of civil law affecting our clients are housing law at 96% of our cases (most often, tenants facing eviction and/or illegal and unsafe living conditions) and consumer law (collection, debtor relief, etc.) at 3%.  


We do not do criminal law. That work is done by the Public Defenders office.  We do not do family law.


DURING THE COVID-19 CRISIS, PLEASE IGNORE THE NEXT PARAGRAPHS ABOUT OUR OFFICE:


What to expect when you get to Room 118


We only provide legal advice in person.  We cannot provide legal advice by phone or online.  Generally, the best time of day to come to our office is before 9:00 a.m. We are open Monday-Friday each week, with our last client interview typically by 1:00 p.m.  Please knock on our door to let us know you are waiting. Please be patient, since there are generally more income-eligible clients that we have attorneys.  


When you arrive at the Essex County Legal Aid Association office in Newark, you will need to fill out a brief intake form. Copies of the form are available right on our office door -- which is Room 118 in the Hall of Records building.  Complete the intake form as best you can. If you have trouble completing it, knock on our door. Ask for our brief help. 


Then, once an ECLAA attorney has finished working with another ECLAA client, we will be able to see you -- if you are income eligible.  


What to bring with you


Bring your contact information with you to ECLAA's office -- like your name, address, phone number(s), e-mail address, etc.  You must also bring:


DURING THE COVID-19 CRISIS, TRY TO HAVE THIS KIND OF INFORMATION READY FOR YOUR PHONE CALL WITH AN ECLAA ATTORNEY (973-622-0063).  IF YOU DO NOT HAVE THIS INFORMATION, PLEASE CALL US ANYWAY:


  • proof of your residency in Essex County, 
  • documentation of your current income, as well as 
  • any other information that might allow us to help you quickly and effectively (e.g., court date if you have one, docket number, court location if assigned, copies of any relevant documents about the emergency legal matter).  
  • For tenants, such documentation includes as many of the following items: a copy of your lease if you have one, your rent receipts or other written proof that you have paid the rent in question, written correspondence with the landlord/manager (including text messages), photographs (even on your cellphone) of conditions in your apartment. Basically, if you think something will help you in your case, bring it with you to our office.


Who is income eligible to get free legal help from ECLAA


Eligibility for ECLAA's free emergency legal help is based on your annual household income and the number of people in your family/household. 

(See the table below.)


ECLAA uses a maximum income eligibility cap of 250% of the Federal poverty guidelines for all our clients.  If you make less each year than the maximum annual income for your size household, ECLAA will be able to provide our free emergency legal assistance to you and your family.  These income caps follow the guidelines of one of our larger grantmakers -- the IOLTA Fund of the Bar of New Jersey.  


To figure out whether you are eligible for ECLAA's free legal help, first find the size of your family/household (including all adults and children living with you).  Then compare your annual household income with the maximum cap for annual income shown in the annual and weekly  household income column for that household size.  


If your household income is less than the bold dollar amounts for your household size, you are eligible for ECLAA's free legal services on your emergency civil matters.  Your expected household income in 2020 is below 250% of the Federal poverty guideline:


Household Size               Annual  Income  (Weekly Income)


  1. person                          $ 31,225/year  ($ 600 a week)
  2. people                         $ 42,275/year ($  813 a week)
  3. people                         $ 53,325/year ($1,025 a week)
  4. people                         $ 64,375/year ($1,238 a week)
  5. people                         $ 75,425/year ($1,450 a week)
  6. people                           $ 86,475/year ($1,663 a week)
  7. people                         $ 97,525/year ($1,875 a week)
  8. people                         $108,575/year ($2,088 a week)


For each additional person in your household above 8 people, add for each additional person  $ 11,050 per year ($213 a week).


We apologize for the complexity of this income cap, but it is a requirement of our major financial supporter.  As a nonprofit organization entirely dependent on donations, we must comply with such requirements.  If your annual household income is higher than the numbers above, ECLAA is not able to help you.


How, where and when to get our free services:

NORMALLY: Monday to Friday, we see our first client by 9 a.m. and our last client by 1 p.m.  We may need to end earlier if our attorneys are already helping a client already in our office whose case is complex. We apologize in advance for the chance that this may happen. We try to help each person who knocks on our door. We ask for your patience, even though that may be difficult under the circumstances you face. To reduce such stress, please come to our office a week before your court date.

465 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd, Room 118, Newark NJ 07102

DURING THE COVID-19 CRISIS, DO NOT COME TO OUR OFFICE. IT IS CLOSED, CALL 973-622-0063 TO GET FREE LEGAL HELP FROM ONE OF OUR STAFF ATTORNEYS WITH YOUR CIVIL LAW PROBLEM (E.G,, EVICTION). LEAVE A MESSAGE IF THE LINE IS BUSY OR E-MAIL HELP@eclaanj.org

NORMALLY: We help eligible Essex County residents free at our office 9 a.m-1 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Saturday: Closed

Sunday: Closed

ECLAA attorneys are working remotely while our office must be closed due to COVID-19 public health mandates. Please support our work as we mark the 100th anniversary of ECLAA's incorporation in 1920.

Each $150 covers all of the costs of providing free emergency legal assistance to a low-income client and her family when facing a civil law crisis -- most often an imminent eviction from their home. 

You do not need to have a PayPal account to donate to ECLAA.

Pay with PayPal or a debit/credit card