CLIENT 1 (NAME UNDISCLOSED)
Victim of Statutory Rape and Verbal Threats/Abuse Achieves Divorce
Client was only 13 when husband, who was 24 at the time, got her pregnant with their first child. Client was 14 when husband got her pregnant again. She sought a divorce from husband, who had repeatedly made verbal threats, and was verbally abusive of her and their 3 children throughout their marriage. Husband often told client that he would kill her and the other man if she ever fooled around. He also told their children not to call his “f-ing phone,” which was devastating to them. Client’s children were acting out by cutting out of school and using drugs. Legal Aid represented client at both the Motion to Set and Child Custody hearings, which were contested. Husband hired a private attorney to represent him. The divorce was finally achieved with a reasonable settlement of the contested issues, including division of Husband’s Navy retirement account from his civil service job. Client was very grateful to be able to move on and have a fresh start for her and her children.
Legal Aid successfully defended Darren Awong from being evicted from a Hawaiian Homestead rent to own project. The case was seen as a big victory for the Hawaiian community, many of whom joined Awong on his trial day. Legal Aid attorneys involved include Ravi Nagi, Gavin Thornton, and Maile Shimabukuro.
A Kid’s 100 case
Hawaiian/Portuguese/Filipino woman has been repeatedly
physically abused by her husband, often in front of their children. Her
husband punched her in the head, leaving her with a black eye; pushed
her into a car and hit her numerous times; hit her from the back; and
repeatedly became violent when he drank. Husband was convicted of several
DUI’s, and assault of a police officer. Krystal’s children attend Hawaiian
immersion school. Krystal was assisted by Legal Aid’s Waianae office on
numerous occasions. In late 2006 we executed a Temporary Power of Attorney
authorizing her parents to take her two older children to the doctor if
she is unable. In July 2007 we assisted her with a paternity action for
her youngest child. We have also started divorce actions for her on several
occasions. Krystal has finally gathered the strength to leave her abuser,
and we are currently helping her with a divorce.
SSDI Approval for Struggling Hawaiian Family in Nanakuli
Moses Kolii is a Native Hawaiian man who worked as a security guard at Wackenhut. He has a 4-year-old daughter that he sees every other week. Unfortunately, he had to stop working and go on TDI due to heart failure, cellulitis, high blood pressure, and obesity. He applied for SSDI and SSI in January 2007 but was denied because the Social Security Administration (SSA) believed his condition was not severe enough to keep him from working. He appealed his SSDI denial, but missed the deadline for SSI because an SSA worker told him that he would be “automatically denied.” Legal Aid assisted Mr. Kolii with requesting a waiver of the 60 day SSI appeal deadline, and subsequent appeals of both claims. Legal Aid also obtained Mr. Kolii’s records from Kaiser Permanente and Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center. Finally, in May 2008, almost a year and a half after he applied, SSA approved Mr. Kolii for SSDI based on his medical records.
SSDI Approval for Struggling Hawaiian Family in Makaha
Sunday is a part-Hawaiian client
who has two minor children and was struggling due to her loss of Social
Security and her husband's loss of work. She had been terminated from
SSI a few years ago due to her husband's income and was also denied SSDI
because she was unable to prove she was disabled as of her date last insured.
Sunday suffered from paranoid schizophrenia, a tumor, and various other
ailments and had been physically abused by her previous husband. Legal
Aid assisted by helping her complete and submit the necessary appeal paperwork
to the Social Security Administration. Legal Aid also gathered medical
records from Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center, HI Medical Center
- West, and Hale Naau Pono. Fortunately, Sunday was approved for SSDI
via an "on the record" decision by an administrative law judge.
She was finally able to make ends meet, and very grateful for Legal Aid's
assistance to her family.
GRACE A. PERKINS, AGE 72
Senior Identity Theft
"Legal Aid helped me with a problem that I was having. Creditors had been bugging me for money for a debt that I did not owe. They kept calling and calling and threatened me to pay it back or they'd take me to court and hold me responsible. I don't have money and I didn't owe them money. I've never even had an account with that company. Because Legal Aid helped me, I was able to fix my situation."
DAVID NAHOOPII, AGE 40
"Legal Aid staff attorneys assisted us in acquiring legal guardianship of my 14-year old nephew. He had always lived with us, separate from his parents, under the Hawaiian custom of "hanai." This ancient custom and tradition is not recognized by the D.O.E. and medical systems. [Your staff] was very professional, efficient, patient, and understanding. I have nothing but compliments about Legal Aid's services. Mahalo!"
"I would like to thank The Legal Aid Society of Hawaii on Molokai for all the help they have given me when my problem started. First, when my wife was on the verge of Alzheimer's disease, they came to my house to help me make a Power of Attorney. Second, when a person with the same name as me ran up a bill about $10,000. This finance company called me about it. After explaining to this finance company that I am not that person, they kept on calling me. I did not know what to do until I went to Legal Aid. They took over the whole matter and helped me solve the problem. Third, the ambulance service that took my wife from my home to the hospital and from the hospital to the airport, sent the bill to the insurance company but somewhere there was a misunderstanding. The ambulance company insisted that I pay the $450 bill which confused me. I went to Legal Aid and the settled this matter for me. Fourth, I needed to make a living will. They also made a Finance Power of Attorney. I could not have done this without the help of Legal Aid. You don't know how grateful I am to Legal Aid [on Molokai]. ...You don't know how much they help the senior citizens until you become a senior yourself and need help. Thank you for everything you have done for me and my family."
WENDY ELISE DIEL, AGE 54
Filing for Bankcruptcy
"Legal Aid helped me file for bankcruptcy; after 10 years of trying to clear up my debts and affairs, I received a judgement for over $12,000- on a debt that was originally $4500. I was very afraid. From the moment I called and talked to [your staff], I had new hope...Because Legal Aid helped me, I am able to take care of my mom who is 83. She has Social Security but it's nowhere near enough. Many of the debts I incurred were from helping my dad in the last years of his life. Still he left my mom with nothing. the burden of those debts has made both our lives so much harder in the last few years. It's like a new lease on like without them. And, I have my self-respect thanks to Legal Aid. Mahalo nui loa."
DANYELLE GILBERT, AGE 13
"Because Legal Aid helped me, I am able to be with my grandparents and be cared for."