Grievance Procedure


CLIENT GRIEVANCE
PROCEDURE

Based upon

45 CFR 1621

(Revised May 27,
1998)

(Revised September
15, 2010)

(Revised March 24,
2014)

 

            The purpose of the Client Grievance
Procedure is to assure that clients and others have the opportunity to express
dissatisfaction with quality or manner of legal assistance rendered by LSNM, or
with a decision by LSNM regarding representation of a client.  It is further intended to help ensure an
effective remedy in the resolution of complaints.  The disclosure of client secrets or
confidences contrary to applicable rules of ethics and opinions regarding
ethical rules is not allowed or required.

 

I.          COMPLAINTS ABOUT DENIAL OF LEGAL
ASSISTANCE

 

If a person disagrees with a
decision by LSNM that a) a person is financially ineligible for LSNM services,
b) assistance is prohibited by LSNM priorities established pursuant to LSC
Regulations, or c) assistance is prohibited by the LSC Act or Regulations, then
that person may register a complaint and request review of that decision as
follows:

 

1.         Complaints must be made within thirty (30) days of LSNM’s
decision.

2.         Complaints may be oral or written, and
accomplished by mail, in person, by teleconference or through some other
reasonable alternative, and should be directed to:

 

Director

Legal
Services of 
Northwest Minnesota 

P.O. Box 838 Moorhead, MN 56561-0838

 Phone:  (218) 233-8585

 1-800-450-8585 (toll free)

FAX:   (218) 233-8586

E-mail:  legalaid@lsnmlaw.org

 

3.         The complaint need not be in any
particular form, but should specifically identify the problem in detail, fully
describing, as appropriate, the client’s legal issue, financial circumstances,
and reasons for dissatisfaction. 

4.         Prompt consideration of each complaint
shall be made (within 5 business days) by the Director of the Director’s
designee.

5.         A conference (in person or by phone)
with the LSNM Director may be arranged, if desired by the complainant.

6.         If the complainant is not satisfied
with the decision, the complainant may appeal in writing to the President of
the Board of Directors, Legal Services of Northwest Minnesota, P.O. Box 838,
Moorhead, MN 56561-0838.

7.         A conference with the President of the
Board of Directors may also be arranged by contacting 1-800-450-8585, if
desired by the complainant.

8.         The decision of the President shall
constitute final action of LSNM.

 

 

II.        COMPLAINTS ABOUT MANNER OR QUALITY OF
ASSISTANCE

 

            If a person is dissatisfied with the
manner or quality of legal assistance rendered by LSNM or any of its panel
attorneys, then a complaint may be registered as follows:

 

              1.         Steps
1 through 5 above shall be followed.

2.         If the matter is not resolved to the
satisfaction of the complainant, then a complaint may be submitted to the
Appeals and Grievance Committee of the Board of Directors, Legal Services of
Northwest Minnesota, 
P.O. Box 838, Moorhead, MN 56561-0838.

3.         Prompt consideration of each complaint
shall be made by the Committee (within 30 days).

4.         The complainant shall have the
opportunity to appear personally before the Committee and to be accompanied by
another person.  Upon request, LSNM will
transcribe a brief written statement, dictated by the complainant, for
inclusion in LSNM’s complaint file.

5.         The Appeals and Grievance Committee
shall consist of two (2) attorney members and one (1) client member of the
Board, all of whom shall be appointed by the President of the Board.

6.         LSNM shall maintain a separate file
containing every complaint including a statement of its disposition and any
written statements submitted by the complainant.

 

III.       NOTICE

 

            LSNM shall advise potential clients
at the time of intake, or in subsequent correspondence, how to make a complaint
on any of the bases set forth above.