Legal Assistance

Offers free legal advice on issues including landlord-tenant, employment, FEMA benefits, insurance, repair and construction scams, loan repayment, etc. to those affected by the North Complex Fire.
-Call (888) 382-3406
-Available Mondays from 9:30am-3pm, Tuesdays from 9:30am-1pm, Wednesdays from 9:30am-1pm, and Thursdays from 9:30am-3pm.
-Assistance is also available in Spanish
For more information visit https://disasterlegalservicesca.org/northcomplex/
Please Note: Individuals are encouraged to call at 9:30am or as early as possible. Due to high call volume, the phone lines may occasionally stop receiving calls earlier than expected.

SACRAMENTO, October 18, 2020 — Trinity County has been designated for Individual Assistance under DR-4558-CA. A legal hotline is now available for survivors of the fires in Northern California in Butte, Lake, Lassen, Monterey, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, Trinity, Tulare, and Yolo Counties (additional counties may be added). Disaster survivors facing legal issues related to the fires may call the hotline at (888) 382-3406. Callers may also leave a message. English and Spanish speaking attorneys will be available.
The service, which allows callers to receive limited legal assistance from a volunteer lawyer, is a partnership between the Disaster Legal Assistance Collaborative or DLAC (The Bar Association of San Francisco’s SF-Marin Lawyer Referral and Information Service and the Justice & Diversity Center; San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, Alameda County Bar Association and Legal Access Alameda; State Bar of California, California Lawyers Association, California Lawyers Foundation, Bay Area Legal Aid; Morrison Foerster, Cooley, the DLA Piper Foundation, United Policyholders, OneJustice, California Rural Legal Assistance, and Pro Bono Net), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Legal Aid Association of California (LAAC).

The type of legal assistance available includes:
-Assistance with securing FEMA and other government benefits available to disaster survivors;
-Assistance with life, medical and property insurance claims;
-Help with home repair contracts and contractors;
-Replacement of wills and other important legal documents destroyed in the disaster;
-Assisting in consumer protection matters, remedies and procedures;
-Counseling on mortgage-foreclosure problems;
-Counseling on landlord-tenant problems;
-COVID-19 resources.

Survivors should be aware that there are some limitations on disaster legal services. For example, assistance is not available for cases that will produce a money award. Such matters can be referred for skilled lawyer representation through a State Bar of California certified lawyer referral service in your area: http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Public/Need-Legal-Help/Lawyer-Referral-Service/Sacramento-Area#butte.

Major Disaster Declaration
On August 24, 2020, a Major Disaster Declaration was issued for the state of California, making federal funding available to individuals and business owners in Lake, Monterey, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, and Yolo counties. To register with FEMA, and if eligible, apply for federal and state disaster assistance, register online at DisasterAssistance.gov or via smartphone or Web-enabled device at m.fema.gov. Applicants may also call 800-621-3362 or 800-462-7585 (TTY). Applicants should be prepared to provide basic information about themselves, insurance coverage, and any other information to help substantiate the loss. Please note that if you are eligible for an Individual Assistance grant you are not required to pay back the grant to FEMA. There is no income threshold for Individual Assistance grants, but you may be referred to the Small Business Administration (SBA) for a low interest disaster loan to assist in your recovery. These low interest disaster loans for homeowners and businesses from the SBA must be repaid. In addition, there is information available at:

www.disasterlegalservicesca.org – This statewide website hosted by DLAC offers a wide variety of legal assistance for disaster survivors, including FEMA benefits, insurance claims, landlord tenant and homeowner issues, employment questions, and consumer issues. The site also includes legal assistance related to Covid 19.

www.LawHelpCA.org – This statewide website, hosted by the Legal Aid Association of California, provides information about common legal issues in addition to disaster relief information. It also has an updated directory of pre-screened organizations that offer free or low cost legal advice and representation. 

www.disasterlegalaid.org – The National Disaster Legal Aid Resource Center, or DisasterLegalAid.org (DLA), is a nationwide project that hosts self-help tools and legal information for people and communities impacted by natural disasters. DLA also serves as a central hub for collaboration, communication, and networking among legal advocates serving disaster-affected individuals. It is a collaborative effort of Lone Star Legal Aid, Pro Bono Net, the American Bar Association, the Legal Services Corporation, and the National Legal Aid & Defender Association.

www.uphelp.org – United Policyholders (UP) is a national nonprofit 501(c)(3) consumer advocacy group that specializes in helping disaster survivors with insurance claim issues. UP also trains case managers and legal aid lawyers to assist clients with insurance and recovery matters, and for help with flood, wind, hurricane and auto insurance questions.