APPLICANT/CLIENT GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE (45 CFR § 1621)
This policy intended to help ensure that ERLS provides the highest quality legal assistance to its clients as required by the LSC Act and is accountable to our clients and applicants for legal assistance. This policy is further intended to help ensure that the ERLS grievance procedures will result, to the extent possible, in the provision of an effective remedy in the resolution of complaints by applicants and clients.
The ERLS Board of Directors shall establish a grievance committee, composed of lawyer and client members of the governing body, in approximately the same proportion that comprises the ERLS Board of Directors.
Applicants who disagree with a denial of service will be connected to the Executive Director or their designee to complain about the denial of service. The Executive Director or their designee shall investigate the matter.
1. An applicant who has a grievance within the past sixty (60) days, will be directed to write or dictate if need be (with ERLS assistance), a brief statement of the matter and the reasons the applicant believes the matter should be accepted as a case.
2. Within seven (7) work days of the receipt of the grievance statement from the applicant, the Executive Director will rule, in writing, on the request for services.
3. If the complainant is still dissatisfied, an opportunity to confer with the designated member of the ERLS Board of Directors Grievance Committee will be provided, should the applicant so request within ten (10) days of the date of mailing of the Executive Director ruling, which shall state the complainant’s right to a meeting with a Board Member.
4. Said conference can be either in person or telephonically and shall occur within ten (10) work days of the applicant’s request.
5. The assigned Board Member will issue a written decision to the client and the Executive Director within fifteen (15) work days from the dates of the conference.
Each ERLS client shall receive notification of ERLS’ client grievance process/information upon request. Any client dissatisfied with the services rendered by ERLS, shall have the right to have their complaint heard by the Management of ERLS.
1. The client who has a grievance within the past sixty (60) days, will be directed to write or dictate if need be (with ERLS assistance), a brief statement summarizing their complaint.
2. The complainant's statement shall be forwarded to the Executive Director with such supplementary material as the complainant may choose.
3. Within ten (10) work days of receipt of the complainant's statement, the Executive Director or their designee will render a written decision thereon. The complainant shall be notified of their right to appeal the decision of the Executive Director to the ERLS Board of Directors Grievance Committee, and, subsequently, to LSC if the Board committee cannot satisfy the complainant.
4. If the client is still dissatisfied, they may submit a written complaint together with any supplementary materials to the ERLS Board of Directors Grievance committee. Said request shall be delivered to the Executive Director of ERLS, who shall deliver the request and all pertinent documents to the ERLS Grievance Committee.
5. The Grievance Committee, upon request of the complainant may allow the complainant to provide an oral statement and/or be accompanied by another person who may speak on that complainant's behalf.; and provide that, upon request of the complainant, the recipient shall transcribe a brief written statement, dictated by the complainant for inclusion in the recipient's complaint file.
6. The decision of the Grievance Committee shall be delivered in writing to the complainant and the Executive Director not more than forty-five (45) days after the request for review unless the time is extended by agreement of all parties.
7. ERLS shall maintain a file of all complaints made against the program or its employees.
a. The file shall include all written materials reviewed during the complaint procedure.
b. A statement of the disposition of each complaint shall also be preserved for examination by LSC.
8. All time periods set forth in this procedure may be shortened, with the consent of the complainant, when shortening is necessary to preserve the complainant's legal rights.
9. All time periods may be lengthened at the request of either party to provide greater opportunity to prepare.
a. In no event shall any time period be extended for more than ten (10) work days beyond its regular expiration time without the express consent of the complainant.