Grievance Policy

Applicant/Client Grievance Procedures (45 CFR § 1621)

This policy is intended to help ensure that ERLS provides the highest quality legal assistance to its clients, as required by the LSC Act and its accountable to our clients and applicants for legal assistance. This policy is further intended to help ensure that the ERLS grievance procedure will result, to the extent possible, in the provision of an effective remedy and the resolution of complaints by applicants and clients.

Grievance Committee

The ERLS Board of Directors shall establish a grievance committee, composed of both lawyers and client members, in approximately the same proportion that comprises the ERLS Board of Directors.


Applicants who disagree with 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.

Procedure for Non-Acceptance of Case

  • 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.
  • Within seven (7) workdays of the receipt of the grievance statement from the applicant, the Executive Director will rule, in writing, on the request for services.
  • If the complainant is still dissatisfied, an opportunity to confer with a 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 Directors ruling, which shall state the complainants right to a meeting with a Board Member.
  • Said conference can be either in person or via telephone and shall occur within ten (10) workdays of the applicant’s request.
  • The assigned Board Member will issue a written decision to the client and the Executive Director within fifteen (15) workdays from the date of the conference.

Service Dissatisfaction

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 head by the management of ERLS.

Procedure for Clients represented by 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 complaints statement shall be forwarded to the Executive Director with such supplementary materials as the complainant may choose.
  3. Within ten (10) work days of receipt of the complainant’s statement, the Executive Director of 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 the 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 complain shall 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 other 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.
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