I will be going to court in 2 weeks concerning an injunction. I already have a attorney for divorce but cannot afford to retain him for the injunction. Is it possible to have another attorney because it is a separate court case? Since I cannot afford to retain the attorney, is it possible to get a public defender and how would I go about doing it?
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
You can certainly have another attorney represent you in the DV case. If this is a criminal case then you may qualify to be represented by a public defender, but this sounds like it is a civil DV case.
Criminal Defense Attorney
If it is a civil injunction, which it sounds like, you are not entitled to a court appointed attorney as there is no risk of incarceration on a civil injunction. However, if the civil injunction is granted against you and you violate the injunction then you could be arrested.
If, however, you are in county court facing charges of violating an injunction then, yes, you may qualify for a court appointed attorney. However, it is contingent on your income. You would just ask the court to appoint you a public defender. There is an application and it generally costs you about $50 to apply.
We do see this often in family law where one party files an injunction against the other in an attempt to gain leverage in the family law case. Most injunction court judges are aware of this and see it for what it is, unless of course there is merit to the other parties petition for protection.
If this is a civil domestic violence injunction you are not entitled to a public defender. You can however, hire a different attorney to represent you in the domestic violence injunction. Good luck.
B. Elaine Jones, Esq.
Here is the website for the 20th Judicial Circuit, where you are located: http://www.ca.cjis20.org/home/main/homepage.asp
Although, you won't be able to have a public defender work on your behalf, you may be wise to contact the "Pro Se Litigant" program or the Civil/Family Departments to see how/if you can get someone to help you for a reduced rate. I am in Hillsborough County, where there are some resources for obtaining low-cost or pro bono attorney referrals. Most provide some sort of income-based test, to see if a potential "client" qualifies.
I wish you all the best, and hope you are able to nail down some solid resources to assist you!
Take care - Judd (www.juddbeanlaw.com)
These answers are not intended nor shall it be deemed to be the rendering of legal advice, they are given based on the limited information provided which is insufficient to give meaningful advice. These answers shall not be construed as part of the creation of an attorney-client relationship, nor shall it impose an obligation on the part of the attorney to respond to further inquiry. The Questioner has responsibility of obtaining legal advice and, if financially feasible, hiring a competent attorney to handle his/her case.