Q. Am I eligible for Creighton's legal services?
A. To be eligible for Creighton's services, you must be a Douglas County resident, fall within the Federal Poverty Guidelines and be involved with a civil matter (non-criminal).
Q. Can the Clinic help me with immigration problems?
A. No. The Clinic takes appointments at the offices of the Juan Diego Center and the Latina Resource Center in South Omaha. However, at this time we are not able to address limited immigration issues.
Q. I'm eligible, now what?
A. If you think you are eligible, call the Clinic at (402) 280-3068 between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday to make sure you fall within the Federal Poverty Guidelines. If you do, you will be interviewed over the phone by a Senior Certified Student. The student will give your information to the Clinic Supervisor to be reviewed. You will receive written notice within seven to ten days either accepting or rejecting your case. If the Clinic does not accept your case, you will be given a list of other resources and attorneys that may be able to help you.
Q. What is a landlord required to do?
A. The Nebraska Residential Tenant Act requires landlords to do the following:
**LEAD PAINT ** If your unit was built before 1978 your landlord has a duty to inform you of any known lead-based paint hazard existing in the unit. Your landlord must also give you informational materials regarding lead based paint and what you should know about it. If your landlord has not provided you with these materials, contact your local health department.
Q. What is the tenant required to do?
A. The Nebraska Residential Tenant Act requires tenants to do the following:
Q. What about fires or floods?
A. If your unit is damaged by fire or some other serious damage that is not your fault, and if that damage seriously affects your ability to live there in a normal way, you may move. You must notify your landlord in writing within fourteen (14) days after you move, that you are ending the lease. If you do this, you will not owe any rent from the day you move out.
Q. What if there is an emergency?
A. If you are without an essential service which the landlord agreed to provide, such as hot or cold running water, electricity, gas, etc., give your landlord a written notice of the problem either in person or by certified mail. Give this notice to your landlord as soon as the problem develops. If your landlord fails to fix the problem, you can:
Q. When can the landlord raise your rent?
A. If you have a written lease, the landlord cannot raise your rent during the term of the lease. If you have a verbal rental agreement or a month-to-month written agreement, your landlord may raise your rent by giving you a notice at least thirty (30) days before your next rent payment is due. If you pay on the first of the month, the landlord must give you notice on or before the first of the preceding month.
Q. What about eviction for nonpayment of the rent?
A. If you are behind in the rent, the landlord must give you a three (3) day notice for nonpayment of rent. This is NOT A NOTICE TO GET OUT; it is only a notice that you must pay your rent in full within three days plus any late charges or she will terminate your rental agreement. If you pay the rent in full within three days, it must be accepted and you cannot be evicted for not paying the rent. If you do not pay your rent within the three day notice period, your landlord may file a suit in court asking that you be evicted. If you cannot afford a lawyer, call Abrahams Legal Clinic.
Q. Can your landlord make you move even if you pay your rent?
A. If you have a verbal rental agreement or a month-to-month written agreement, your landlord can give you thirty (30) days notice that she is ending your lease. She may end your lease even though you may be performing all your duties as tenant. If you have a written lease, it may specify additional procedures which your landlord would have to follow. However, your landlord may not try to evict you just because you complained about repairs or took actions such as reporting violations to the Code Enforcement Inspectors, or joining a tenant group. This is called a retaliatory action and is illegal.
Q. When can your landlord enter your unit?
A. The landlord may enter your unit:
In all cases except emergencies, your landlord must give you twenty-four (24) hours' written notice of the intent to enter your unit and then he can only request to visit at REASONABLE times (midnight is not a reasonable time). The landlord may enter your unit if you have been away for more than seven (7) days. She may only enter at times reasonably necessary. Your landlord must notify you one (1) day before every visit to your unit. If she doesn't or if she continues to bother you, you have a right to go to court to stop it. You can collect damages and a fee for your lawyer. Be sure to see a lawyer right away.
Q. What if a landlord discriminates in renting housing?
A. Minorities, families and the handicapped have the same rights to housing as everyone else. If a landlord discriminates in renting housing based upon a person's race, color, religion, national orgin, or because the person is handicapped or has children he is breaking the law. Both Nebraska and Federal laws forbid such discrimination. If you think that the landlord will not rent you a unit or is trying to evict you because of any of these illegal reasons, you can file a complaint with the Human Relations Department in Omaha or with the Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission. Also, the Fair Housing Center can help you with these complaints, they can be reached at (402) 934-6675 / 1-800-669-3247.
Q. What about security deposits?
A. Your landlord can require you to pay a security deposit but it cannot be more than one (1) month's rent unless you are allowed to have a pet and actually have one. If you have an animal, your security deposit can not exceed 1 and 1/4 months' rent. Your landlord may keep your deposit money after you move out only if it is necessary to cover damages that were done by you or to cover back rent not paid by you. Damages include cleaning fees. So, if you move out and leave the place a mess, the landlord may deduct the cost of cleaning the unit. Normal wear and tear caused to the unit is not damage for which the landlord may keep your deposit.
NEBRASKA DIVORCE LAW
Q. What are the court fees I would be required to pay?
A. Filing the Complaint - $157.00 - After the Complaint is signed it is filed with the Clerk of the Court along with other documents. Court proceedings are public information. The filing of and the granting of a divorce are reported in the newspaper.
Q. What are the residence requirements?
A. One of the spouses must have been a resident for at least one year, or the marriage must have been performed in Nebraska and one of the spouses lived in Nebraska for the entire marriage. The dissolution may be filed in a county where either spouse lives. There is a 60-day waiting period after service of the complaint before the case can be decided by the court.
Q. How will the property be distributed?
A. Equitable distribution of marital property; the spouses retain their separate property acquired before the marriage. All of the spouse's marital property, which includes gifts and inheritances acquired during the marriage, may be divided, based on consideration of:
Q. What about Child Custody/Visitation?
A. In determining with which of the parents the child shall remain, the court shall consider the best interests of the children, which include:
Joint custody may be awarded when both parents agree to such an arrangement.
Q. How is child support determined?
A. Child support guidelines were established by court rule and are contained in the Rules of the Supreme Court. The guidelines are based on the Income Shares Formula, and are calculated on net income.
Q. Can I file the paperwork myself?
A. Forms for simple divorce without children can be found at the Nebraska Supreme Court website at http://www.supremecourt.ne.gov/self-help/simple-divorce.shtml. There are instructions on how to prepare and file the forms on the website under “General Court Forms” Simple Divorce Forms and Instructions.