Eviction Defense Project
In June 2020, the SCB Volunteer Lawyers Program (VLP) received funds from the Office of Civil Legal Aid (OCLA) to create the Eviction Defense Project (EDP) to help prevent the “tsunami” of evictions expected in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding allowed the VLP to contract with attorneys to provide free legal aid to tenants who are currently facing eviction or who are at risk of eviction.
With the implementation of Right to Counsel, which provides indigent tenants the right to an attorney in Unlawful Detainer proceedings [RCW 59.18.640], the current purpose of the EDP is to provide support: to tenants involved in the pre-filing process (Eviction Resolution Pilot Program), to tenants who do not qualify for Right to Counsel due to income, and/or to tenants facing eviction before, or outside of, the court process.
Who can the EDP help?
The VLP's EDP is designed to assist low-income tenants who are served eviction paperwork, are threatened with an eviction, and/or believe they are under threat of an eviction. The EDP can also provide assistance to low-income tenants who are above the threshold of the Right to Counsel stipulations outlined in RCW 59.18.640.
How can the EDP help?
The VLP EDP connects qualifying clients with contracted attorneys who advise clients on their rights, provide guidance about repayment plans, and advocate for clients on their behalf. EDP attorneys may also represent clients in court, but this is ONLY if these clients are low-income tenants who do not qualify for a court appointed Right to Counsel attorney.
EDP attorneys are contracted through the VLP and are not a client's attorney. Communication with VLP contracted attorneys does not constitute and attorney-client relationship. The VLP is not legally obligated to assist with your case and may reject or discontinue your case at any time for any reason deemed appropriate by the VLP staff or contracted attorney.
The VLP will only assist you with your case for a maximum of 5 hours of attorney time. All calls, attempted calls, research, emails, and other communication are part of this time.
How do I apply?
You can apply for the VLP's Eviction Defense Project online or over the phone. For more information, click APPLY above.
What is the process?
You receive notice from your landlord that they want to evict you, or you believe you are under threat of an eviction.
Apply to the Spokane EDP online or over the phone.
VLP staff will contact you and determine if you are eligible for the Eviction Defense Project. If you are eligible, VLP staff will do a quick intake process with you to put you into our system. This process usually takes 10 to 15 minutes. VLP staff hold the right to reject any participant for any reason they deem appropriate.
After the intake is complete, VLP staff will send your information to a contracted attorney who will be assigned to assist with you case. VLP attorneys will reach out to you by phone and/or email and work with you directly. VLP contract attorneys hold the right to reject any client for any reason they deem appropriate.
Other helpful sites
For more information and/or legal forms:
washingtonlawhelp.org : Website created by the Northwest Justice Project. Provides legal help and directories along with forms and information on how to fill out legal forms.
tenantsunion.org : Website for the Washington Tenant's Union. Provides tenants with information on their rights and the processes of an eviction.
courts.wa.gov : Washington State Court forms page. Contains most common forms for some legal issues.
Revised Code of Washington : List of all the current permanent laws for the state of Washington.
For rental assistance:
SNAP : Spokane Neighborhood Action Partners (SNAP) provides Spokane community members with rental assistance.
Family Promise of Spokane : Provides housing assistance to Spokane families.
livestories Spokane : Rental assistance through the city of Spokane. No longer accepts applications, but has a list of community organizations which may provide rental assistance.