480.242 DISTRIBUTION OF CIVIL LEGAL SERVICES FUNDS TO QUALIFIED
LEGAL SERVICES PROGRAMS.
Subdivision 1. Advisory committee.
The Supreme Court shall establish an advisory
committee to assist it in performing its responsibilities under sections
advisory committee shall consist of 11 members appointed by the Supreme Court including seven
attorneys-at-law who are well acquainted with the provision of legal services in civil matters, two
public members who are not attorneys and two persons who would qualify as eligible clients.
Four of the attorney-at-law members shall be nominated by the State Bar Association in the
manner determined by it, and three of the attorney-at-law members shall be nominated by the
programs in Minnesota providing legal services in civil matters on July 1, 1982, with funds
provided by the federal Legal Services Corporation in the manner determined by them. In making
the appointments of the attorney-at-law members, the Supreme Court shall not be bound by the
nominations prescribed by this section. In making appointments to the advisory committee, the
Supreme Court shall ensure that urban and rural areas of the state are represented. The Supreme
Court shall adopt by rule policies and procedures for the operation of the advisory committee
including, but not limited to, policies and procedures governing membership terms, removal of
members, and the filling of membership vacancies.
Subd. 2. Review of applications; selection of recipients.
At times and in accordance with
any procedures as the Supreme Court adopts in the form of court rules, applications for the
expenditure of civil legal services funds shall be accepted from qualified legal services programs
or from local government agencies and nonprofit organizations seeking to establish qualified
alternative dispute resolution programs. The applications shall be reviewed by the advisory
committee, and the advisory committee, subject to review by the Supreme Court, shall distribute
the funds available for this expenditure to qualified legal services programs or to qualified
alternative dispute resolution programs submitting applications. The funds shall be distributed in
accordance with the following formula:
(a) Eighty-five percent of the funds distributed shall be distributed to qualified legal services
programs that have demonstrated an ability as of July 1, 1982, to provide legal services to persons
unable to afford private counsel with funds provided by the federal Legal Services Corporation.
The allocation of funds among the programs selected shall be based upon the number of persons
with incomes below the poverty level established by the United States Census Bureau who reside
in the geographical area served by each program, as determined by the Supreme Court on the
basis of the most recent national census. All funds distributed pursuant to this clause shall be used
for the provision of legal services in civil and farm legal assistance matters as prioritized by
program boards of directors to eligible clients.
(b) Fifteen percent of the funds distributed may be distributed (1) to other qualified legal
services programs for the provision of legal services in civil matters to eligible clients, including
programs which organize members of the private bar to perform services and programs for
qualified alternative dispute resolution, (2) to programs for training mediators operated by
nonprofit alternative dispute resolution corporations, or (3) to qualified legal services programs to
provide family farm legal assistance for financially distressed state farmers. The family farm legal
assistance must be directed at farm financial problems including, but not limited to, liquidation of
farm property including bankruptcy, farm foreclosure, repossession of farm assets, restructuring or
discharge of farm debt, farm credit and general debtor-creditor relations, and tax considerations. If
all the funds to be distributed pursuant to this clause cannot be distributed because of insufficient
acceptable applications, the remaining funds shall be distributed pursuant to clause (a).
A person is eligible for legal assistance under this section if the person is an eligible client as
defined in section
480.24, subdivision 2
(1) is a state resident;
(2) is or has been a farmer or a family shareholder of a family farm corporation within
the preceding 24 months;
(3) has a debt-to-asset ratio greater than 50 percent;
(4) has a reportable federal adjusted gross income of $15,000 or less in the previous year; and
(5) is financially unable to retain legal representation.
Qualifying farmers and small business operators whose bank loans are held by the Federal
Deposit Insurance Corporation are eligible for legal assistance under this section.
Subd. 3. Timing of distribution of funds.
The funds to be distributed to recipients selected
in accordance with the provisions of subdivision 2 shall be distributed by the Supreme Court no
less than twice per calendar year.
Subd. 4.[Repealed, 1989 c 335 art 1 s 270
Subd. 5. Permissible family farm legal assistance activities.
Qualified legal services
programs that receive funds under the provisions of subdivision 2 may provide the following
types of farm legal assistance activities:
(1) legal backup and research support to attorneys throughout the state who represent
financially distressed farmers;
(2) direct legal advice and representation to eligible farmers in the most effective and efficient
manner, giving special emphasis to enforcement of legal rights affecting large numbers of farmers;
(3) legal information to individual farmers;
(4) general farm related legal education and training to farmers, private attorneys, legal
services staff, state and local officials, state-supported farm management advisors, and the public;
(5) an incoming, statewide, toll-free telephone line to provide the advice and referral
described in this subdivision; and
(6) legal advice and representation to eligible persons whose bank loans are held by the
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
History: 1982 c 489 s 4,11; 1Sp1985 c 13 s 376 subd 2; 1986 c 398 art 17 s 2; 1989 c 335
art 1 s 255; 1991 c 345 art 1 s 99,100; 1994 c 465 art 3 s 35; 1997 c 7 art 1 s 162