August 2019 Newsletter

NEWSLETTER / August 2019

South Carolina Legal Services (SCLS) is a non-profit law firm. We provide free legal services in a wide variety of civil (non-criminal) legal matters to eligible low income residents of South Carolina. Our mission is to provide legal services to protect the rights and represent the interests of low income South Carolinians.

A Man Born “Unnamed”

Gerald Farrow Clinkscales never thought getting his new driver’s license would be stressful. But then he started the process of getting a new REAL ID. Clinkscales, who turns 66 in November, had no idea he was about to embark on a months-long process to get his ID, which would lead to him hiring an attorney and waiting for a judge. That process — nearly a year in the making — started when the DMV employee told Clinkscales, “I can’t take this birth certificate because your name isn’t on it,” and handed him back his slightly worn, wallet-sized birth certificate that shows his birth number, the county registrar’s name, his parents’ names and the one printed as his own: “Unnamed Clinkscales.”

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The Public Benefits Unit

Representing clients in SNAP denial and cessation cases is a critical part of bridging the hunger gap in South Carolina. One in seven people (679,990) and one in five children (202,110) struggled with hunger in South Carolina in 2017. Access to healthy food is an even larger problem. In 2014, a report by the US Department of Agriculture revealed that more than 1 million low-income South Carolinians live in food deserts.

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Clients’ Lifeline

We, as legal services advocates, are constantly helping our clients with traditional legal issues like divorces, bankruptcies, evictions and landlord issues, consumer issues, etc. However, we must pay close attention to the importance of public benefits in maintaining our clients’ financial and emotional stability. Our clients are, by definition, low income. This means they may qualify for a wide array of benefits to which they are entitled, and, the loss of which can be devastating.

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Tips for a Temporary Hearing in Family Court

Family Court cases can take a long time and may involve several Court dates. Temporary hearings are typically used early in the process.  Temporary hearings may be used when a client needs the Judge to make decisions on issues that need to be addressed quickly and on a temporary basis. What the Judge orders at the temporary hearing lasts until the next hearing.  At a temporary hearing, a Judge may order a temporary parenting plan, temporary child support, or temporary alimony.

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Domestic Violence Awareness

October is Domestic Violence (DV) Awareness Month. Are you or your organization planning DV-related events to raise awareness and help survivors of? Consider partnering with SCLS. We can provide a FREE presentation, clinic or training on a number of DV-related topics, including, order of protection, custody, divorce, legal remedies, tax implications and more.

With any requests to collaborate, questions or comments, please contact Tamika Cannon at

In Farmworkers’ Shoes

This summer we ha’ve had two students working with our Migrant Unit as part of the Student Action with Farmworkers This summer we ha’ve had two students working with our Migrant Unit as part of the Student Action with Farmworkers Internship. They each wrote some thoughts about their experience while helping seasonal farmworkers throughout the state. In this edition of The Legal Chatter, we’re sharing with you Cerina’s throuhgs. In the next issue, we’ll share what Victor had to say.

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2019 Neighbor Day

On August 17, our Charleston office held its 14th Annual Neighbor Day. The event is an opportunity for SCLS staff and neighborhood kids and their families to get to know each other. Free shoes, school supplies and more were provided for the children.

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Paying It Forward

Our attorneys are often called upon to share their knowledge, expertise and experience. On August 16, four SCLS attorneys helped train advocates from across the state who serve survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

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