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National Crime Victim Law Institute

COVID-19 Resources for Legal Services and Victims’ Rights

March 18, 2020

In light of the impact of COVID-19 on services for victims, NCVLI is compiling a list of resources for legal service providers. This list is not intended to be, nor can it be complete. We will work to update it regularly as we learn new information. If you have resources not listed here which you would like to contribute, email NCVLI at ncvli@lclark.edu with the re: line “COVID Resources”.

Additionally, NCVLI has created an editable spreadsheet titled Court and Executive Orders Responding to COVID-19 which is a central location specifically for legal service providers to share orders issued by courts and executive offices adjusting protocols and processes that impact victim access to justice.  

Legal Responses to Protect Victims’ Rights

NCVLI Sample Template Letter to Courts re: COVID-19 Standing Orders Ths is a sample template letter to a court that must comply with the federal Crime Victims’ Rights Act.

NCVLI Sample Template Letter to Courts re: Crime Victims’ Rights to be Heard and Present in Response to Temporary Case Procedures During COVID-19 This is a sample template letter to a court that must comply with the crime victims’ rights by allowing a victim to be present and heard during all criminal proceedings, including release proceedings.

Compliance with Victims’ RIghts Requires Suspension of Civil and Criminal Statutes of Limitations During the COVID-19 Pandemic This is a response to the need to suspend criminal and civil statutes of limitations during extraordinary times.

NCVLI Sample Template Letter to Courts re: Victims’ Rights to Protection, Protective Orders This is a sample template letter to a court regarding orders that impact restraining orders/orders of protection. Any standing order that addresses these issues due to the Covid-19 situation must factor in crime victims’ rights.

Requested Amendments to COVID-19 Electronic Hearings Policy A letter from NCVLI requesting amendments to the Office of Court Administration’s (OCA)’s Zoom Hearings Policy which plans to provide Texas courts with the ability to stream and host court proceedings via Zoom and Youtube.  The letter requests that OCA incorporate elements that consider and protect crime victims’ constitutional rights when implementing this service.

Amicus Curiae Letter Brief in Response to the Court’s Order to Show Cause in In Re Sentenced Misdemeanants Amicus Curiae Letter Brief from the National Crime Victim Law Institute in Response to the Court’s Order to Show Cause in In Re Sentenced Misdemeanants, Case No. 2020 CNC 000120.

Compliance with Crime Victims’ Rights Requires Allowing Victims to Use ElectronicSignatures on Legal Documents This is a response to the requirement that crime victims submit documents with original or “wet ink” signatures during COVID-19.

Coalition Letter to Oregon Governor re: Crime Victim Notification During COVID-19 This letter was sent to Oregon Governor Kate Brown in response to the consideration of approximately 3,000 inmates being considered for release due to COVID-19.

Response to State Court Administrative Office’s Order No. 2020-6, Expanding Authority for Judicial Officers to Conduct Proceedings Remotely This letter was sent to Michegan’s State Court Administrator, requesting amendments to current Order No. 2020-6 policies regarding livestreaming court hearings on Youtube and other video platforms in order to protect victims’ rights to dignity, fairness and respect as well as privacy.

 

Child Victim Resources

National Association of Counsel for Children’s COVID-19 Resource Hub This listing compiles resources for practitioners and families involved in child welfare systems.

National Children’s Alliance Resource Page: Coronavirus Resources for CACS, Partners, and Caregivers

This website includes some best-practice suggestions for Child Advocacy Centers, along with a listing of resources for - CAC Professionals, Telehealth Resources, Resources for Partner Agencies, and Resources for Caregivers.

The Juvenile Law Center’s Beyond The Food Pantry This listing has resources for responding to students who are homeless or with experience in foster care.

Communications Vendors for Remote Work With Clients

The following vendors provide platforms that are recognized as confidential/privileged. Cyph Gruveo ResourceConnect

Court System and Executive Office Responses to COVID-19

National Crime Victim Law Institute: Court and Executive Orders Responding to COVID-19 This editable spreadsheet is a central location for legal service providers to share orders issued by courts and executive offices adjusting protocols and processes that impact victim access to justice.

National District Attorneys’ Association Blog Post: District Attorneys’ Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19) This blog post includes a link to a compilation of responses NDAA has gathered recently from prosecutors around the country indicating what they are doing in their own offices, as well as what their court systems locally and at the state level are doing. It is not an exhaustive list and will be updated periodically.

Sellf Represented Litigation Network: COVID-19 Resources These are resources for justice system professionals relating to serving self-represented litigants, including resources for court systems and facilitation of remote access and non-face-to-face services.

Women’s Law Project: Frequently Asked Questions Involving Courts and COVID-19

Criminal Justice Systems’ Responses to COVID-19

The Justice Management Institute: Response to COVID-19 by Criminal Justice Systems A listing compiled with the cooperation of the National Network of Criminal Justice Coordinating Councils (NNCJCC) of the responses by state, city and county justice agencies to the epidemic.

Domestic Violence Resources

Futures Without Violence’s Information on COVID-19 for Survivors, Communities & DV/SA Programs This list provides resources community-based advocates and health providers.

National Domestic Violence Hotline 24/7 online chat and hotline (800) 799-7233

National Network to End Domestic Violence’s Resources on the Response to Coronavirus This website includes resources and compiled state and national guidance to help domestic violence coalitions, service providers, and advocates support survivors and operate effectively.

VAWnet Resource on Preventing & Managing the Spread of COVID-19 Within Domestic Violence Programs.

This resource compiles links to detailed information from various sources, organized by category, including: General Guidance, Shelter Settings, and Faith-Based & Community Organizations, among others.

General Resources for Practitioners Working with Survivors

American Bar Association Free Legal Answers  This resource exists to answer questions relating to coronavirus-related housing, employment and other civil legal questions for income-eligible users.

National Consumer Law Center: COVID-19 & Consumer Protections This page offers resources and updates relating to debt protection and other consumer resources.

National Disaster Distress Helpline  This hotline offers crisis counseling and emotional support by phone (1-800-985-5990) and text (text TalkWithUs to 66746).

National Disaster Legal Aid Advocacy Center’s COVID-19 Legal Response

National Disaster Legal Aid Advocacy Center’s Calendar of Online Events Relating to COVID-19 Legal Aid and Pro Bono Response

National Network to End Domestic Violence’s Digital Services Toolkit This list compiles technology resources for practitioners while working remotely or in quarantine.

National Network to End Domestic Violence’s Resources on the Response to Coronavirus This list compiles resources and guidelines from NNEDV, government agencies and community based organizations to assist practitioners.

NYC Pro Bono Center’s Attorney Wellness Group Listserv This listserv is for sharing resources and ideas for attorney wellness - mental, physical, and emotional.

Paul Weiss Coronavirus (COVID-19) Relief Center This page includes information referring to economic relief and resources worldwide.

ProBonoNet and Immigration Advocates Network’s Remote Legal Support Guide This manual provides best practices for nonprofit remote legal support and pro bono innovation.

Resource Center for Reaching Victims’ Sustaining Services for Survivors During COVID-19 This website provides resources and links to trainings to assist practitioners with continuing to provide services.

Homeless/Houseless/Housing Resources

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project: COVID-19 Emergency Tenant Protections This is a continually updated map of COVID-19 emergency tenant protections.

National Housing Law Project: Protecting Renter and Homeowner Rights during Our National Health Crisis This is a compilation of resources relating to housing rights during the health crisis.

National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty: Coronavirus Responses This is compilation of resources, including highlighting some jurisdictions’ approaches to assisting people experiencing homeless/houselessness.

National Low Income Housing Coalition’s Coronavirus and Housing/Homelessness  This webpage lists federal and state actions and updates to combat homelessness.

Language Access

Creating Puentes: Free COVID-19 Language Access Response

LGBTQIA+ Resources

Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund: A Know Your Rights Guide for Transgender People Navigating COVID-19

Restraining Orders

Women’s Law Project: Frequently Asked Questions Involving Courts and COVID-19 

This guide has been prepared to ensure trans and nonbinary people are aware of their legal rights and can make informed decisions about their safety, health, and well-being as the situation continues to evolve.

For more information on how NCVLI is adapting services during this time, click here.