Central California Legal Services Merced Office

Contact Information

Name: Central California Legal Services Merced Office
Address: 1640 N St #200, Merced, CA - 95340
Phone: (209) 723-1315

Service Information

We provide free legal assistance to low income families and individuals in the San Joaquin Valley.

Our Services

Consumer - The Consumer Team works to preserve, protect and enhance the income and assets of our client community. CCLS seeks out litigation that will positively impact our client community and we empower our clients through outreach and education throughout our service area. CCLS assists clients to protect themselves against fraud and unfair business practices. CCLS safeguards and preserves the rights of taxpayers, debtors and consumers. CCLS protects the elderly against physical, mental and financial abuse and assists them in the preparation of difficult health and estate planning decisions. CCLS also ensures employment and labor laws are fairly followed and applied.
Family & Immigration - The mission of the Family Law and Immigration team is to protect the safety of our client community. CCLS protects domestic violence victims and their children, as well as elders and/or dependent adults against physical, mental, emotional, and financial abuse by preparing and filing restraining orders with the court. Victims are able to attend their hearings and obtain permanent restraining orders. CCLS also helps Fresno County residents with securing Letters of Conservatorship through a monthly clinic.
CCLS is also able to assist victims of certain crimes in applying and being approved for U-Visas and/or Battered Spouses or Children of U.S. citizens/Lawful Permanent Residents through the work of two Board of Immigration Appeals Accredited Representatives. Initially, these applicants are given work permits while they meet certain residency criteria and eventually, with CCLS' help, they obtain Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status. In the process, these individuals are empowered by going from undocumented to legal status and being able to live and work in the United States without worry.
Health - CCLS has a new Health Law Advice Line at 1-800-675-8001 to help individuals and families keep their health coverage, including Medi-Cal and Covered California; dispute denials of health care services and prevent disruption in care; and address and resolve billing problems. The Health Team provides advice and representation to individuals at no cost and without regard to their income or assets. CCLS does not assist with medical malpractice claims, worker's compensation cases, and right-to-die situations.
CCLS is proud to be a member of the Health Consumer Alliance (HCA). The HCA is a netowrk of ten consumer assistance programs operated by community-based legal services organizations across the state of California. The HCA provides statewide policy advocacy to resolve systemic health care issues impacting Californians.
Housing - The Housing Team consists of attorneys and paralegals that assist and advise tenants in Fresno, Merced, Tulare, Kings, Mariposa, and Tuolumne counties. CCLS' main focus within housing is on residential Landlord-Tenant issues. Due to the imminent nature of landlord-tenant defense, CCLS prioritizes our resources on keeping families and individuals in their homes by avoiding eviction. This can be accomplished through several methods, including but not limited to education on tenant rights and responsibilities, negotiation and representation.
Public Benefits - Central California Legal Services provides assistance with obtaining and retaining state and federal public benefits such as Social Security, CalWorks, CalFresh, General Assistance, and In-Home Supportive Services for people who reside in Fresno, Kings, Mariposa, Merced, Tulare, and Tuolumne counties.

Mission Statement: Our Mission at Central California Legal Services is to advance justice and empower people. Our purpose is to fight social injustice; to provide education and representation to the disadvantaged and to maintain access to the legal system.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is legal aid?

Legal aid is free or low-cost legal advice and assistance given to those who cannot afford the services of an attorney.

2. Who is eligible for legal aid?

The eligibility requirements for legal aid vary depending on the country or state, but generally, those who have limited income and cannot afford the services of a lawyer are eligible for legal aid.

3. How can I apply for legal aid?

To apply for legal aid, you can either visit your local legal aid office or access their website to fill out an application form. You will be required to provide information on your income and assets, as well as the legal issue you need assistance with.

4. What types of legal issues are covered by legal aid?

Legal aid covers a wide range of legal issues, including family law, criminal law, employment law, housing, consumer law, and immigration law.

5. Can I choose my lawyer with legal aid?

In some cases, you may be able to choose your lawyer with legal aid. However, in most cases, the lawyer assigned to you by legal aid will depend on their availability and expertise in the area of law your case involves.

6. How much does legal aid cost?

Legal aid is either free or offered at a reduced cost, depending on your income and assets.

7. What documents do I need to provide for legal aid?

When applying for legal aid, you will need to provide proof of your income and assets, such as bank statements, tax returns, and proof of benefits.

8. Is legal aid available for international cases?

Legal aid is only available for cases that fall within the jurisdiction of the country or state offering legal aid services.

9. Can I appeal a decision made by legal aid?

If you are not satisfied with the decision made by legal aid, you may have the right to appeal the decision. This may involve filling out an appeal form or attending a hearing.

10. How can I find a legal aid office in my area?

You can find a legal aid office in your area by searching online or contacting your local bar association.