Okaloosa County Legal Aid, Inc. (OCLA), a not-for-profit organization, was established in 1974 by the local bar association for the purposes of providing civil legal assistance to the indigent of the county. For many years, the program was run by volunteers two days a week. In 1983, OCLA applied for and received its first funding through a grant from The Florida Bar Foundationís IOTA program. Monies are administered by the county finance office. OCLA hired its first paid staff to administer the program full time. The program was run out of office space donated by Okaloosa County.
In 1986, the county added an addition to the Courthouse Annex in Shalimar to include a new Law Library. At that time, the administrative judge approached the Board of Directors of Legal Aid about combining the OCLA program with the Law Library. See Okaloosa County Law Library for more information on that office.
Today, the OCLA program runs out of an office located within the Law Library of the Courthouse Annex. Two full- time staff members run the library as well as administer the pro bono efforts of the local bar association. On Wednesdays, one staff person goes to the Courthouse in Crestview to both update and maintain the Law Library there, as well as to screen persons for OCLA assistance.
OCLA case type guidelines are established by the Bar Association and include the following: Landlord/ Tenant; Consumer/Finance; Step-parent Adoption; Dissolution of Marriage; Defense of Paternity or Custody; and Wills for the Elderly. Financial eligibility is based on 125% of the poverty guidelines as determined by the Federal Governmentís Department of Labor.
Funding of one staff person and general program support is through a grant by The Florida Bar Foundationís IOTA program and donations by private attorneys.
You may contact the OCLA office by phone or in person to be screened for eligibility at (850) 651-7254.
Okaloosa County Legal Aid, Inc. (OCLA) provides civil legal assistance to people who qualify for assistance who are residents of Okaloosa County, Florida. Qualifying is based on federal financial eligibility standards that are based on a combination of gross income and number of people in the household, among other factors.
* Only a limited number of dissolution of marriage (divorce) and child custody cases can be taken per year. The average is two. Please call us for more information.
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* Please Note: Regretfully, OCLA cannot provide any legal advice over the telephone or via e-mail. You must provide information regarding income and other factors to qualify for legal assistance under our guidelines before we can provide any legal advice whatsoever. Please call for an appointment. The information contained in this web site does not constitute legal advice. No claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to this web site are made. Legal advice must be given based on the your specific circumstances. Nothing in this web site should be used as a substitute for advice from legal counsel.
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