Gartin Building Courtroom with the Great Seal of the State of Mississippi

Guardianship Clinic will assist with school enrollment in Hinds County

August 5, 2009

Legal assistance will be available Aug. 6 and 7 to help Hinds County children to enroll in school. The Hinds County Chancery Court and the Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project will provide a Guardianship Clinic to assist with public school enrollment of children living with someone other than their parents.

Volunteer attorneys will be available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 6 and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 7 on the third floor of the Hinds County Chancery Courthouse at 316 South President Street in Jackson.

The Guardianship Clinic is designed to provide legal assistance to qualifying low income people who need help getting children enrolled in public schools in Hinds County. This includes city and county schools.

Schools require documentation of legal guardianship before enrolling a child living with someone other than a parent. Attorneys working with the Volunteer Lawyers Project will assist low income people with the filing of guardianship petitions in Hinds County Chancery Court.

Persons seeking to obtain legal guardianship are responsible for paying the $107 Chancery Court filing fee. The court requires cash or a money order.

Attorneys with the law firm of Brunini, Grantham, Grower and Hewes are donating their services at the Guardianship Clinic.

Persons seeking to establish guardianship and enroll children in a city or county public school in Hinds County must bring with them to the Guardianship Clinic documents including:

• a recent utility bill or tax bill in the guardian’s name;

• a mortgage document or a current lease. Lease papers must list the child as a tenant.

• child’s birth certificate long form;

• child’s original Social Security card;

• child’s Mississippi Immunization Form 121;

• withdrawal papers from the last school the child attended;

• photo identification of the person seeking guardianship of the minor child;

• photo identification of the natural parent or parents of the minor child;

• death certificate of a child’s deceased parent;

• proof of income such as check stub or income tax return;

• court filing fee of $107 in cash or money order. Personal checks are not accepted. Persons seeking guardianship must have consent from the natural parents.

Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project Executive Director Shirley Williams said that it’s essential that applicants bring the documentation. Failure to bring the correct documents will mean delays in filing and obtaining guardianships. Without guardianship papers, children may face delays in school enrollment.

This is the second year that the Volunteer Lawyers Project and the Hinds County Chancery Court have worked together to provide the Guardianship Clinic.

For more information about the Guardianship Clinic, call Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project Executive Director Shirley Williams at 601-960-9577.