Dear Sir/Madam:

You are invited to participate in a research study. The purpose of this study is to determine whether free or reduced fee legal services programs are meeting the greatest need across the State of South Dakota in an effective and efficient manner. Participants in this study will help the Legal Service Task force (created by the Chief Justice of the South Dakota Supreme Court) make decisions and/or recommendations for future services to be provided to low to moderate-income South Dakota residents. Although your participation is strictly voluntary, we hope that you will participate and help shape the type and manner of legal services to be provided in the future!

We obtained your name and address from public records or from legal services programs in the state or we have invited you to complete the survey anonymously on-line. Should you choose to complete the survey on-line, all survey responses that we receive will be treated confidentially and stored on a secure server. However, given that the surveys can be completed from any computer (i.e., personal, work), we are unable to guarantee the security of the computer on which you choose to enter your responses. We want you to be aware that certain "key logging" software programs exist that can be used to track or capture data that you enter and/or websites that you visit.

We are inviting you to be a part of this study because you may have worked with low to moderate-income people who may have had the need for legal help but could not afford to hire a lawyer. We want to know what you think the most critical legal needs are in South Dakota based on your knowledge and experience so we can do a better job serving those people.

If you participate, we would like you to complete the attached survey. If you choose not to participate, simply do not complete the survey. There is no need to notify us that you do not want to participate. You may also choose not to answer every question on the survey if you prefer not to answer some of the questions or do not know the answer(s).

We will keep the information you provide confidential and we do not ask for your name on the survey, however, federal regulatory agencies and the University of South Dakota Institutional Review Board (a committee that reviews and approves research studies) may inspect and copy records pertaining to this research. Your responses will be anonymous, however, depending on answers as to your job title and the county you indicate you work in, it may be possible to determine your identity. It is not important to us who you are in this survey, only the information you choose to share with us is important.

There are no known risks from being in this study, and you will not benefit personally. However, we hope that others may benefit in the future from what we learn as a result of this study. Your participation in this research study is completely voluntary. Ifyou decide not to be in this study, or if you stop participating at any time, you will not be penalized or lose any benefits for which you are otherwise entitled.

If you have any questions, concerns or complaints, now or later, you may contact me at the number below. Please also contact me if you know of anyone in need of legal assistance but cannot afford to pay a lawyer. If you have any specific suggestions on how to provide free or reduced fee legal services to South Dakota residents, please tell us on the survey form in the space provided. If you have any questions about your rights as a human subject, complaints, concerns or wish to talk to someone who is independent of the research, contact the Office for Human Subjects Protections at (605) 677-6184. Thank you for your time.

Cheryl B. Hanna, Director Access to Justice, Inc.
PO Box 495
Rapid City, SD 57709
(605) 791-4147
The purpose of this study is to better understand the legal needs of low-income South Dakotans. As a service provider or member of the legal community, we are asking for your help in determining what the legal needs of our state are and to what degree those needs are being met. All answers are confidential.

* 1. Are you a:

* 2. What is your position?

* 3. Do you serve any of the following populations?

* 4. In which counties do you serve?

In the sections that follow, please apply your knowledge of and/or experience working with low-income people when selecting the priority level of each problem/issue. For each item, select the number that most accurately corresponds with what you believe the level of need or importance of help is by the indigent. If you do not have a strong understanding of a particular need, please select "0" for "no opinion." Please consider the frequency and impact of each issue when ranking priority.

* 5. Housing Issues

Please rank each issue from 1 (low priority) to 5 (high priority), or select 0 for no opinion.

  1 2 3 4 5 0
Preventing foreclosure
Preventing an eviction
Problems with Public Housing/Section 8
Housing code/Occupancy violation
Landlord wouldn't make repairs
Security deposit issues
Landlord wouldn't return property
Tax deed sales
Other

* 6. Family Issues

Please rank each issue from 1 (low priority) to 5 (high priority), or select 0 for no opinion.

  1 2 3 4 5 0
Paternity
Child support
Custody
Guardianship of child or adult
Divorce
Domestic violence/Protection order
Visitation for non-custodial parent
Visitation for grandparent
Other

* 7. Debt and Credit Problems

Please rank each issue from 1 (low priority) to 5 (high priority), or select 0 for no opinion.

  1 2 3 4 5 0
Auto repossession
Payday/Title loans
Bankruptcy
Bill collector problems
Credit card debt collection
Unfair credit reporting problems
Identity theft
Other

* 8. Public Aid or Public Benefits

Please rank each issue from 1 (low priority) to 5 (high priority), or select 0 for no opinion.

  1 2 3 4 5 0
SSI or SSDI (disability)
Veteran's benefits
General Medicare/Medicaid issues
Health care/Health issues
Health insurance issues
TANF or Food Stamps
Unemployment benefits
Other

* 9. Education Issues

Please rank each issue from 1 (low priority) to 5 (high priority), or select 0 for no opinion.

  1 2 3 4 5 0
Suspension/Explusion
School enrollment
Individual Education Program (IEP)
Other

* 10. Immigration Issues

Please rank each issue from 1 (low priority) to 5 (high priority), or select 0 for no opinion.

  1 2 3 4 5 0
Establishing citizenship
Employment/Work authorization
Help with VISA
Relief for domestic violence
Relief for human trafficking
Deportation
Other

* 11. Wills/Estates Issues

Please rank each issue from 1 (low priority) to 5 (high priority), or select 0 for no opinion.

  1 2 3 4 5 0
Wills
Living Wills
Durable Power of Attorney (General)
Durable Power of Attorney (Health Care)
Probates
Other

* 12. Other Issues

Please rank each issue from 1 (low priority) to 5 (high priority), or select 0 for no opinion.

  1 2 3 4 5 0
Background checks for work or housing
Municipal/Traffic violations
Arrest warrants
Drivers' license issues
Pardons
Other

* 13. Individual Rights Issues

Have you witnessed discrimination impacting your clients in housing, at work, at school, as a consumer, in receiving health care or social services or by law enforcement due to any of the following factors?

Please rank each issue from 1 (never) to 5 (very often).

  1 2 3 4 5
Race
Ethnicity
Immigration status
Age
Disability
Income
Gender
Sexuality
Other

* 14. If you answered "Frequently" to "Very Often" (3-5) above, please explain how and where this discrimination is occurring:

* 15. Community Education

Please indicate the extent to which you agree with each statement with 1 being "Strongly Disagree" to 5 being "Strongly Agree."

  1 2 3 4 5
Legal presentations for clients are valuable
I believe my clients are interested in attending legal presentations
I would encourage my clients to learn about their legal rights and responsibilities if that information was available online
My clients often have access to the internet to utilize online legal resources

* 16. Access Issues

Please select "Yes," "No" or "Unknown" to the following statements.

  Yes No Unknown
My clients sometimes have difficulty finding transportation to visit my office
My clients have limited access to a telephone
My clients have limited access to a computer
Most of my clients know how to use a computer
I communicate with clients via email if they have email and know how to use it
Some of my clients have a disability that prevent them from obtaining assistance
Most of my clients communicate well in English
I have required an interpreter to work with some clients
Clients struggle with understanding the legal process
I have referred indigent people to a legal services program that serves their area

* 17. What are other hardships your clients encounter in getting legal help?

* 18. If you have required an interpreter to work with some clients, what language(s)?

* 19. If you referred indigent people to a legal services program that serves their area, which program(s) did you refer them to?

* 20. Is there anything else you would like to say about legal services to the indigent? If so, please comment below.

T