Guides & Checklists
Pro Bono to Go is a mobile-optimized library of Guides and Checklists designed for pro bono attorneys. Remember that guides and checklists may not cover every situation.
Guides provide an overview of the topic area. Interview guides contain model questions to solicit information relevant to the topic area from clients.
Remember that guides might not cover every circumstance and should be adapted to fit your client's particular situation.
An overview of divorce, including procedural steps to initiate a proceeding.
An interview guide containing a series of model questions intended to solicit relevant information from clients.
An interview guide to establishing your client's goals in a divorce where there are children. Model questions are provided
These fees are waivable upon request and approval of the court.
Questions to help you determine the proper location to file a simple Divorce with minor custodial children and how to serve the opposing party.
An overview to establishing Paternity.
The court process can take a long time. Temporary orders are very important because they frequently become permanent orders. This is a guide to temporary orders when filing for divorce.
A guide to the financial documents required in a divorce proceeding.
An overview of the requirements and motions needed to comply with Parenting Education.
An overview of separate support in Massachusetts.
Model questions for a final divorce hearing. The questions you ask at the divorce hearing will vary depending on the facts, circumstances and relief sought in each case. These draft questions are intended as a starting place
Guardianship & Adoption
A guide to the parties involved in a guardianship proceeding of an Incapacitated Person ("IP").
Detailed information for filing for temporary and permanent guardianship of an incapacitated person ("IP").
An overview of adoption. Learn about adoption vs. guardianship.
The rights and responsibilities a client has depends on the type of tenancy.
Elements of a housing case.
Risks, Requirements and Things to Consider when crafting an Agreement for Judgment in a Summary Process case.
See sample language for your Agreement for Judgment in the Sample Agreement for Judgment checklist.
Things to consider and negotiate if your client wants to remain in her unit.
A list and description of laws that may have been violated.
Can your client bring an affirmative case? Check if their claim has all the proper elements.
A guide to some housing claims and defenses.
Housing Court has broad powers of equitable relief that are exercised at their discretion.
A notice to quit notifies the tenant that their tenancy will be terminated at the end of the period and a suit to evict will follow.
The complaint with the summons start the eviction law suit.
The tenants chance to tell the court her defenses and counterclaims.
The tenants' way to get information from the landlord. It is filed with court and delivered to the landlord or landlord’s attorney by the Answer date.
Filing and serving discovery automatically pushes back the first hearing date 2 weeks.
If the Plaintiff does not produce timely responses to your discovery requests.
The tenant's reasons to stop the eviction or owe less money. Many are found in G.L. c. 186 and G.L. c. 239.
The tenant's claims against the landlord. Can be for money or in non-payment or no fault eviction, if damages awarded in CC is greater than amount owed, can prevent eviction.
Uniform Summary Process Rules 10 and 13
Checklists contain issues to consider when:
- Preparing to take a case;
- Discussing the case with your client; and
- Addressing in your client's settlement agreement.
Remember that checklists might not cover every circumstance and should be adapted to fit your client's particular situation.
A checklist of the steps for filing a 1A divorce.
Use this checklist to guide you through filing a divorce when the parties have children.
Check to make sure you have followed all the necessary steps.
A checklist to ensure proper service by publication.
A checklist when requesting discovery.
You may need to request temporary orders if you have any of these issues in your case.
Find out if you need to file a Complaint for Contempt.
Should you file a Complaint for Custody/Support/Parenting Time?
A checklist for when you should and how to file a Complaint for Custody/Support/Parenting Time.
A checklist of steps for assisting your client with a custody matter.
A checklist of content to consider in a separation agreement.
A checklist for establishing paternity where the parties are not married.
Tips to fill it out right.
A checklist to modify an Order or Judgment.
To request a final hearing, follow these steps.
A checklist to prepare for the final Divorce hearing.
A checklist for filing a guardianship.
A checklist of things to consider before filing for guardianship.
A checklist for terminating a guardianship. M.G.L. c. 190B, § 5-310
Are there bad conditions in your client's apartment? Not sure if she has a better claim for the diminished value of the unit than three months rent? Check out some abatements that have been awarded around the state for certain conditions.
Sample Language for use in Agreements for Judgments. Refer to the Guide for Agreements for Judgment in Summary Process to learn more about where this language can go.
Have you considered all the possible affirmative causes of action for your housing complaint?