In the News

May 9, 2024 

Legislative committee expands equity theft bill 

"Homeowners whose properties are seized by a town or city for nonpayment of taxes would be able to recoup the ‘excess equity’ after the municipality has satisfied their tax debt, under a redrafted bill advanced by the joint legislative committee that handles tax policy...The new language was crafted after consulting with stakeholders like the Land Court, Trial Court, Mass. Municipal Association, and Greater Boston Legal Services, [Joint Committee on Revenue Co-chair Susan] Moran said.” 

Please click here to read the WWLP-22News story.  

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May 7, 2024 

Court rulings may force action on home equity theft  

“After a state judge ruled in April that Massachusetts law [Chapter 60] governing municipal home equity takings ‘requires Legislative correction,’ a state senator who has filed a related bill for years said last week that he was ready to start demanding roll call votes on his proposal…In the Hampden County case filed last October [by Pioneer Public Interest Law Center and Greater Boston Legal Services, initially filed in the Supreme Judicial Court], Springfield resident Ashley Mills challenged Chapter 60’s constitutionality…After an initial unpaid 2016 tax bill of $1,636.70, her debt to the city ballooned through interest and fees to around $22,000 — and Mills found herself ‘on the verge of losing’ her home…‘This is primarily a legislative issue,’ attorney Todd Kaplan of Greater Boston Legal Services said in a statement after last month’s ruling.” 

Please click here to read the Lowell Sun story.  

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May 2, 2024 

For those in Mass. emergency shelters, the new 9-month clock is already ticking 

“ ‘Three months is not enough time,’ said Liz Alfred, an attorney with Greater Boston Legal Services who represents people in shelters. 

‘It really feels like it's going to throw people into chaos to be told, 'Sometime over the summer: you have to find someplace, any place, to go, or you're going to be on the street.' " 

Please click here to read the full WBUR story.

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State’s Raise the Age bill is a smart-on-crime measure 

Lead Attorney Pauline Quirion, the Director of GBLS' CORI and Re-entry Project, writes in this letter to the editor: "The Boston Globe and Senate President Karen Spilka are spot-on — Massachusetts needs to raise the age at which young offenders are considered adults...[t]he law...can be a blunt instrument, and the adult criminal justice system is not equipped to address the rehabilitation of teenagers and emerging adults, who need to complete their education, receive developmentally appropriate supportive treatment and interventions, and have access to their families at this critical time in their lives." 

Please click here to read the full letter to the editor of the Boston Globe.  

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April 30, 2024 

Rental Applicants Reach $2.28M Settlement Agreement for Discriminatory AI-Powered Screening Tool 

“Rental applicants in Massachusetts recently reached a $2.28 million against a tenant screening service, SafeRent Solutions, after alleging the company’s algorithmic screen program disproportionately harmed Black and Hispanic rental applicants using federally funded housing choice vouchers... Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, Greater Boston Legal Services and the National Consumer Law Center represent the plaintiffs and will act as settlement class counsel. The plaintiffs brought the complaint against SafeRent under the Fair Housing Act and Massachusetts discrimination laws in May 2022, and the judge denied the defendant’s motion to dismiss in July 2023.” 

Please click here read the full law.com story

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April 22, 2024 

Court ruling turns up heat on Mass. tax lien law that costs homeowners their equity 

“ 'This has to be resolved and has to be resolved quickly,' said Todd Kaplan, a senior housing attorney at Greater Boston Legal Services…'The legislature needs to act to fix the system. And the only fix that will be constitutional is one that returns the equity in the home to the homeowner.' ” 

Please click here to read the full GBH story.  

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April 21, 2024 

Massachusetts commits $1 billion to move thousands out of nursing homes in wake of lawsuit settlement 

“Nursing home residents should find it dramatically easier to return to their communities after Massachusetts committed to spending $1 billion over the next eight years for new housing and community support for people seeking to leave long-term care facilities. 

The commitment was part of a settlement in a lawsuit filed [by GBLS, the Center for Public Representation, Justice in Aging, and the law firm Foley Hoag LLP] in US District Court by the Massachusetts Senior Action Council and seven nursing home residents

Please click here to read the full Boston Globe story.

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April 19, 2024         

Judge finds 'equity theft' law unconstitutional, pressuring change  

“Nearly a year after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled so-called ‘equity theft’ unconstitutional, a Massachusetts judge confirmed the ruling applies to the way Massachusetts conducts tax foreclosures, pressuring lawmakers to act. 

‘There's lots of things that could help people stay in their homes,’ said Greater Boston Legal Services senior attorney Todd Kaplan. ‘Those tools and resources need to be available to municipalities.’ " 

Please click here to read the full WCVB Channel 5 story.  

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April 17, 2024  

State commits to moving 2,400 people out of nursing homes 

A Globe editorial followed the announcement on April 16 by the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, that a settlement has been reached in the class action lawsuit Marsters v. Healey brought by GBLS, the Center for Public Representation, Justice in Aging, and the law firm Foley Hoag LLP on behalf of older adults, people with serious mental illness, and people with physical disabilities who are unnecessarily segregated in nursing home institutional settings, and who could be discharged to integrated community-based residential services with all needed wraparound services if the state provided these integrated opportunities. “Steven Schwartz, special counsel with the Center for Public Representation, who represented the plaintiffs, called the agreement ‘spectacular’ and said it will make a big difference in giving nursing home residents the support and the information they need to move out...John Simmons, a 73-year-old man with multiple medical conditions…was [a GBLS client and] the lead plaintiff of the lawsuit when it was filed. He died in the nursing home waiting to move. But his legacy will live on when others in similar positions are able to return to their homes and their communities through the resources made available by this settlement.” 

Please click here to read the full Boston Globe editorial. 

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“Transformative”” agreement will help thousands of people leave Mass. nursing homes 

“Thousands of people who have been “warehoused” in Massachusetts nursing homes due to insufficient alternatives could soon receive the support they need to live independently…John Simmons was the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit [Marsters v. Healey brought by GBLS, the Center for Public Representation, Justice in Aging, and the law firm Foley Hoag LLP] when it was originally filed in 2022. But he died in summer of 2023 at age 74, before the resolution of the suit. He lived at the Rehabilitation & Nursing Center at Everett for four years. His lawyers hoped that he would be able to live his final years outside of a nursing home. ‘I continue to this day to be very sad that we were not able to help him achieve that dream before he died,’ said Deborah Filler, a lawyer with Greater Boston Legal Services, one of the groups that represented the plaintiffs.” 

Please click here to read the full GBH story. 

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April 14, 2024 

Injured workers have little recourse against rogue employers. A new bill could change that. 

“ ‘Currently, the law doesn’t have any teeth’, said Audrey Richardson, an employment attorney at Greater Boston Legal Services who is part of a coalition backing the bill. ‘Workers have no avenue for holding employers accountable and for being compensated for the harms they’ve experienced,’ she said.” 

Please click here to read the full Boston Globe story. 

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March 22, 2024 

We asked, readers answered. Here are some exceptional women making a difference in the Greater Boston area 

GBLS senior attorney Hannah Tanabe was included in an exceptional group of women recognized by Boston Globe readers during Women’s History Month. “Hannah, in her capacity as a senior attorney in the Employment Law Unit at Greater Boston Legal Services, protects the rights of the most vulnerable workers — those most likely to be taken advantage of, and least likely to successfully navigate the complex administrative and legal avenues necessary to enforce their rights and protections." 

Please click here to read the full Boston Globe story. 

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March 2, 2024 

Through this cannabis nonprofit, a clean record and a rare 2nd chance  

“A criminal past can often stand in the way of a stable job or housing, even after a person has served a prison sentence or completed probation. 

‘If you do nothing about your record, it’s going to just keep haunting you,’ said Pauline Quirion, director of the CORI & Re-entry Project for Greater Boston Legal Services.’ “ 

Please click here to read the full MassLive.com story

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February 15, 2024  

SJC faults state for not sealing juvenile records 

“The state's highest court has sided with criminal justice advocates who challenged a policy that blocked people who committed offenses as juveniles from sealing their criminal records…Criminal justice advocates filed a lawsuit last year against the state agency alleging that the agency was violating a law allowing people with juvenile offenses to request that their records be sealed after 3 years…Pauline Quirion, a senior attorney with Greater Boston Legal Services who filed the lawsuit, said it’s not clear how many years the department was applying the adult sealing statute to youthful offenses, but said the SJC’s ruling will have major implications for people with juvenile records going forward.” 

Please click here to read the full Eagle-Times story

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February 13, 2024  

Who is supposed to clear snow from MBTA bus stops? The answer isn’t so simple 

“Advocates say this lack of uniformity can lead to snow and ice not being properly removed at bus stops, and disabled riders don’t know who to contact to complain. 

‘And it’s not just a problem for people who are older, or people who are not steady on their feet. It’s a problem for people who are pushing strollers...it’s a problem for someone rolling luggage along,’ [GBLS Board member] Joanne Daniels-Finegold said. ‘We need to recognize the fact and deal with it, frankly’ ”. She is the lead plaintiff in the Daniels-Finegold et al. v. MBTA class action lawsuit. The parties entered into a settlement agreement in 2006. 

Please click here to read the full GBH story

Massachusetts couple facing threat of eviction from mobile home park over handicapped ramp 

“A Massachusetts property manager is taking steps to evict a woman living with an aggressive form of brain cancer after her husband had a wheelchair ramp installed to help her get in and out of their Cape Cod home…Jessica Drew, senior attorney with the Greater Boston Legal Services, has no involvement in the [case but said she] ‘would argue that [this eviction] isn't legal…What [defendant George] Frigon is asking for is a reasonable modification to his home so that his wife can safely enter and exit the home.’ ”

Please click here to read the full WCVB-TV story

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February 11, 2024 

Classes on the harms of ‘parental conflict’ are back for Mass. parents  

“Kate Barry, a senior attorney in Greater Boston Legal Services’ family law unit, worries about the one-size-fits-all approach. She often represents survivors of domestic violence and says that the course’s material doesn’t apply for such relationships. 

‘In the course, right up front, they say this may not be appropriate for you if you’ve experienced domestic violence,’ she said. ‘I definitely agree with that assessment.’ ” 

Please click here to read the full GBH story

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February 1, 2024 

Nowhere to Go: How the system failed a trafficking survivor 

GBLS attorney Ashleigh Pelto was interviewed by WMUK about the experience a survivor of human trafficking in Michigan had being arrested as a result of being trafficked. As in Michigan, Massachusetts' current trafficking law offers survivors no relief because it severely limits the types of offenses a survivor can try to clear from their records. Attorney Pelto said, “A best practice statute would affirm that they should never have been convicted in the first place by focusing on the traffickers' actions as opposed to theirs.” 

Please click here to read the full WMUK story

¿Eres un trabajador de MA? Conoce tus beneficios de un permiso médico y familiar pagado  

(Are you a Massachusetts worker?  Know your paid family and medical leave benefits) 

“Nadie, o al menos la mayoría de los trabajadores en Massachusetts, debería estar en la posición de tener que elegir entre cuidar su salud, la salud de su familia, o poner comida en la mesa y pagar el alquiler. Es una posición horrible en la que, en muchos otros estados, los trabajadores se encuentran todos los días», expresó [GBLS abogada Stephanie] Herron.” --- 

"No one, or at least most workers in Massachusetts, should be in the position of having to choose between taking care of their health, the health of their family, or putting food on the table and paying rent. It's a horrible position that, in many other states, workers find themselves in every day," [GBLS attorney Stephanie] Herron said. 

Please click here to read the full El Planeta story. 

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January 10, 2024  

Amid mice infestations, eking out an existence 

“[E]xperts recommend avoiding the inclination to withhold rent. Mac McCreight, a former lawyer for Greater Boston Legal Services who still volunteers with the organization, said the tenant must take proper action to document the issue, put it in writing, and then contact the Board of Health. Without following the proper protocol, it becomes a 'he said, she said' situation." 

Please click here to read the full boston.com story

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January 9, 2024 

Activists decry major Mass. budget cut blocking 10% benefit bump for poor 

GBLS senior attorney Naomi Meyer: "Families can't afford essentials like diapers, pain medicine, soap, and winter coats and shoes. The Governor should not fill gaps in our state budget by cutting basic benefits for Massachusetts families and individuals struggling in Deep Poverty."  

Please click here to read the full NBC10 Boston story.

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December 24, 2023  

Clemency was a political third rail for decades. Healey and other governors are starting to embrace it 

“We’re at an important crossroads,” said Pauline Quirion, director of the CORI and Reentry project at Greater Boston Legal Services and the co-chair of a Massachusetts Bar Association task force that recommended a clemency overhaul in 2021. Part of measuring Healey, she said, will include “whether or not people get commutations, as well as the pardons.” 

Please click here to read the full Boston Globe story. 

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December 20, 2023  

Food assistance program for immigrants extended 

"While advocates celebrated the new expansion…questions remain about how much impact $6 million can have. 'What we don’t know yet is exactly what the numbers will be and how long that money will last,' [GBLS welfare law attorney Naomi] Meyer said." 

Please click here to read the full Bay State Banner story. 

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December 15, 2023 

Mass. should ban evictions during the winter months 

"[At GBLS] we regularly see eviction cases for minor issues such as leaving a tap to drip so that a pet can get fresh water, or for using a portable washing machine when the nearest laundromat is inaccessible due to handicap or travel distance. During winter, there should be a moratorium on 'cause' cases where the tenants’ alleged 'lease violation' does not present a serious risk of harm to the landlord, their property, or other residents." 

Please click here to read the full opinion in CommonWealth Magazine

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December 16, 2023 

Blaming homeless families 

"…Elizabeth Alfred, a heroic housing attorney at Greater Boston Legal Services, had been working on the family’s case for weeks. She was trying to get the emergency shelter denial reversed, arguing the family was not at fault in their eviction." 

Please click here to read the full Boston Globe story

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December 11, 2023 

'Pretty bleak': Waitlist for family shelter tops 200 households after first month 

" 'We’ve had some clients who came to us and have been staying outside,' [GBLS housing attorney Liz] Alfred said. 'We're in really uncharted waters.' " 

Please click here to read the full WBUR story

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December 11, 2023 

A local retired educator is taking his crusade against online scams to 150,000 followers 

"Sarah Perlman, a consumer rights attorney for the nonprofit Greater Boston Legal Services, says anybody with an online presence, including even just an email address, can fall victim to online fraud." 

Please click here to read the full GBH story

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December 9, 2023 

When rock bottom isn’t low enough 

"Together, [two GBLS attorneys] have spent some 13 hours so far gathering up voluminous evidence to prove Buckley’s claims and dealing with housing authorities on her behalf. 

It shouldn’t take that much legal firepower, or that many hours, for a homeless family with no other options to get relief in this state. And that family shouldn’t have to rob tomorrow to qualify for help today." 

Please click here to read the full Boston Globe story

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December 6, 2023 

Pro bono legal aid now available to Women’s Lunch Place guests 

" 'Because Nayab’s clinic…is every week, women know that they can reach her there,' said Laticia Walker-Simpson, a managing senior attorney at Greater Boston Legal Services who oversees Ajaz’s work at the shelter. 'If they can’t make it to our office, or they can’t make it somewhere else, we know that they’re going to be at Women’s Lunch Place every week. We can meet them where they’re at.' " 

Please click here to read the full Bay State Banner story

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November 20, 2023 

Families struggle as Mass. shelter waitlist grows 

GBLS senior paralegal Adam Hoole on his work trying to find safe places to stay for families who are on the emergency shelter waitlist: “I'm really struggling to get anyone to pay attention to them.” 

Please click here to read the full WBUR story

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November 10, 2023  

Innovative partnership ensures lawyer for women in crisis 

“An innovative program staffed by Greater Boston Legal Services is ensuring that guests at a Boston women’s shelter have a lawyer they can call on in times of crisis. 

Since February, GBLS attorney Nayab R. Ajaz has been on hand to help resolve the sometimes-complex legal issues facing clients at the Women’s Lunch Place. It’s work she loves but also finds ‘heartbreaking’ at times.” 

Please click here to read the full Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly story

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November 9, 2023 

Number of homeless and migrant families in Massachusetts shelters hits state’s limit, officials say 

“ ‘The timing is so stark,’ said Laura Massie, of Greater Boston Legal Services. “The weather has just gotten cold, and now is when we are imposing this cap and making families continue to stay in unsafe situations…We are very concerned about the safety of these kids.’ ” 

Please click here to read the full Boston Globe story

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November 8, 2023  

Mass. House OKs $2.7B spending bill that requires launching overflow shelter site in 30 days 

"Elizabeth Alfred, an emergency assistance shelter attorney for Greater Boston Legal Services, told MassLive that she was 'really thrilled' to see the House adopt these measures in their new bill. She added that she is 'a little concerned about what happens when people are waitlisted and don’t have a place to go before those places are set up.' " 

Please click here to read the full MassLive story

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November 2, 2023 

With cap looming, ‘hard calls’ confront Mass. on shelter system, Mass. Gov. Healey says 

“[GBLS senior paralegal Adam Hoole] said he was ‘disappointed’ in Healey’s decision [and] ‘that the move will lead to unhoused families sleeping in their cars, on the streets or staying longer in situations of domestic abuse.’ 

‘These are all very serious and unhealthy situations for families that would normally entitle them to shelter,’ he said. ‘So, it’s disappointing for the Administration to real-back that right and impose a cap.’ “ 

Please click here to read the full MassLive story

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November 1, 2023 

Healey unveils new executive clemency guidelines 

“[GBLS Lead Attorney] Pauline Quirion, co-chair of the Massachusetts Bar Association's Clemency Task Force, was among those who praised Healey for issuing the guidelines.  

She said it will 'modernize and revitalize clemency, and inject a new focus on justice, racial equality, correction of systemic injustices and creating possibilities for hope and transformation rather than politics or business as usual.' " 

Please click here to read the full Salem News story

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November 1, 2023 

Judge rejects effort to halt waitlist for families seeking emergency shelter 

Adam Hoole, a senior paralegal at Greater Boston Legal Services, said the move to a waitlist, and a related move to limit how long families can stay in the shelter system, feel like adding "cruelty on cruelty," and making life "as hard as possible for families that are in the most dire situations." 

Please click here to read the full WBUR story. 

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October 31, 2023 

Judge to rule Wednesday on halting Healey’s shelter cap for homeless families 

“Under Healey’s announced plan, families would be triaged to prioritize them by need and placed on a waitlist once the state is sheltering 7,500 families. Elizabeth Alfred, a housing attorney for the Greater Boston Legal Services, said that is unacceptable.  

“…It means we have no shelter for you at all. We have no help for you at all. There is no place for you to go from the state. There's nothing we can do for you.’ 

Alfred said that Greater Boston Legal Services and others will fight to house those who need it.” 

Please click here to read the full GBH story. 

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October 31, 2023 

State officials take emergency steps to limit the Mass. family shelter system 

“Officials said the emergency regulations would allow them to create a waitlist for families seeking emergency housing [and] limit how long families can stay in the shelter system… ‘This is completely unprecedented,’ said Liz Alfred, an attorney at Greater Boston Legal Services. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I think it’s going to be a nightmare for families.’ ” 

Please click here to read the full WBUR story. 

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October 27, 2023

Help people with disabilities live in the community

Settlement negotiations have begun in the federal court class action lawsuit GBLS, the Center for Public Representation, Justice in Aging, and Foley Hoag LLP filed in October 2022 on behalf of older adults, people with serious mental illness, and people with physical disabilities unnecessarily segregated in nursing home institutional settings who could be discharged into community settings, with supportive services. After more than two years of discussions with state officials since the lawsuit was filed, the state agreed to begin settlement negotiations with the assistance of a federal mediator.

Please click here to read the Globe editorial.

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October 24, 2023 

Lawmakers, advocates propose changes to Mass. paid leave law to increase access 

"When you need it — this benefit — there's a sense of urgency," Rice said. "There's a health crisis that's happening and to put it on the employee to recall something HR may have six months, one year, two years ago, is a lot." 

Please click here to read the full WBUR story.  

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October 17, 2023 

Mass. soon will end its housing guarantee for families in state shelter system 

"Elizabeth Alfred, an attorney at Greater Boston Legal Services, said it’s easy to know what will happen to those families by looking at people deemed ineligible for shelter placements under the current system. 

'They stay in places that are unheated or they stay in cars or they stay outside or they stay in abusive situations,' said Alfred. 'I think we'll see more families having to stay in places that are not safe for them.’ ” 

Please click here to read the full WBUR story.  

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October 16, 2023 

Some fixes needed for Paid Family and Medical Leave 

"[E]veryone can help make paid family and medical leave a success. If you work in the healthcare field, you can ask patients if they’ve applied and help them find the application forms online. If you’re a neighbor or coworker of someone taking leave, you can spread the word and offer your color printer to help them get the right documents submitted. If you own or manage a business, you can make sure your company is compliant and ask your employees requesting leave if they need help." 

Please click here to read the full Commonwealth Magazine opinion piece by Deb Fastino, the executive director of the Coalition for Social Justice (a GBLS client), and David McKenna, GBLS employment law staff attorney

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September 28, 2023 

Advocates urge expungement access for survivors, victims 

"Ashleigh Pelto, human trafficking fellow at Greater Boston Legal Services’ CORI and Re-Entry Project: '[I]t is imperative that criminal record release statutes include all types and levels of offenses, because survivors are not all victimized or charged in the same way.'" 

Please click here to read the full WWLP story.

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September 17, 2023 

Reckoning looms over ‘home equity theft’ 

“Carmen Rodriguez sued Worcester and Tallage after they foreclosed on her home over about $2,600 in tax debt, leading to the sale of her home worth about $300,000, only about $4,000 of which went to the city. Tallage agreed this year to dismiss Rodriguez’s eviction and vacate the tax foreclosure that was before the land court, said Greater Boston Legal Services senior attorney Todd Kaplan.” 

Please click here to read the full Commonwealth Magazine story. 

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September 12, 2023 

Inflation saps impact of cash aid to poor 

“ ‘The grants have not been adjusted for inflation — it’s not built into the law — and so they have just lost value, more than half their value in the last 30 years,’ [Naomi] Meyer, an attorney at Greater Boston Legal Services, told the News Service.” 

Please click here to read the full WWLP story. 

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September 5, 2023 

As students return to classrooms, some newly arrived immigrants have to wait 

“ ‘They should not wait,’ said Elizabeth Alfred, an attorney at Greater Boston Legal Services who focuses on the shelter system. ‘Being in a hotel is not indicative that it will be a short stay.’ " 

Please click here to read the full WBUR article. 

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August 21, 2023 

State places homeless families in unstaffed sites, raising safety concerns 

"Adam Hoole, a senior paralegal at Greater Boston Legal Services, said he gets calls several times a week about problems at unstaffed shelter units. 'I had an organization call me about two weeks ago, and at that time, they were telling me about 10 families that had no access to food,' he said. Advocates later learned that food was available, but the families were unaware due to language barriers. 'The families just didn't have anyone to talk to, to know where to go,' Hoole said." 

Please click here to read the full WBUR article

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August 20, 2023 

I’m being evicted from $300k home of 26 years despite paying off mortgage – city sold it from under me over $3k tax debt 

GBLS senior attorney Todd Kaplan: "[Tax foreclosure is] a process that doesn't make any sense. And it's a process that is targeting people that are especially vulnerable. 

"It just is wrong." 

Please click here to read the full The Sun story

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August 16, 2023 

Probation initiatives prioritize mental health 

"Pauline Quirion, director of the Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) & Re-Entry Project at Greater Boston Legal Services, who helped to push for the text reminder changes, said the new probation efforts are a step in the right direction. 

'It just makes sense. When we have our own clients, we call to remind them [about court dates] or send them an email.' " 

Please click here to read the full Bay State Banner story

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August 14, 2023 

The state’s duty to shelter its residents 

Letter to the Editor by GBLS attorneys Laura Massie and Gary Klein: "No one, especially homeless families, wants a system in which costly, long-term hotel stays substitute for safe and affordable housing. Instead, the Commonwealth must implement policies to prevent evictions in the first place, to increase the stock of meaningfully affordable housing, and to provide supports to help families move out of the shelter system and into safe, permanent housing as quickly as possible." 

Please click here to read the full Letter to the Editor in the Boston Globe.  

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August 9, 2023 

Mass. guarantees workers up to 26 weeks of paid medical leave. But many don’t know that. 

“Greater Boston Legal Services alone has helped more than 100 people apply for Paid Family and Medical Leave since December 2021…GBLS also handled about 55 cases of interference or retaliation by employers, a handful of which resulted in lawsuits or referrals to private attorneys… 'We can’t always count on employers doing the right thing,' [GBLS attorney Dave McKenna] said. 'These are employers who are not used to their employees having rights when they get cancer or have a baby or when their parents get ill.'” 

Please click here to read the full Boston Globe article

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August 8, 2023 

State regulation gone awry as housing crisis declared an emergency 

"[GBLS senior attorney Laura] Massie was the lead attorney in the Garcia case, a 2016 class action lawsuit filed on behalf of homeless families seeking emergency shelter that was settled earlier this year with the Department of Housing and Community Development. In part, the settlement required the state to do a better job placing families closer to home. 

Please click here to read the full NBC10 story. 

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July 20, 2023 

Little-known Massachusetts law causing major consequences for some homeowners 

"[GBLS Senior Attorney Todd] Kaplan and a legal team filed a lawsuit against the City of Worcester, the city’s Treasurer, and Tallage, to stop the foreclosure and challenge the constitutionality of the process. 

'It's impossible to believe until it happens to you', Kaplan said. 'It's a process that doesn't make any sense. And it's a process that is targeting people that are especially vulnerable. It just is wrong.' " 

Please click here to read the full WCVB article. 

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July 13, 2023 

Massachusetts’ system for migrant families seeking shelter approaches its breaking point 

"Nonprofit Greater Boston Legal Services has fielded calls from BMC staff to help migrants navigate the emergency assistance system. 

'Boston Medical Center has been saying for a long time that they needed more help from the state and it just got too overwhelming,' said Liz Alfred, staff attorney for their housing division. 'That's what I think happened: they didn't get enough of the help that they needed.' " 

Please click here to read the full GBH story

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May 2023 

A Supreme Court’s ruling on May 25, 2023 could affect a Massachusetts case filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court on behalf of a Worcester client represented by the Pioneer Public Interest Law Center, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP and Greater Boston Legal Services.

Homeowner Carmen Rodriguez sued the City of Worcester and a tax lien buyer, Tallage Davis, LLC, seeking to invalidate a state statute that allows municipalities to confiscate people’s homes — including all the equity built up over many years — when they fall behind on their real estate taxes.   

GBLS Senior Attorney Todd Kaplan said in a statement “The process used by Worcester does not even benefit the city’s citizens, because while Worcester received less than $4,000, Tallage took the deed to Carmen’s home worth about $300,000. This process makes no economic sense for Massachusetts communities; it only enriches people like those who own Tallage.” 

Please click here to read the June 2, 2023 Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly article.

Please click here to read the May 28, 2023 Eagle Tribune article

Please click here to read the May 26, 2023 WGBH article. 

Please click here to read the May 25, 2023 MassLive article. 

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May 2023

U.S. Supreme Court invalidates Minnesota Tax Foreclosure Scheme. [The] ruling could impact Worcester homeowner’s suit against city and private tax lien buyer

The United States Supreme Court ruled today struck down Minnesota’s tax foreclosure scheme, ruling that a Minnesota homeowner who lost her home to a tax foreclosure was entitled to the surplus from the home’s sale.

Please click here to read the press release

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