§1911. Legal assistance program; additional filing fee in civil matters
A. The judges of the city courts, by court rule, may establish a legal assistance program to provide fiscal support for qualified pro bono projects of local bar associations within the jurisdiction of their courts. For purposes of this Section, a qualified pro bono project means a program or project that is designed to provide free legal services for the poor in civil and family matters and that is qualified as a nonprofit organization pursuant to Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. A court electing to establish a legal assistance program shall provide by rule the means to assure that persons served by a qualified pro bono project are determined to be financially unable to afford the services of legal counsel, either in advance or as costs of such services might accrue.
B. In cities in which the judges of the city court have elected to establish a legal assistance program, the clerk of court shall add to the initial cost of docketing each civil suit the sum of three dollars. The court by rule shall designate an account for the deposit of such funds.
C. The court shall apportion the funds collected pursuant to Subsection B of this Section among the qualified pro bono projects in the jurisdiction of the city court on an annual basis. The apportionment shall be based upon an application process that assures that each qualified pro bono project receives a percentage of the funds approximating the percentage of legal services provided by that project out of the total legal services provided by all qualified pro bono projects within the jurisdiction of the court. The court shall provide by rule for the submission by officials of each recipient pro bono project of such reports and audits as the court deems necessary.
D. The clerk of each court shall retain five percent of all fees collected pursuant to this Section to be used to offset expenses incurred in collection and administration of these funds.
Acts 2001, No. 1086, §1.