120.53 Application for financial assistance.

(A) A legal aid society that operates within the state may apply to the Ohio legal assistance foundation for financial assistance from the legal aid fund established by section 120.52 of the Revised Code to be used for the funding of the society during the calendar year following the calendar year in which application is made.

(B) An application for financial assistance made under division (A) of this section shall be submitted by the first day of November of the calendar year preceding the calendar year for which financial assistance is desired and shall include all of the following:

(1) Evidence that the applicant is incorporated in this state as a nonprofit corporation;

(2) A list of the trustees of the applicant;

(3) The proposed budget of the applicant for these funds for the following calendar year;

(4) A summary of the services to be offered by the applicant in the following calendar year;

(5) A specific description of the territory or constituency served by the applicant;

(6) An estimate of the number of persons to be served by the applicant during the following calendar year;

(7) A general description of the additional sources of the applicant's funding;

(8) The amount of the applicant's total budget for the calendar year in which the application is filed that it will expend in that calendar year for legal services in each of the counties it serves;

(9) A specific description of any services, programs, training, and legal technical assistance to be delivered by the applicant or by another person pursuant to a contract with the applicant, including, but not limited to, by private attorneys or through reduced fee plans, judicare panels, organized pro bono programs, and mediation programs.

(C) The Ohio legal assistance foundation shall determine whether each applicant that filed an application for financial assistance under division (A) of this section in a calendar year is eligible for financial assistance under this section. To be eligible for such financial assistance, an applicant shall satisfy the criteria for being a legal aid society and shall be in compliance with the provisions of sections 120.51 to 120.55 of the Revised Code and with the rules and requirements the foundation establishes pursuant to section 120.52 of the Revised Code. The Ohio legal assistance foundation then, on or before the fifteenth day of December of the calendar year in which the application is filed, shall notify each such applicant, in writing, whether it is eligible for financial assistance under this section, and if it is eligible, estimate the amount that will be available for that applicant for each six-month distribution period, as determined under division (D) of this section.

(D) The Ohio legal assistance foundation shall allocate moneys contained in the legal aid fund monthly for distribution to applicants that filed their applications in the previous calendar year and are determined to be eligible applicants.

All moneys contained in the fund on the first day of each month shall be allocated, after deduction of the costs of administering sections 120.51 to 120.55 and sections 1901.26 , 1907.24 , 2303.201 , 3953.231 , 4705.09 , and 4705.10 of the Revised Code that are authorized by section 120.52 of the Revised Code, according to this section and shall be distributed accordingly not later than the last day of the month following the month the moneys were received. In making the allocations under this section, the moneys in the fund that were generated pursuant to sections 1901.26 , 1907.24 , 2303.201 , 3953.231 , 4705.09 , and 4705.10 of the Revised Code shall be apportioned as follows:

(1) After deduction of the amount authorized and used for actual, reasonable administrative costs under section 120.52 of the Revised Code:

(a) Five per cent of the moneys remaining in the fund shall be reserved for use in the manner described in division (A) of section 120.521 of the Revised Code or for distribution to legal aid societies that provide assistance to special population groups of their eligible clients, engage in special projects that have a substantial impact on their local service area or on significant segments of the state's poverty population, or provide legal training or support to other legal aid societies in the state;

(b) After deduction of the amount described in division (D)(1)(a) of this section, one and three-quarters per cent of the moneys remaining in the fund shall be apportioned among entities that received financial assistance from the legal aid fund prior to July 1, 1993, but that, on and after July 1, 1993, no longer qualify as a legal aid society that is eligible for financial assistance under this section.

(c) After deduction of the amounts described in divisions (D)(1)(a) and (b) of this section, fifteen per cent of the moneys remaining in the fund shall be placed in the legal assistance foundation fund for use in the manner described in division (A) of section 120.521 of the Revised Code.

(2) After deduction of the actual, reasonable administrative costs under section 120.52 of the Revised Code and after deduction of the amounts identified in divisions (D)(1)(a), (b), and (c) of this section, the remaining moneys shall be apportioned among the counties that are served by eligible legal aid societies that have applied for financial assistance under this section so that each such county is apportioned a portion of those moneys, based upon the ratio of the number of indigents who reside in that county to the total number of indigents who reside in all counties of this state that are served by eligible legal aid societies that have applied for financial assistance under this section. Subject to division (E) of this section, the moneys apportioned to a county under this division then shall be allocated to the eligible legal aid society that serves the county and that has applied for financial assistance under this section. For purposes of this division, the source of data identifying the number of indigent persons who reside in a county shall be selected by the Ohio legal assistance foundation from the best available figures maintained by the United States census bureau.

(E) If the Ohio legal assistance foundation, in attempting to make an allocation of moneys under division (D)(2) of this section, determines that a county that has been apportioned money under that division is served by more than one eligible legal aid society that has applied for financial assistance under this section, the Ohio legal assistance foundation shall allocate the moneys that have been apportioned to that county under division (D)(2) of this section among all eligible legal aid societies that serve that county and that have applied for financial assistance under this section on a pro rata basis, so that each such eligible society is allocated a portion based upon the amount of its total budget expended in the prior calendar year for legal services in that county as compared to the total amount expended in the prior calendar year for legal services in that county by all eligible legal aid societies that serve that county and that have applied for financial assistance under this section.

(F) Moneys allocated to eligible applicants under this section shall be paid monthly beginning the calendar year following the calendar year in which the application is filed.

(G)

(1) A legal aid society that receives financial assistance in any calendar year under this section shall file an annual report with the Ohio legal assistance foundation detailing the number and types of cases handled, and the amount and types of legal training, legal technical assistance, and other service provided, by means of that financial assistance. No information contained in the report shall identify or enable the identification of any person served by the legal aid society or in any way breach client confidentiality.

(2) The Ohio legal assistance foundation shall make an annual report to the governor, the general assembly, and the supreme court on the distribution and use of the legal aid fund. The foundation also shall include in the annual report an audited financial statement of all gifts, bequests, donations, contributions, and other moneys the foundation receives. No information contained in the report shall identify or enable the identification of any person served by a legal aid society, or in any way breach confidentiality.

(H) A legal aid society may enter into agreements for the provision of services, programs, training, or legal technical assistance for the legal aid society or to indigent persons.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.141, HB 509, §1, eff. 9/28/2012.

Effective Date: 06-30-1995; 10-01-2005; 06-30-2006