LSC Appropriations

LSC operates subject to the FY 1996 restrictions, with certain modifications as indicated below.
For a history of LSC’s funding through appropriations, please see: LSC | Congressional Appropriations
Although information below is provided for your convenience, for official public laws please visit: CONGRESS.GOV.

 

FY 2021 LSC Appropriation
Appropriation

Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, Pub. L. 116-260, Div. B, Title IV (Dec. 27, 2020)

[Providing $465 million to LSC subject the provisions of the FY 1998 appropriation, incorporating most provisions of the FY 1996 appropriation, with modifications by other laws, as indicated in the text below.]

Legal Services Corporation

Payment to the Legal Services Corporation

For payment to the Legal Services Corporation to carry out the purposes of the Legal Services Corporation Act of 1974, $465,000,000, of which

  • $425,500,000 is for basic field programs and required independent audits;
  • $5,500,000 is for the Office of Inspector General, of which such amounts as may be necessary may be used to conduct additional audits of recipients;
  • $23,000,000 is for management and grants oversight;
  • $4,250,000 is for client self-help and information technology;
  • $4,750,000 is for a Pro Bono Innovation Fund; and
  • $2,000,000 is for loan repayment assistance: 

Provided, That the Legal Services Corporation may continue to provide locality pay to officers and employees at a rate no greater than that provided by the Federal Government to Washington, DC-based employees as authorized by section 5304 of title 5, United States Code, notwithstanding section 1005(d) of the Legal Services Corporation Act (42 U.S.C. 2996d(d)): 

Provided further, That the authorities provided in section 205 of this Act shall be applicable to the Legal Services Corporation: 

Provided further, That, for the purposes of section 505 of this Act, the Legal Services Corporation shall be considered an agency of the United States Government.

Administrative Provisions--Legal Services Corporation

None of the funds appropriated in this Act to the Legal Services Corporation shall be expended for any purpose prohibited or limited by, or contrary to any of the provisions of, sections 501, 502, 503, 504, 505, and 506 of Public Law 105-119, and all funds appropriated in this Act to the Legal Services Corporation shall be subject to the same terms and conditions set forth in such sections, except that all references in sections 502 and 503 to 1997 and 1998 shall be deemed to refer instead to 2020 and 2021, respectively.

Report Language

Conference Report

The 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act incorporates as a conference report the text of House Report 116-455.  There was no Senate bill or report for FY 2021.

The Committee recommends $465,000,000 for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), which is $25,000,000 above fiscal year 2020 and $446,800,000 above the request. In addition, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) (Public Law 116–136) included $50,000,000 for payment to the Legal Services Corporation to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, domestically or internationally.

LSC is a nonprofit corporation established to promote equal access to justice and to provide grants for high-quality civil legal assistance to low-income persons. LSC grants help the most vulnerable people, including thousands of low-income individuals, veterans, children, families and seniors with civil legal assistance with matters addressing family law, including domestic violence, child support, and custody, as well as with housing matters, including evictions and foreclosures.

The recommended funding level includes $423,400,000 for basic field grants, an increase of $20,700,000 above fiscal year 2020. The increased funding will enable LSC’s grantees to expand their outreach and assist more low-income Americans. With State, local, pro bono, and private sources under-funded, LSC is critical to closing the access-to-justice gap.

Evictions.—The Committee continues to be concerned with the high rate of evictions in certain States and territories and the limited available legal aid. LSC should continue its plan to conduct 140 and publish an analysis regarding areas within States and territories with high rates of unmet legal needs involving evictions and with consideration of variations in local laws. LSC should use data regarding eviction rates, availability of legal aid or other free legal advocates, and differences among laws and procedures affecting evictions in different areas. In addition, LSC is urged to explore opportunities to increase access to eviction-related legal aid in such States and territories, including through LSC’s Pro Bono Innovation Fund.

 

CARES Act
Appropriation

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, Pub. L. 116-136, Div. B, Title II (2020)

[Providing $50 million to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus pandemic subject to the same provisions applicable to LSC's regular appropriation.]

Legal Services Corporation

Payment to the Legal Services Corporation

For an additional amount for “Payment to the Legal Services Corporation”, $50,000,000, to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, domestically or internationally: Provided, That none of the funds appropriated under this heading in this Act to the Legal Services Corporation shall be expended for any purpose prohibited or limited by, or contrary to any of the provisions of, sections 501, 502, 503, 504, 505, and 506 of Public Law 105–119, and all funds appropriated in this Act to the Legal Services Corporation shall be subject to the same terms and conditions set forth in such sections, except that all references in sections 502 and 503 to 1997 and 1998 shall be deemed to refer instead to 2019 and 2020, respectively, and except that sections 501 and 503 of Public Law 104–134 (referenced by Public Law 105–119) shall not apply to the amount made available under this heading: Provided further, That for the purposes of this Act, the Legal Services Corporation shall be considered an agency of the United States Government: Provided further, That such amount is designated by the Congress as being for an emergency requirement pursuant to section 251(b)(2)(A)(i) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985.

 

FY 1998 LSC Appropriation
Appropriation

Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1998, Pub. L. 105-119, 111 Stat. 2440, 2510 (1997)

[The FY 1998 appropriations incorporates by reference most of the FY 1996 restrictions and requirements with numerous modifications and incorporating modifications by other laws, as indicated in the text below.]

Legal Services Corporation

Payment To The Legal Services Corporation

For payment to the Legal Services Corporation to carry out the purposes of the Legal Services Corporation Act of 1974, as amended, $283,000,000, of which $274,400,000 is for basic field programs and required independent audits; $1,500,000 is for the Office of Inspector General, of which such amounts as may be necessary may be used to conduct additional audits of recipients; and $7,100,000 is for management and administration.

Administrative Provisions—Legal Services Corporation

SEC. 501. (a) CONTINUATION OF COMPETITIVE SELECTION PROCESS- None of the funds appropriated in this Act to the Legal Services Corporation may be used to provide financial assistance to any person or entity except through a competitive selection process conducted in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Corporation in accordance with the criteria set forth in subsections (c), (d), and (e) of section 503 of Public Law 104-134 (110 Stat. 1321-52 et seq.).  

(b) INAPPLICABILITY OF CERTAIN PROCEDURES- Sections 1007(a)(9) and 1011 of the Legal Services Corporation Act (42 U.S.C. 2996f(a)(9) and 2996j) shall not apply to the provision, denial, suspension, or termination of any financial assistance using funds appropriated in this Act.

(c) ADDITIONAL PROCEDURES- If, during any term of a grant or contract awarded to a recipient by the Legal Services Corporation under the competitive selection process referred to in subsection (a) and applicable Corporation regulations, the Corporation finds, after notice and opportunity for the recipient to be heard, that the recipient has failed to comply with any requirement of the Legal Services Corporation Act (42 U.S.C. 2996 et seq.), this Act, or any other applicable law relating to funding for the Corporation, the Corporation may terminate the grant or contract and institute a new competitive selection process for the area served by the recipient, notwithstanding the terms of the recipient's grant or contract.

SEC. 502. (a) CONTINUATION OF REQUIREMENTS AND RESTRICTIONS- None of the funds appropriated in this Act to the Legal Services Corporation shall be expended for any purpose prohibited or limited by, or contrary to any of the provisions of--

(1) sections 501, 502, 505, 506, and 507 of Public Law 104-134 (110 Stat. 1321-51 et seq.), and all funds appropriated in this Act to the Legal Services Corporation shall be subject to the same terms and conditions as set forth in such sections, except that all references in such sections to 1995 and 1996 shall be deemed to refer instead to 1997 and 1998, respectively; and

(2) section 504 of Public Law 104-134 (110 Stat. 1321-53 et seq.), and all funds appropriated in this Act to the Legal Services Corporation shall be subject to the same terms and conditions set forth in such section, except that--

(A) subsection (c) of such section 504 shall not apply;

(B) paragraph (3) of section 508(b) of Public Law 104-134 (110 Stat. 1321-58) shall apply with respect to the requirements of subsection (a)(13) of such section 504,

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except that all references in such section 508(b) to the date of enactment shall be deemed to refer to April 26, 1996; and

 [Text in (a)(2)(C) and (b) as amended by Violence Against Women Act of 2005, Pub. L. 109-162, 119 Stat. 2960, 2978 (2006). For additional permissible representation of non-citizens under other statutes, please see 45 C.F.R. Part 1626.]

(C) subsection (a)(11) of such section 504 shall not be construed to prohibit a recipient from using funds derived from a source other than the Corporation to provide providing  providing related legal assistance to--

(i) an alien who has been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty in the United States by a spouse or a parent, or by a member of the spouse’s or parent’s family residing in the same household as the alien and the spouse or parent consented or acquiesced to such battery or cruelty; or or a victim of sexual assault or trafficking in the United States, or qualifies for immigration relief under section 101(a)(15)(U) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(U)); or

(ii) an alien whose child, has been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty in the United States by a spouse or parent of the alien (without the active participation of the alien in the battery or extreme cruelty), or by a member of the spouse’s or parent’s family residing in the same household as the alien and the spouse or parent consented or acquiesced to such battery or cruelty, and the alien did not actively participate in such battery or cruelty. without the active participation of the alien, has been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty or a victim of sexual assault or trafficking in the United States, or qualifies for immigration relief under section 101(a)(15)(U) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(U)).

(b) DEFINITIONS- For purposes of subsection (a)(2)(C):

(1) The term `battered or subjected to extreme cruelty' has the meaning given such term under regulations issued pursuant to subtitle G of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (Public Law 103-322; 108 Stat. 1953).

(2) The term 'related legal assistance' means legal assistance directly related to the prevention of, or obtaining of relief from, the battery or cruelty, sexual assault or trafficking, or the crimes listed in section 101(a)(15)(U)(iii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(U)(iii). described in such subsection.

SEC. 503. (a) CONTINUATION OF AUDIT REQUIREMENTS- The requirements of section 509 of Public Law 104-134 (110 Stat. 1321-58 et seq.), other than subsection (l) of such section, shall apply during fiscal year 1998.

(b) REQUIREMENT OF ANNUAL AUDIT- An annual audit of each person or entity receiving financial assistance from the Legal Services Corporation under this Act shall be conducted during fiscal year 1998 in accordance with the requirements referred to in subsection (a).

SEC. 504. (a) DEBARMENT- The Legal Services Corporation may debar a recipient, on a showing of good cause, from receiving an additional award of financial assistance from the Corporation. Any such action to debar a recipient shall be instituted after the Corporation provides notice and an opportunity for a hearing to the recipient.

(b) REGULATIONS- The Legal Services Corporation shall promulgate regulations to implement this section.

(c) GOOD CAUSE- In this section, the term `good cause', used with respect to debarment, includes--

(1) prior termination of the financial assistance of the recipient, under part 1640 of title 45, Code of Federal Regulations (or any similar corresponding regulation or ruling);

(2) prior termination in whole, under part 1606 of title 45, Code of Federal Regulations (or any similar corresponding regulation or ruling), of the most recent financial assistance received by the recipient, prior to date of the debarment decision;

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(3) substantial violation by the recipient of the statutory or regulatory restrictions that prohibit recipients from using financial assistance made available by the Legal Services Corporation or other financial assistance for purposes prohibited under the Legal Services Corporation Act (42 U.S.C. 2996 et seq.) or for involvement in any activity prohibited by, or inconsistent with, section 504 of Public Law 104-134 (110 Stat. 1321-53 et seq.), section 502(a)(2) of Public Law 104-208 (110 Stat. 3009-59 et seq.), or section 502(a)(2) of this Act;

(4) knowing entry by the recipient into a subgrant, subcontract, or other agreement with an entity that had been debarred by the Corporation; or

(5) the filing of a lawsuit by the recipient, on behalf of the recipient, as part of any program receiving any Federal funds, naming the Corporation, or any agency or employee of a Federal, State, or local government, as a defendant.

SEC. 505. (a) Not later than January 1, 1998, the Legal Services Corporation shall implement a system of case information disclosure which shall apply to all basic field programs which receive funds from the Legal Services Corporation from funds appropriated in this Act.

(b) Any basic field program which receives Federal funds from the Legal Services Corporation from funds appropriated in this Act must disclose to the public in written form, upon request, and to the Legal Services Corporation in semiannual reports, the following information about each case filed by its attorneys in any court:

(1) The name and full address of each party to the legal action unless such information is protected by an order or rule of a court or by State or Federal law or revealing such information would put the client of the recipient of such Federal funds at risk of physical harm.

(2) The cause of action in the case.

(3) The name and address of the court in which the case was filed and the case number assigned to the legal action.

(c) The case information disclosed in semi-annual reports to the Legal Services Corporation shall be subject to disclosure under section 552 of title 5, United States Code.

SEC. 506. In establishing the income or assets of an individual who is a victim of domestic violence, under section 1007(a)(2) of the Legal Services Corporation Act (42 U.S.C. 2996f (a) (2)), to determine if the individual is eligible for legal assistance, a recipient described in such section shall consider only the assets and income of the individual, and shall not include any jointly held assets.

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Conference Report

Making Appropriations for the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies for the Fiscal Year Ending September 30, 1998, and for Other Purposes, Conference Report to accompany H.R. 2267, H. Rept. 105-405 (1998)

Legal Services Corporation

Payment To The Legal Services Corporation

The conference agreement includes $283,000,000 for payment to the Legal Services Corporation, instead of $250,000,000 as proposed in the House bill, and $300,000,000 as proposed in the Senate bill.

The conference agreement provides $274,400,000 for grants to basic field programs and independent audits, $7,100,000 for management and administration, and $1,500,000 for the Office of the Inspector General. 

Administrative Provisions—Legal Services Corporation

The conference agreement contains language, included in both the House and Senate bills, continuing all statutory requirements and restrictions included in the fiscal year 1997 appropriations Act.

In addition, the conference agreement includes new provisions in section 501, as contained in the House bill, providing additional authority to the Corporation to terminate a grant award and institute a new grant competition if the existing grantee has been found to be in violation of statutory and regulatory requirements and restrictions. The Senate bill contained similar provisions. In addition, provisions are included in section 504, as contained in the House bill, to allow the Corporation to debar grantees from the competitive bid process in certain circumstances. The Senate bill contained similar provisions.

The conference agreement includes a provision, section 505, proposed in the House bill but not addressed in the Senate bill, requiring certain public disclosure reporting requirements related to litigation initiated by grantees of the Legal Services Corporation.

The conference agreement also includes a provision, section 506, proposed in the Senate bill but not addressed in the House bill, to ensure that income eligibility determinations in cases of domestic violence are made only on the basis of the assets and income of the individual. The conferees are aware that the current statute and regulations of the Legal Services Corporation already provide for such determinations to be made in all cases, including domestic violence. However, given concerns regarding access to the legal system for victims of domestic violence, the conferees have included this provision to provide greater clarity regarding this matter. However, the conferees do not intend to in any way preclude such eligibility determinations in other cases made in accordance with current regulations and statute.

The conference agreement makes several technical changes to correct statutory citations and other technical differences included in the House and Senate bills.

 

FY 1996 LSC Appropriation
Appropriation

Omnibus Consolidated Rescissions and Appropriations Act of 1996, Pub. L. 104-134, 110 Stat. 1321, 1321-50 (April 26, 1996)

[LSC's current appropriation incorporates the provisions of the FY 1996 appropriation through the FY 1998 appropriation, subject to modifications in the FY 1998 appropriation and other laws, as indicated in the text below.]

Legal Services Corporation

Payment to the Legal Services Corporation

For payment to the Legal Services Corporation to carry out the purposes of the Legal Services Corporation Act of 1974, as amended, $278,000,000, of which $269,400,000 is for basic field programs and required independent audits carried out in accordance with section 509; $1,500,000 is for the Office of the Inspector General, of which such amounts as may be necessary may be used to conduct additional audits of recipients in accordance with section 509 of this Act; and $7,100,000 is for management and administration: Provided, That $198,750,000 of the total amount provided under this heading for basic field programs shall not be available except for the competitive award of grants and contracts under section 503 of this Act.

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Administrative Provisions—Legal Services Corporation

Sec. 501.(a) Funds appropriated under this Act to the Legal Services Corporation for basic field programs shall be distributed as follows:

(1) The Corporation shall define geographic areas and make the funds available for each geographic area on a per capita basis relative to the number of individuals in poverty determined by the Bureau of the Census to be within the geographic area, except as provided in paragraph (2)(B). Funds for such a geographic area may be distributed by the Corporation to 1 or more persons or entities eligible for funding under section 1006(a)(1)(A) of the Legal Services Corporation Act (42 U.S.C. 2996e(a)(1)(A)), subject to sections 502 and 504.

(2) Funds for grants from the Corporation, and contracts entered into by the Corporation for basic field programs, shall be allocated so as to provide--

(A) except as provided in subparagraph (B), an equal figure per individual in poverty for all geographic areas, as determined on the basis of the most recent decennial census of population conducted pursuant to section 141 of title 13, United States Code triennially by the Bureau of the Census, except that, with respect to fiscal year 2013, the change in allocation resulting from the amendment made to this subparagraph by the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2013 shall only be half of the change which would otherwise result from that amendment in order to phase in the change over a 2 year period (or, in the case of the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Alaska, Hawaii, and the United States Virgin Islands, on the basis of the adjusted population counts historically used as the basis for such determinations); and

[Amendments shown above were enacted by Pub. L. 113-6, 127 Stat. 198, 268 (2013) (FY 2013 LSC Appropriation).]

(B) an additional amount for Native American communities that received assistance under the Legal Services Corporation Act for fiscal year 1995, so that the proportion of the funds appropriated to the Legal Services Corporation for basic field programs for fiscal year 1996 that is received by the Native American communities shall be not less than the proportion of such funds appropriated for fiscal year 1995 that was received by the Native American communities.

(b) As used in this section:

(1) The term `individual in poverty` means an individual who is a member of a family (of 1 or more members) with an income at or below the poverty line.

(2) The term `poverty line` means the poverty line (as defined by the Office of Management and Budget, and revised annually in accordance with section 673(2) of the Community Services Block Grant Act (42 U.S.C. 9902(2)) applicable to a family of the size involved.

Sec. 502. None of the funds appropriated in this Act to the Legal Services Corporation shall be used by the Corporation to make a grant, or enter into a contract, for the provision of legal assistance unless the Corporation ensures that the person or entity receiving funding to provide such legal assistance is--
(1) a private attorney admitted to practice in a State or the District of Columbia;

(2) a qualified nonprofit organization, chartered under the laws of a State or the District of Columbia, that--

(A) furnishes legal assistance to eligible clients; and

[*1321-52]

(B) is governed by a board of directors or other governing body, the majority of which is comprised of attorneys who--

(i) are admitted to practice in a State or the District of Columbia; and

(ii) are appointed to terms of office on such board or body by the governing body of a State, county, or municipal bar association, the membership of which represents a majority of the attorneys practicing law in the locality in which the organization is to provide legal assistance;

(3) a State or local government (without regard to section 1006(a)(1)(A)(ii) of the Legal Services Corporation Act (42 U.S.C. 2996e(a)(1)(A)(ii)); or

(4) a substate regional planning or coordination agency that serves a substate area and whose governing board is controlled by locally elected officials.

Sec. 503.


503(a) and (b) are not incorporated in current appropriations.


(a)(1) Not later than April 1, 1996, the Legal Services Corporation shall implement a system of competitive awards of grants and contracts for all basic field programs, which shall apply to all such grants and contracts awarded by the Corporation after March 31, 1996, from funds appropriated in this Act.

(2) Any grant or contract awarded before April 1, 1996, by the Legal Services Corporation to a basic field program for 1996--

(A) shall not be for an amount greater than the amount required for the period ending March 31, 1996;

(B) shall terminate at the end of such period; and

(C) shall not be renewable except in accordance with the system implemented under paragraph (1).

(3) The amount of grants and contracts awarded before April 1, 1996, by the Legal Services Corporation for basic field programs for 1996 in any geographic area described in section 501 shall not exceed an amount equal to 3/12 of the total amount to be distributed for such programs for 1996 in such area.

(b) Not later than 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Legal Services Corporation shall promulgate regulations to implement a competitive selection process for the recipients of such grants and contracts.


(c) Such regulations shall specify selection criteria for the recipients, which shall include--

(1) a demonstration of a full understanding of the basic legal needs of the eligible clients to be served and a demonstration of the capability of serving the needs;

(2) the quality, feasibility, and cost effectiveness of a plan submitted by an applicant for the delivery of legal assistance to the eligible clients to be served; and

(3) the experience of the Legal Services Corporation with the applicant, if the applicant has previously received financial assistance from the Corporation, including the record of the applicant of past compliance with Corporation policies, practices, and restrictions.

(d) Such regulations shall ensure that timely notice regarding an opportunity to submit an application for such an award is published in periodicals of local and State bar associations and in at least 1 daily newspaper of general circulation in the area to be served by the person or entity receiving the award.

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(e) No person or entity that was previously awarded a grant or contract by the Legal Services Corporation for the provision of legal assistance may be given any preference in the competitive selection process.

(f) For the purposes of the funding provided in this Act, rights under sections 1007(a)(9) and 1011 of the Legal Services Corporation Act (42 U.S.C. 2996f(a)(9) and 42 U.S.C. 2996j) shall not apply.

Sec. 504. (a) None of the funds appropriated in this Act to the Legal Services Corporation may be used to provide financial assistance to any person or entity (which may be referred to in this section as a `recipient`)-- 

(1) that makes available any funds, personnel, or equipment for use in advocating or opposing any plan or proposal, or represents any party or participates in any other way in litigation, that is intended to or has the effect of altering, revising, or reapportioning a legislative, judicial, or elective district at any level of government, including influencing the timing or manner of the taking of a census;

(2) that attempts to influence the issuance, amendment, or revocation of any executive order, regulation, or other statement of general applicability and future effect by any Federal, State, or local agency;

(3) that attempts to influence any part of any adjudicatory proceeding of any Federal, State, or local agency if such part of the proceeding is designed for the formulation or modification of any agency policy of general applicability and future effect;

(4) that attempts to influence the passage or defeat of any legislation, constitutional amendment, referendum, initiative, or any similar procedure of the Congress or a State or local legislative body;

(5) that attempts to influence the conduct of oversight proceedings of the Corporation or any person or entity receiving financial assistance provided by the Corporation;

(6) that pays for any personal service, advertisement, telegram, telephone communication, letter, printed or written matter, administrative expense, or related expense, associated with an activity prohibited in this section;

(7) that initiates or participates in a class action suit;

(8) that files a complaint or otherwise initiates or participates in litigation against a defendant, or engages in a precomplaint settlement negotiation with a prospective defendant, unless--

(A) each plaintiff has been specifically identified, by name, in any complaint filed for purposes of such litigation or prior to the precomplaint settlement negotiation; and

(B) a statement or statements of facts written in English and, if necessary, in a language that the plaintiffs understand, that enumerate the particular facts known to the plaintiffs on which the complaint is based, have been signed by the plaintiffs, are kept on file by the recipient, and are made available to any Federal department or agency that is auditing or monitoring the activities of the Corporation or of the recipient, and to any auditor or monitor receiving Federal funds to conduct such auditing or monitoring, including any auditor or monitor of the Corporation:

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Provided, That upon establishment of reasonable cause that an injunction is necessary to prevent probable, serious harm to such potential plaintiff, a court of competent jurisdiction may enjoin the disclosure of the identity of any potential plaintiff pending the outcome of such litigation or negotiations after notice and an opportunity for a hearing is provided to potential parties to the litigation or the negotiations: Provided further, That other parties to the litigation or negotiation shall have access to the statement of facts referred to in subparagraph (B) only through the discovery process after litigation has begun;

(9) unless--

(A) prior to the provision of financial assistance--

(i) if the person or entity is a nonprofit organization, the governing board of the person or entity has set specific priorities in writing, pursuant to section 1007(a)(2)(C)(i) of the Legal Services Corporation Act (42 U.S.C. 2996f(a)(2)(C)(i)), of the types of matters and cases to which the staff of the nonprofit organization shall devote time and resources; and

(ii) the staff of such person or entity has signed a written agreement not to undertake cases or matters other than in accordance with the specific priorities set by such governing board, except in emergency situations defined by such board and in accordance with the written procedures of such board for such situations; and

(B) the staff of such person or entity provides to the governing board on a quarterly basis, and to the Corporation on an annual basis, information on all cases or matters undertaken other than cases or matters undertaken in accordance with such priorities;

(10) unless--

(A) prior to receiving the financial assistance, such person or entity agrees to maintain records of time spent on each case or matter with respect to which the person or entity is engaged;

(B) any funds, including Interest on Lawyers Trust Account funds, received from a source other than the Corporation by the person or entity, and disbursements of such funds, are accounted for and reported as receipts and disbursements, respectively, separate and distinct from Corporation funds; and

(C) the person or entity agrees (notwithstanding section 1006(b)(3) of the Legal Services Corporation Act (42 U.S.C. 2996e(b)(3)) to make the records described in this paragraph available to any Federal department or agency that is auditing or monitoring the activities of the Corporation or of the recipient, and to any independent auditor or monitor receiving Federal funds to conduct such auditing or monitoring, including any auditor or monitor of the Corporation;

(11) that provides legal assistance for or on behalf of any alien, unless the alien is present in the United States and is--
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[For additional permissible representation of non-citizens under other statutes, please see 45 C.F.R. Part 1626.]

(A) an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence as defined in section 101(a)(20) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(20));

(B) an alien who--

(i) is married to a United States citizen or is a parent or an unmarried child under the age of 21 years of such a citizen; and

(ii) has filed an application to adjust the status of the alien to the status of a lawful permanent resident under the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.), which application has not been rejected;

(C) an alien who is lawfully present in the United States pursuant to an admission under section 207 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1157) (relating to refugee admission) or who has been granted asylum by the Attorney General under such Act;

(D) an alien who is lawfully present in the United States as a result of withholding of deportation by the Attorney General pursuant to section 243(h) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1253(h));

[Underlined text below added in 2008 via Pub. L. 110-161, Div. B, Title V, § 540, 121 Stat. 1844, 1924 (FY 2008 LSC Appropriation).]

(E) a nonimmigrant worker admitted to, or permitted to remain in, the United States under section 101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(b)) for forestry labor or an alien to whom section 305 of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (8 U.S.C. 1101 note) applies, but only to the extent that the legal assistance provided is the legal assistance described in such section; or

[8 U.S.C. 1101 note, Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, Pub. L. 99-603, sec. 305:

Eligibility of H-2 Agricultural Workers For Certain Legal Assistance. A nonimmigrant worker admitted to or permitted to remain in the United States under section 101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(a)) for agricultural labor or service shall be considered to be an alien described in section 101(a)(20) of such Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(20)) [“lawfully admitted for permanent residence”] for purposes of establishing eligibility for legal assistance under the Legal Services Corporation Act (42 U.S.C. 2996 et seq.), but only with respect to legal assistance on matters relating to wages, housing, transportation, and other employment rights as provided in the worker's specific contract under which the nonimmigrant was admitted.]

(F) an alien who is lawfully present in the United States as a result of being granted conditional entry to the United States before April 1, 1980, pursuant to section 203(a)(7) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1153(a)(7)), as in effect on March 31, 1980, because of persecution or fear of persecution on account of race, religion, or political calamity;

(12) that supports or conducts a training program for the purpose of advocating a particular public policy or encouraging a political activity, a labor or antilabor activity, a boycott, picketing, a strike, or a demonstration, including the dissemination of information about such a policy or activity, except that this paragraph shall not be construed to prohibit the provision of training to an attorney or a paralegal to prepare the attorney or paralegal to provide--

(A) adequate legal assistance to eligible clients; or

(B) advice to any eligible client as to the legal rights of the client;

[See Pub. L. 111-117, Div. B, Title V, § 533, 123 Stat. 3034, 3157 (FY 2010 LSC Appropriation) for lifting of attorneys’ fees restriction.]

(13) that claims (or whose employee claims), or collects and retains, attorneys` fees pursuant to any Federal or State law permitting or requiring the awarding of such fees;

(14) that participates in any litigation with respect to abortion;

(15) that participates in any litigation on behalf of a person incarcerated in a Federal, State, or local prison;

[Stricken text in (16) overruled by Legal Services Corp. v. Velazquez, 531 U.S. 533 (2001) and removed by Pub. L. 107-77, 115 Stat. 748, 794 (FY 2002 LSC Appropriation).]

(16) that initiates legal representation or participates in any other way, in litigation, lobbying, or rulemaking, involving an effort to reform a Federal or State welfare system, except that this paragraph shall not be construed to preclude a recipient from representing an individual eligible client who is seeking specific relief from a welfare agency [if such relief does

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not involve an effort to amend or otherwise challenge existing law in effect on the date of the initiation of the representation;]

(17) that defends a person in a proceeding to evict the person from a public housing project if--

(A) the person has been charged with the illegal sale or distribution of a controlled substance; and

(B) the eviction proceeding is brought by a public housing agency because the illegal drug activity of the person threatens the health or safety of another tenant residing in the public housing project or employee of the public housing agency;

(18) unless such person or entity agrees that the person or entity, and the employees of the person or entity, will not accept employment resulting from in-person unsolicited advice to a nonattorney that such nonattorney should obtain counsel or take legal action, and will not refer such nonattorney to another person or entity or an employee of the person or entity, that is receiving financial assistance provided by the Corporation; or

(19) unless such person or entity enters into a contractual agreement to be subject to all provisions of Federal law relating to the proper use of Federal funds, the violation of which shall render any grant or contractual agreement to provide funding null and void, and, for such purposes, the Corporation shall be considered to be a Federal agency and all funds provided by the Corporation shall be considered to be Federal funds provided by grant or contract.

(b) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a recipient from using funds from a source other than the Legal Services Corporation for the purpose of contacting, communicating with, or responding to a request from, a State or local government agency, a State or local legislative body or committee, or a member thereof, regarding funding for the recipient, including a pending or proposed legislative or agency proposal to fund such recipient.


504(c) is not incorporated in current appropriations.


(c) Not later than 30 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Legal Services Corporation shall promulgate a suggested list of priorities that boards of directors may use in setting priorities under subsection (a)(9).


(d)(1) The Legal Services Corporation shall not accept any non-Federal funds, and no recipient shall accept funds from any source other than the Corporation, unless the Corporation or the recipient, as the case may be, notifies in writing the source of the funds that the funds may not be expended for any purpose prohibited by the Legal Services Corporation Act or this title.

(2) Paragraph (1) shall not prevent a recipient from -

(A) receiving Indian tribal funds (including funds from private nonprofit organizations for the benefit of Indians or Indian tribes) and expending the tribal funds in accordance with the specific purposes for which the tribal funds are provided; or

(B) using funds received from a source other than the Legal Services Corporation to provide legal assistance to a covered individual if such funds are used for the specific purposes for which such funds were received, except that such funds may not be expended by recipients for any purpose prohibited by this Act or by the Legal Services Corporation Act.

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(e) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a recipient from using funds derived from a source other than the Legal Services Corporation to comment on public rulemaking or to respond to a written request for information or testimony from a Federal, State or local agency, legislative body or committee, or a member of such an agency, body, or committee, so long as the response is made only to the parties that make the request and the recipient does not arrange for the request to be made.

(f) As used in this section:

(1) The term `controlled substance` has the meaning given the term in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802).

(2) The term `covered individual` means any person who -

(A) except as provided in subparagraph (B), meets the requirements of this Act and the Legal Services Corporation Act relating to eligibility for legal assistance; and

(B) may or may not be financially unable to afford legal assistance.

(3) The term `public housing project` has the meaning as used within, and the term `public housing agency` has the meaning given the term, in section 3 of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437a).

Sec. 505. None of the funds appropriated in this Act to the Legal Services Corporation or provided by the Corporation to any entity or person may be used to pay membership dues to any private or nonprofit organization.

Sec. 506. None of the funds appropriated in this Act to the Legal Services Corporation may be used by any person or entity receiving financial assistance from the Corporation to file or pursue a lawsuit against the Corporation.

Sec. 507. None of the funds appropriated in this Act to the Legal Services Corporation may be used for any purpose prohibited or contrary to any of the provisions of authorization legislation for fiscal year 1996 for the Legal Services Corporation that is enacted into law. Upon the enactment of such Legal Services Corporation reauthorization legislation, funding provided in this Act shall from that date be subject to the provisions of that legislation and any provisions in this Act that are inconsistent with that legislation shall no longer have effect.

Sec. 508. (a) The requirements of section 504 shall apply to the activities of a recipient described in section 504, or an employee of such a recipient, during the provision of legal assistance for a case or matter, if the recipient or employee begins to provide the legal assistance on or after the date of enactment of this Act.

(b) If the recipient or employee began to provide legal assistance for the case or matter prior to the date of enactment of this Act--

(1) each of the requirements of section 504 (other than paragraphs (7), (11), (13), and (15) of subsection (a) of such section) shall, beginning on the date of enactment of this Act, apply to the activities of the recipient or employee during the provision of legal assistance for the case or matter;

(2) the requirements of paragraphs (7), (11), and (15) of section 504(a) shall apply -

(A) beginning on the date of enactment of this Act, to the activities of the recipient or employee during the provision of legal assistance for any additional related claim for which the recipient or employee begins to provide legal assistance on or after such date; and

(B) beginning August 1, 1996, to all other activities of the recipient or employee during the provision of legal assistance for the case or matter; and

(3) the requirements of paragraph (13) of section 504(a) -

(A) shall apply beginning on the date of enactment of this Act to the activities of the recipient or employee during the provision of legal assistance for any additional related claim

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for which the recipient or employee begins to provide legal assistance on or after such date; and

(B) shall not apply to all other activities of the recipient or employee during the provision of legal assistance for the case or matter.

(c) The Legal Services Corporation shall, every 60 days, submit to the Committees on Appropriations of the Senate and House of Representatives a report setting forth the status of cases and matters referred to in subsection (b)(2).

Sec. 509. (a) An audit of each person or entity receiving financial assistance from the Legal Services Corporation under this Act (referred to in this section as a `recipient`) shall be conducted in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards and guidance established by the Office of the Inspector General and shall report whether -

(1) the financial statements of the recipient present fairly its financial position and the results of its financial operations in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles;

(2) the recipient has internal control systems to provide reasonable assurance that it is managing funds, regardless of source, in compliance with Federal laws and regulations; and

(3) the recipient has complied with Federal laws and regulations applicable to funds received, regardless of source.

(b) In carrying out the requirements of subsection (a)(3), the auditor shall select and test a representative number of transactions and report all instances of noncompliance to the recipient. The recipient shall report in writing any noncompliance found by the auditor during the audit under this section within 5 business days to the Office of the Inspector General and shall provide a copy of the report simultaneously to the auditor. If the recipient fails to report the noncompliance, the auditor shall report the noncompliance directly to the Office of the Inspector General within 5 business days of the recipient`s failure to report. The auditor shall not be liable in a private action for any finding, conclusion, or statement expressed in a report made pursuant to this section.

(c) The audits required under this section shall be provided for by the recipients and performed by independent public accountants. The cost of such audits shall be shared on a pro rata basis among all of the recipient`s funding providers and the appropriate share shall be an allowable charge to the Federal funds provided by the Legal Services Corporation. No audit costs may be charged to the Federal funds when the audit required by this section has not been made in accordance with the guidance promulgated by the Office of the Inspector General. If the recipient fails to have an acceptable audit in accordance with the guidance promulgated by the Office of the Inspector General,

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the following sanctions shall be available to the Corporation as recommended by the Office of the Inspector General:

(1) the withholding of a percentage of the recipient`s funding until the audit is completed satisfactorily.

(2) the suspension of recipient`s funding until an acceptable audit is completed.

(d) The Office of the Inspector General may remove, suspend, or bar an independent public accountant, upon a showing of good cause, from performing audit services required by this section. Any such action to remove, suspend, or bar an auditor shall be only after notice to the auditor and an opportunity for hearing. The Office of the Inspector General shall develop and issue rules of practice to implement this paragraph.

(e) Any independent public accountant performing an audit under this section who subsequently ceases to be the accountant for the recipient shall promptly notify the Office of the Inspector General pursuant to such rules as the Office of the Inspector General shall prescribe.

(f) Audits conducted in accordance with this section shall be in lieu of the financial audits otherwise required by section 1009(c) of the Legal Services Corporation Act (42 U.S.C. 2996h(c)).

(g) The Office of the Inspector General is authorized to conduct on-site monitoring, audits, and inspections in accordance with Federal standards.

(h) Notwithstanding section 1006(b)(3) of the Legal Services Corporation Act (42 U.S.C. 2996e(b)(3)), financial records, time records, retainer agreements, client trust fund and eligibility records, and client names, for each recipient shall be made available to any auditor or monitor of the recipient, including any Federal department or agency that is auditing or monitoring the activities of the Corporation or of the recipient, and any independent auditor or monitor receiving Federal funds to conduct such auditing or monitoring, including any auditor or monitor of the Corporation, except for reports or records subject to the attorney-client privilege.

(i) The Legal Services Corporation shall not disclose any name or document referred to in subsection (h), except to--

(1) a Federal, State, or local law enforcement official; or

(2) an official of an appropriate bar association for the purpose of enabling the official to conduct an investigation of a rule of professional conduct.

(j) The recipient management shall be responsible for expeditiously resolving all reported audit reportable conditions, findings, and recommendations, including those of sub-recipients.

(k) The Legal Services Corporation shall--

(1) Follow up on significant reportable conditions, findings, and recommendations found by the independent public accountants and reported to Corporation management by the Office of the Inspector General to ensure that instances of deficiencies and noncompliance are resolved in a timely manner, and

(2) Develop procedures to ensure effective follow-up that meet at a minimum the requirements of Office of Management and Budget Circular Number A-50.

(l) The requirements of this section shall apply to a recipient for its first fiscal year beginning on or after January 1, 1996.


 

Conference Report

Making Appropriations for Fiscal Year 1996 to Make a Further Downpayment Toward a Balanced Budget, and for Other Purposes, Conference Report on H.R. 3019, H. Rept. 104-537 (1996) (As corrected at H4187-H4287)

Legal Services Corporation

Payment To The Legal Services Corporation

The conference agreement provides $278,000,000 for the Legal Services Corporation, as proposed by the House, instead of $300,000,000 as proposed by the Senate. In addition, the conference agreement does not include $9,000,000 in additional contingent appropriations, as proposed by the Senate under title IV of the Senate bill.

Within the total amounts provided, the conferees agree that the funds should be distributed as follows: (1) $269,400,000 for basic field programs and required independent audits carried out in accordance with section 509; (2) $1,500,000 for the Office of Inspector General; and (3) $7,100,000 for management and administration. The conferees are aware that the Legal Services Corporation has recently identified $400,000 in prior year carryover funds. The conferees expect the Committees on Appropriations of the House and Senate to be notified prior to any further expenditure of these funds in accordance with section 605 of this Act. The conference agreement does not include language, proposed by the Senate, for payment of attorneys fees for a specific civil action.

The Legal Services Corporation historically has distributed funding for basic field programs (for all eligible clients) on an equal figure per poor person based on the 1990 census, with an exception that adjusts the formula for certain isolated states and territories. The conferees are encouraged that the Corporation has worked expeditiously to distribute funding on a competitive award basis, and urge the Corporation to continue implementation of the system that has been developed to continue providing grants to all eligible populations.

Administrative Provisions—Legal Services Corporation

The conference agreement includes language proposed by the Senate under section 504 to provide an exception to the prohibition contained therein that would permit recipients of LSC grants to use funds derived from non-Federal sources to comment on public rulemakings or to respond to a written request for information or testimony from a governmental body, so long as the response is made only to the parties that make the request and the recipient does not arrange for the request to be made. The House bill contained no similar exception to the prohibition contained in the bill.

The conference agreement corrects a code citation in section 504(a)(10)(c), as proposed in the Senate bill. The House bill contained the code citation provided in the conference report on H.R. 2076.

The conference agreement includes language under section 508 to allow for the collection of attorneys fees for cases or matters pending prior to enactment of this Act. This provision does not allow the collection of attorneys fees for any new or additional claim or matter not initiated prior to enactment of this Act. Neither the House nor Senate bill contained a provision on this matter.

The conference agreement makes a modification to language included in section 508 in both the House and Senate bills to provide for a limited transition time for LSC grantees to dispose of pending cases and matters initiated prior to enactment of this Act, which would now be prohibited under this Act. The agreement provides LSC grantees until August 1, 1996 to dispose of all such cases.

The conference agreement contains modifications to language in section 509 proposed by the Senate related to the procedures by which LSC grantees are audited and the manner in which recipients contract with licensed independent certified public accountants for financial and compliance audits. Also included are modifications to language proposed by the Senate to clarify that only the Office of the Inspector General shall have oversight responsibility to ensure the quality and integrity of the financial and compliance audit process. Language is also included, as proposed by the Senate, to clarify the Corporation management's duties and responsibilities to resolve deficiencies and non-compliance reported by the Office of the Inspector General. Further, language is included, as proposed by the Senate, authorizing the Office of the Inspector General to conduct additional on-site monitoring, audits, and inspections necessary for programmatic, financial and compliance oversight. The House bill contained the provisions included in the conference report on H.R. 2076.

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