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EAST LANSING, Mich. — The East Lansing 54B District Court, in partnership with Legal Services of South Central Michigan (LSSCM), hosted a successful Mid-Michigan Virtual Expungement Clinic on Saturday, June 19.More than 20 attorneys volunteered their time to assist 71 participants during the clinic, with attorneys working to determine participant eligibility to set aside certain convictions. Once eligibility was determined, the participants were instructed to obtain their fingerprints and certified court convictions. All circuit and district courts in Ingham, Clinton and Eaton counties provided support for the clinic by waiving fees for certified copies of convictions, and several local law enforcement agencies, including the East Lansing Police Department (ELPD), Ingham County Sheriff’s Office and the Clinton County Sheriff's Office, waived their cost for providing ink fingerprint cards. Once participants obtain their required documents, they will work with LSSCM to have their case placed with a pro bono attorney. The pro bono attorneys will provide representation at the court hearings to set aside conviction(s) and will also assist participants with filing their applications with respective courts and agencies. Since fees were waived for the month of June, the remaining cost to participants will be the $50 background check fee per court. An allocation of $10,000 approved by the East Lansing City Council from the City of East Lansing’s marihuana excise tax revenue will be used to offset those costs for participants.“I cannot express enough gratitude for the City of East Lansing and all of our partners for their support of the Mid-Michigan Virtual Expungement Clinic,” said East Lansing 54B District Court Administrator Nicole Evans. “The virtual platform was a new concept and the first for this area, and many lives will be changed due to the collaboration of the many agencies and attorneys who came together from across our tri-county area. The clinic being held on Juneteenth also paid homage to the notification of freedom for those who remained enslaved in Galveston, Texas back in 1865.”Partners and supporters of the Mid-Michigan Virtual Expungement Clinic include: LSSCM; Capital Area Michigan Works!; Safe and Just Michigan, Michigan Legal Help; the Ingham, Clinton and Eaton county clerks; circuit and district courts in Ingham, Clinton and Eaton counties; the sheriff’s offices in Ingham and Clinton counties, ELPD and all of the volunteer and pro bono attorneys. The 54B District Court would also like to thank State Rep. Sarah Anthony and Michigan Supreme Court Justices Elizabeth Clement, Megan Cavanagh and Elizabeth Welch for lending their voices for the expungement public information session and the clinic kickoff.
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