Cleveland Municipal Clerk of Courts Earle Turner is taking his office to the streets.
"It's something I've thought about since I was a councilman" said Turner. "It's really a hassle for a lot of people to come downtown to take care of business, so we're going in their neighborhoods."
Turner has his staff set up in neighborhoods with tents, portable tables and chairs, and laptop computers. Their white van stopped in the heart of Cleveland's neighborhoods, setting up in vacant lots or on sidewalks in Collinwood, Glenville, Cedar Central, and Detroit Shoreway on the West side.
The staff develops practical strategies for people who walk up with legal problems.
"We can't make a charge or a fine go away" said Turner, "and we're not accepting money for security reasons. But, we can help people understand what they need to do to clear up their record. And often, that's half the problem."
Collinwood resident Thomas Paxton asked about his parking and traffic cases in Dave's parking lot and was able to get on a payment program where he could gradually pay off hundreds in back fines while being able to drive again legally.
"This is a beautiful thing they're doing," said Paxton.
The staff also helps people with civil issues, like small claim lawsuits.
The staff has helped some neighbors file inexpensive lawsuits. Others have signed up for a program that prevents garnishment of wages. And some have signed up for a program where they can legally withhold rent payments from a negligent landlord.
"We do more than collect money for tickets, said Turner. "We also provide programs that can improve people's lives".
To have the Clerk of Courts visit your neighborhood, call (216) 664-6106.