Published On: Thu, Mar 26th, 2020

EBCI Legal Assistance Office operations during COVID-19 

 

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) suspended all tribal operations and closed tribal offices as of March 23 to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Even so, many tribal services remain available. For those of you who may have pending court cases, unaddressed legal issues, or are wondering whether you can still seek legal relief while the Tribe is closed, the EBCI Legal Assistance Office is still answering phone calls and emails remotely. 

Call 359-7400 or email them at legalhelp@nc-cherokee.com with any legal questions you have whether or not you are a current client. The Cherokee Tribal Court has issued an order continuing all pending cases out past the end of April, but Magistrates, Clerks, Judges, and other Court personnel are still available to handle emergency situations as they arise.

If you have experienced domestic violence, help is available! In an emergency, call 911. You can also call the Ernestine Walkingstick Shelter’s 24/7, confidential hotline 359-6830 and they will help you with next steps. If you would rather seek a Domestic Violence Protective Order (DVPO) on your own, you can request one from a Magistrate. While the Justice Center is closed, you can get in touch with the Magistrate on call by dialing 497-4131 and telling Dispatch you would like to speak with a Magistrate about a protective order.

For pending criminal cases: if you have been charged with a crime, your best source of information is your attorney. If you are the victim of a crime, the EBCI Office of the Tribal Prosecutor is still working and available to answer questions via phone at 788-6126.

Reporting child abuse or elder abuse. Not everyone is safe in their home. EBCI’s Family Safety Program is still working to keep children, vulnerable adults, and elders safe. If you suspect child abuse or elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation, please report it. You can make a report (anonymously if you choose) by calling Dispatch 497-4131 and asking for the on call social worker for either child abuse or elder abuse.

– EBCI Legal Assistance Office release 

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