As of Nov. 27, 2018
Legal services for disaster victims is an essential part of emergency management and response. Californians impacted by the disastrous fires can seek legal advice for various reasons, including insurance claims, securing Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grants, replacement of legal documents, landlord-tenant disputes, consumer protection matters and more.
A legal hotline is now available for survivors of the wildfires in
California in Butte, Ventura, and Los Angeles counties (additional
counties may be added). Disaster survivors facing legal issues in Butte
County who are unable to afford a lawyer may call the hotline at
800-345-9491. Disaster survivors facing legal issues in Ventura County who are unable to afford a lawyer may call the hotline at
877-301-4448; survivors in Los Angeles area should call 800-870-0732. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday-Friday.
The type of legal assistance available includes:
Fire victims have a limited time to file for individual assistance with FEMA. Each county impacted by the fires may have a different deadline. FEMA helps in a variety of ways, including helping to pay for home repair, funeral costs and cleanup.
Undocumented immigrants may be eligible for individual assistance from FEMA if a family member has an officially recognized immigration status in the United States.
Avoid fraud from people promising to offer legal services. This is particularly important when you suffer major losses.
Lawyers and their representatives are prohibited from:
Fraud alert: More information about how to avoid and report legal fraud
Alerta de fraude legal como consecuencia de los incendios recientesFraud Alert - 欺诈提醒: See the fraud alert translated into Chinese
You can also call the State Bar's multilingual intake hotline at 800-843-9053 for help filing a complaint.
Your recovery may start with establishing who you are or where you lived.
The State Bar provides a list of agencies and next steps to get a duplicate California driver's license or identity card, birth certificate, marriage license or other documents.
Other state agencies and nonprofit community groups can help find with emergency food assistance, unemployment, shelter, crisis counseling or other health concern after the fires