News Release


For More Information:

William R. Steinhaus
Dutchess County Executive
Telephone:  (845) 486-2000
, FAX: (845) 486-2021,

March 6, 2001


Steinhaus Announces Continuance of Legal Help for Domestic Violence Victims

Poughkeepsie...County Executive William R. Steinhaus announced the signing of an agreement for $50,000 with Grace Smith House, Inc. which will enable a Domestic Violence Pro Bono Legal Services Panel to continue to represent poor and low-income battered women.

The County Executive said the goal is to establish a panel of local attorneys to assist low-income victims of domestic abuse in matrimonial, child custody and support actions in the Dutchess County Supreme Court. He continued, "Panel attorneys will be trained in the areas of family law and practice and domestic violence litigation before cases are assigned to them. The private Dutchess County practitioners who comprise this Panel will then provide free or sliding-scale fee representation for victims of domestic violence."

Under the agreement, Grace Smith House works with Westchester/Putnam Legal Services to establish the Panel, conduct the training, work with groups serving domestic violence victims, do client intake, represent victims or co-counsel cases with the private attorneys, assign clients to Panel attorneys, send out mailings and conduct outreach with interested groups.

Through direct legal services provided by both Westchester/Putnam Legal Services and local attorneys on the panel, it is anticipated that a total of 120 cases will be handled this year.


2001 Press Releases