CTUIR Contracts with LASO for Expanded Legal Services

on 1/22/2024 3:00:00 PM

MISSION, Ore. – The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) is teaming with Legal Aid Services of Oregon (LASO) to provide legal aid to tribal members who are above LASO’s income limitations.

The CTUIR Board of Trustees on Jan. 8 approved a contract for services with LASO, which will provide free civil legal help to low-income tribal members through LASO’s regional offices and statewide hotlines and programs.

Joe Pitt, CTUIR Office of Legal Counsel lead attorney, said CTUIR members should be able to access LASO starting Feb. 1. Services include issues such as family law, housing, government benefits, senior law, consumer issues, debtors’ rights/bankruptcy, employment, probate issues, criminal expungement and civil rights.

Tribal members with income at or below 125% of federal poverty guidelines will pay no fee. For tribal members making between 125% and 200% of federal poverty guidelines, the fee will be $25. Tribal members making between 200% and 250% of federal poverty guidelines will pay $50.

A previous contract was in place between the CTUIR and the Pendleton Regional Office of LASO to provide similar services from 1998 to 2022.

Unlike the previous contract, which limited LASO aid to tribal members living in the five counties surrounding the Umatilla Indian Reservation, the 2024 contract expands services to CTUIR members living throughout Oregon. For LASO to help members living out of state, the legal matter must arise in Oregon.

Tribal members can call the LASO Pendleton Regional Office at 541-276-6685 or the Native American Program of Legal Aid Services of Oregon in Portland at 503-223-9483. For more information, visit Legal Aid Services of Oregon - LASO (lasoregon.org)

The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation is comprised of the Cayuse, Umatilla, and Walla Walla Tribes, formed under the Treaty of 1855 at the Walla Walla Valley, 12 Stat. 945. In 1949, the Tribes adopted a constitutional form of government to protect, preserve and enhance the reserved treaty rights guaranteed under federal law.