72 FR 3954, Jan. 29, 2007, unless otherwise noted.
This Part is intended to help ensure that recipients provide the highest quality legal assistance to clients as required by the LSC Act and are accountable to clients and applicants for legal assistance by requiring recipients to establish grievance procedures to process complaints by applicants about the denial of legal assistance and clients about the manner or quality of legal assistance provided. This Part is further intended to help ensure that the grievance procedures adopted by recipients will result, to the extent possible, in the provision of an effective remedy in the resolution of complaints.
The governing body of a recipient shall establish a grievance committee or committees, composed of lawyer and client members of the governing body, in approximately the same proportion in which they are on the governing body.
A recipient shall establish a simple procedure for review of complaints by applicants about decisions to deny legal assistance to the applicant. The procedure shall, at a minimum, provide: A practical method for the recipient to provide applicants with adequate notice of the complaint procedures and how to make a complaint; and an opportunity for applicants to confer with the Executive Director or the Executive Director's designee, and, to the extent practical, with a representative of the governing body. The procedure shall be designed to foster effective communications between the recipient and complaining applicants.
(a) A recipient shall establish procedures for the review of complaints by clients about the manner or quality of legal assistance that has been rendered by the recipient to the client.
(b) The procedures shall be designed to foster effective communications between the recipient and the complaining client and, at a minimum, provide:
(1) A method for providing a client, at the time the person is accepted as a client or as soon thereafter as is practical, with adequate notice of the complaint procedures and how to make a complaint;
(2) For prompt consideration of each complaint by the Executive Director or the Executive Director's designee,
(3) An opportunity for the complainant, if the Executive Director or the Executive Director's designee is unable to resolve the matter, to submit an oral or written statement to a grievance committee established by the governing body as required by § 1621.2 of this Part. The procedures shall also: provide that the opportunity to submit an oral statement may be accomplished in person, by teleconference, or through some other reasonable alternative; permit a complainant to be accompanied by another person who may speak on that complainant's behalf; and provide that, upon request of the complainant, the recipient shall transcribe a brief written statement, dictated by the complainant for inclusion in the recipient's complaint file.
(c) Complaints received from clients about the manner or quality of legal assistance that has been rendered by a private attorney pursuant to the recipient's private attorney involvement program under 45 CFR Part 1614 shall be processed in a manner consistent with its responsibilities under 45 CFR § 1614.3(d)(3) and with applicable state or local rules of professional responsibility.
(d) A file containing every complaint and a statement of its disposition shall be preserved for examination by LSC. The file shall include any written statement submitted by the complainant or transcribed by the recipient from a complainant's oral statement.