JDC’s Holistic Approach Saves Client from Big Fines

Lillian Kong

Lillian Kong

The Justice & Diversity Center’s (JDC) Medical-Legal Project recently helped a client contest a San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency citation, preventing future collection efforts and ensuing arrest warrant for nonpayment.

The project brings holistic legal services to low-income patients at two San Francisco health centers to ameliorate issues that adversely impact patients’ health, safety and well-being.

During a weekly intake at St. Mary’s Medical Center’s Sister Mary Philippa Health Clinic, a developmentally delayed adult sought help with an SFMTA citation for unpaid Muni fare that she received when she believed she had a “Free Muni for People with Disabilities” pass. After unsuccessfully contesting the citation, her deadline to appeal was quickly approaching. Because the client has difficulty with appointments in new places and with new people, JDC Staff Attorney Lillian Kong stepped in to assist her. Kong accompanied the client to her SFMTA Administrative Hearing and explained that the client qualifies for Free Muni and mistakenly thought she had the correct pass. SFMTA dismissed the citation, and Kong then helped the client apply for the Free Muni pass so this won’t happen again.

For more information about the Medical-Legal Project, email probono@sfbar.org.