News & Publications

I need my driver's license back - are there payment plans for those who owe fees? 

The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles offers payment plans to people who owe fees in order to reinstate their driver’s license right away.   To be eligible for the payment plan, a person must owe at least $150, have met all the other reinstatement requirements, show current proof of insurance, not be under suspension or have pending suspensions, and not be on a court-ordered payment plan.  More information about the payment plan, and the application form, visit  this BMV website.  The completed application, $50, and proof of insurance should be submitted to any deputy registrar license agency or reinstatement center, or by mail to: Ohio BMV Attn: Revenue Management/Points P.O. Box 16521 Columbus, OH 43216.  Note there is an additional $10 service fee for paying at a Deputy Registrar license agency. 

New online access to Social Security Administration info through online account

You can create an online, my Social Security account to verify your earnings, see an estimate of future benefits if you’re still working, or manage your monthly benefits once you begin receiving payments.

You can also check the status of your claim or appeal, request a replacement Social Security card, and get an instant benefit verification letter.

For more information and to create an account, visit this Social Security Administration website.

Common Sense Legal Tools
now available online to prepare legal documents for free!

Access online tools at
to complete personalized legal documents

Using these online tools, a person can apply for a civil protection order, answer an eviction complaint, complete health care directives, apply to seal a criminal record, request the return of a security deposit, answer a credit card debt lawsuit, apply for a divorce without children, answer a foreclosure complaint, apply to waive court filing fees, or create a simple will.

The program does not provide legal advice or individual legal help from an attorney.
It will help you prepare forms that you will file without an attorney.

I am a Tenant – Can I call/text my questions about my rights & responsibilities?

Tenants can now call Legal Aid’s Tenant Information Line at 216.861.5955 with questions about their rights and responsibilities.  Tenants can call between the hours 9am-5pm and leave a brief message with their housing question and someone will call them back within 24 business hours. 

Tenants can text Legal Aid at 216.242.1544 for info about responding to an eviction, requesting return of a security deposit, problems with housing conditions and lead poisoning. 
•    For help responding to an eviction complaint text FAQ EVICTION. 
•    For information on how to request a return of a security deposit text FAQ DEPOSIT.
•    For information on how to rent deposit text FAQ REPAIRS. 
•    For lead poisoning information text FAQ LEAD.

Lorain County Bar Association Foundation
Recognizes Excellence and Courage

The Lorain County Bar Association and the Lorain County Bar Association Foundation are pleased to announce that they will present awards to recognize outstanding individuals in four separate categories:  Lifetime Achievement, Member of the Year, Courage, the Maude May Washburn Awards.

Congratulations to the following winners:

The Lifetime Achievement Award:

This year’s recipient is The Honorable David Basinski.  ". . . self-control, the evenness of temperment, the strict sense of fairness, the willingness to listen, the innate sense of dignity -- indeed, any of the qualities that make a mere lawyer into a good jurist."  Judge David Basinski has lived these words every day he has been on the bench.  He demands respect from all who appear before him, but does not demand any more than he is willing to give himself.  As a family court Judge, a child's best interest has been a core guiding principle -- from deciding where a child sleeps at night to the consequences a delinquent child might face.  It was this guiding principle that led him to develop the Court's Seminar for Separating Parents in 1992.  This program is designed to provide information early in the divorce process to foster parental cooperation and reduce the negative impact on children.  It has also guided him through many of the tough decisions he faced while a Lorain County Domestic Relations Court Judge like the Baby Chuckie case.  Additionally, Judge Basinski genuinely cared for all of the Court's employees.  He always took the time to get to know everyone and ask about their families.  Every one of them has a favorite memory or fond story to share about his days with the Court.

A lifelong resident of Lorain County, Judge Basinski graduated from Case Western Reserve University in 1966. He practiced law in Lorain County for more than 20 years before he was elected to Lorain County Court of Common Pleas Domestic Relations Division in 1988. He is a past-president of the Ohio Association of Juvenile and Family Court Judges; and a member of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and of the Governor's Task Force on Child Abuse. He served as co-chair of the Family Code Revision Task Force and the co-chair of the Advisory Committee to the Supreme Court on Children, Families, and the Court. Judge Basinski was a major and an aviator in the United States Marine Corps.  He continues to serve as a visiting judge in domestic and juvenile court matters. 

The LCBA Member of the Year Award:

This year’s recipient is Attorney James Deery of the Deery & Gibbons law firm.  Jim has been an active member of the LCBA throughout his entire career as an attorney.  He is very passionate about mentoring new attorneys and is always willing to give advice when someone needs it.  Jim was instrumental in implementing the LCBA’s Modest Means Program and prepared the training guide for the program.  He is always willing to help out the LCBA whenever he is needed.  Jim regularly supports the LCBA by attending social events and seminars.  Additionally, he and his firm are consistent sponsors of LCBA events. Jim always goes above and beyond the call of duty in service to the LCBA and in supporting the Lorain County legal profession.

The Courage Award:

The Courage Award recognizes any resident of Lorain County who has shown exemplary courage in aiding and supporting its citizens. This year’s award goes to Marilyn Zeidner.  Marilyn made it her life’s mission to protect victims of domestic violence.  She served for nearly twenty years as the Executive Director of Genesis House, Lorain County’s battered women’s shelter.  She is best known for her commitment and support of victims of domestic violence. She is well-respected by everyone in the Lorain County court system, the various police departments, and social service organizations.  Most importantly, the women she has helped love and admire her.  Marilyn spent much of her career as an advocate for women, and has worked to enlighten and educate others on the issue of domestic violence. She is a strong supporter of increased awareness for domestic violence and for providing resources to help women and their children.  Although Marilyn has retired from her position as Executive Director with the Genesis House, she has not slowed down in her calling to help others.  Marilyn is currently helping others through her Music on a Mission (or “MOM”) program.  The program’s mission is to use the Power of Music to enrich the lives of individuals with special needs by providing creative, interactive programing. Marilyn and Music on a Mission offer programs to help kids, people who have social, emotional, cognitive, or physical concerns; veterans and seniors.  Whether it is through her work as a domestic violence advocate or through her Music on a Mission Programs, Marilyn continues making a difference in the lives of the most vulnerable among us..

The Maude May Washburn Award:

Twenty one years after the Cronise sisters, Nettie and Florence became Ohio’s first women lawyers, Lorain County was making its own mark in women’s history. Maude May Marsh Washburn became Lorain County’s first licensed woman lawyer. In 1894, Maude successfully sat for the Ohio bar. She was the only woman out of 88 applicants.  In 1953, she was among 15 fellow attorneys recognized and honored by the Lorain County Bar Association for 50 years of service to the community.  Maude was a consummate community servant and leader, an activist, an avid learner and an outspoken advocate. Over 100 years ago, this wife, mother, leader and lawyer, did it all and that is exactly what this award honors – a female lawyer that does it all.  Judge Debra Boros epitomizes Maude Washburn in every way.  She is a wife, a mother, a leader, a judge.  She served as a Judge in the Lorain County Domestic Relations Court for from 1999 to 2017.  Prior to that, Judge Boros was one of the first female prosecutors in Lorain County and worked there for 11 years.  During her tenure as a judge and while raising a family, Judge Boros was also very active in our community.  She is a life member of the NAACP and has been honored for her good works by the National Council of Negro Women.  She has served with the Elyria Rotary, and was elected the 2014 President of the Ohio Association of Juvenile Court Judges.  She has also served for a very long time on the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Lorain County Board and has served as a Big Sister and mentor to one very lucky young girl for over 10 years, seeing her into adulthood.  Judge Boros built quite an impressive court record over the 17 years she served the Court.  She made justice fair and accessible to residents, holding juveniles accountable for their crimes, and was very sensitive to victim’s rights, as well as making community safety and the best interests of children a priority.  Judge Boros continues to work within the community to serve out her mission of fairness and diversity as a visiting judge throughout Ohio.  Maude May Washburn would be proud to have Judge Boros receive this award.

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