Band Member Legal Aid

Band Member Legal Aid was established in 2009 to serve the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Community. BMLA provides free civil and criminal legal services to enrolled members of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe.

We have five attorneys available to go to court, provide legal advice, answer questions, and resolve cases on behalf of clients. We also have experienced administrative staff members who can answer questions and provide assistance, including notary services. Please be aware that our administrative staff CANNOT provide legal advice.

We do not accept all cases. We have the right to deny service based upon the criteria of the case and the client.

According to a resolution passed by Band Assembly in 2015, we are unable to accept any cases regarding drug sales or 1st and 2nd degree possession.

For an appointment or more information, call 320-532-7798 or 800-709-6445 (toll-free). We are open Monday through Friday from 8 to 5, except from noon to 1. The office is closed for all Band Holidays.

Main Office
43408 Oodena Drive
Onamia, MN 56359

320-532-7798 or 800-709-6445

320-532-5135 (fax)
We are located at the intersection of Virgo Road and Ojibwe Drive.

Urban Office – By Appointment Only
1404 E Franklin Ave
Minneapolis, MN

320-532-7798

Areas of Practice and Service Area

Criminal and traffic cases in Tribal court, Aitkin, Crow Wing, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Pine, Hennepin, and Ramsey Counties

Civil cases in Tribal court, Aitkin, Crow Wing, Mille Lacs, Pine, Hennepin, and Ramsey Counties

Types of Cases

• Family Law (divorce and custody/visitation)
• Child Protection (CHIPS)
• Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA)
• Domestic Abuse
• Housing
• Public Benefits (denial or termination of benefits, social security)
• Consumer Law and Debt Collection
• Estate Planning
• Probate
• Elder Law (health care directives, powers of attorney, estate planning, probate, guardianships, grandchild adoption/guardianship/custody, Indian trust land/accounts)
• Criminal Law

Cases We Cannot Accept

• Suing another band member for money damages
• Personal injury
• Bankruptcy
• Workers’ compensation
• Employment discrimination
• Wrongful termination
• Cases in federal court
• Commitments
• Criminal or civil cases outside our service area
• Drug sales
• 1st and 2nd degree possession

Notary Service

We provide notary services at no cost to band members during business hours or by appointment. If you need a document notarized, please bring a photo ID and the document that needs to be notarized. Please be aware we CANNOT notarize your signature without a photo ID.

FAQ

Who is eligible for legal services?

We provide services to enrolled members of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe.

What is the cost of legal services?

Legal services and representation are free to Band members. Clients do have to pay certain expenses associated with their case, such as court filing fees, fines, service of process, and other court-related fees. Some fees can be waived by the Court based on income.

I am a Band Member but I don’t live in the area. Can you represent me?

We handle cases in following service area:

  • Criminal Case Service Area: Tribal court, Aitkin, Crow Wing, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Pine, Hennepin, and Ramsey Counties
  • Civil Case Service Area: Tribal court, Aitkin, Crow Wing, Mille Lacs, Pine, Hennepin, and Ramsey Counties

Where is the Band Member Legal Aid office located?

Our office is located in District I at the intersection of Virgo Road and Ojibwe Drive. Our mailing address is 43408 Oodena Drive Onamia, MN 56359. We also are available by appointment at our urban office, located at 1404 E Franklin Avenue in Minneapolis.

What types of cases do you accept?

  • Criminal and traffic cases
  • Family cases (divorce, custody/visitation, paternity, adoption)
  • Child Protection (CHIPS)
  • Housing (landlord/tenant)
  • Public Benefits (denial or termination of benefits, social security)
  • Consumer Law and Debt Collection
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate
  • Elder Law (health care directives, powers of attorney, estate planning, probate, guardianships, grandchild adoption/guardianship/custody, Indian trust land/accounts)

What types of cases aren’t accepted?

We are unable to accept the following types of cases:

  • Suing another band member for money damages or due to harassment
  • Personal injury
  • Workers’ compensation
  • Workplace discrimination
  • Wrongful termination
  • Cases in federal court
  • Criminal or civil cases outside our service area
  • Drug sales
  • 1st and 2nd degree possession

I thought you were called Indian Legal. Why the name change?

Band Member Legal Aid was established in 2009 to address the growing need for a permanent full-time staff of attorneys working on the legal needs of Band members. The Band no longer contracts with Indian Legal Assistance, which is a separate organization that continues to provide legal services for low-income individuals in Northern Minnesota.

What are your hours?

We are open Monday through Friday from 8 to 5, except from noon to 1. The office is closed for all Band Holidays. During inclement weather, please call 1-800-709-6445 to determine if the Government Center is closed or is opening late. If the Government Center is closed due to weather, BMLA will also be closed.

Disclaimer

Legal Information Only

This website was created for informational purposes only. It is not meant to provide legal advice or form an attorney-client relationship. Legal advice is dependent on the unique circumstances of your situation. Deadlines are extremely important in most legal matters. You may lose important legal rights if you do not hire an attorney immediately to advise you. If in doubt, please call BMLA at 320-532-7798.

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