What is the DOVE Project?
The Domestic Violence Emergency (DOVE) Project is a program of the New Hampshire
Bar Association's Pro Bono Referral Program that provides victims of domestic violence with emergency legal services. DOVE is operated in partnership with domestic violence services agencies throughout New Hampshire and relies on the donated services of specially trained attorneys.
Who qualifies for assistance?
How to apply for Assistance
DOVE may be able to provide legal representation when you need to petition the court for a protective order.
Eligibility for services through the DOVE Project is based on two factors:
- your financial situation shows you cannot afford legal counsel; and
- the circumstances of your case fit the guidelines below.
You should ask for DOVE representation when you need protection from abuse and one or more of the following are true:
- your children from the abusive relationship need a custody, visitation or child support order; or
- you have a developmental disability, mental illness or some other issue that interferes with your ability to represent yourself; or
- you are facing criminal charges or a civil suit as a result of the abuse; or
- the defendant has an attorney.
The Agency Link
To be represented by a volunteer DOVE attorney, you must contact a local New Hampshire domestic violence services agency
. Call 1-866-644-3574 (available 24 hours) to find the agency in your area. When you apply for assistance through DOVE, domestic violence advocates will ask for details about your situation and finances. They need this information to see if you qualify for representation by a DOVE attorney.
If you are eligible for a referral based upon DOVE guidelines, the domestic violence services agency will contact its panel of volunteer lawyers who have pledged to represent victims of abuse. DOVE Project lawyers are private lawyers from the community who donate their legal services through DOVE. If the advocate is able to find a lawyer, you will be given the volunteer attorney's name and telephone number to contact. You should do this as soon as possible to allow the maximum amount of time to prepare your case.
The Client's Role
Other Legal Matters
It is important that your DOVE lawyer receives all the information that relates to the abuse as soon as possible. You can help to prepare your case by gathering the following information:
- medical records of injuries resulting from the abuse as well as the name of the treating physician or hospital, if any;
- police reports;
- names, addresses and telephone numbers of witnesses to the abuse;
- photographs of damages or injuries;
- any contact the defendant has had with you (such as printed e-mail messages, letters, cards, answering machine messages, etc.) that refers to the violence or threatens you; and
- estimates for repair costs of property the defendant has damaged in the course of the abuse.
Printable DOVE Brochures
The DOVE Project handles only domestic violence cases brought under RSA 173-B. The DOVE Project does not handle divorces, child support, or parental rights and responsibilities. If you are low-income and need legal advice in these matters, call the Legal Advice & Referral Center
(LARC) at 1-800-639-5290 or speak to your crisis center about how to access additional legal and social services. They may refer your case to the Pro Bono Referral Program for placement with a volunteer attorney.