Mobile Law Clinic May Be Illegal in Raleigh
By Brent Woodcox
If you remember way back in 2017 Raleigh’s city council began working on mobile retail regulations. At the time, this site covered the controversy that remains unresolved up to this point.
Just this week, a mobile law clinic operated by Osborn, Gambale, Beckley & Budd started offering its services pro bono to people who may not have the money to afford a lawyer. Seems like a great idea and a genuinely valuable way to serve people in need of legal aid in Raleigh. Unfortunately, it’s not currently legal in Raleigh.
Just last September, the whole effort to create regulations to allow mobile retail was scuttled. In the months since, a new proposal has come forward from city councilors. There will be a public hearing on the issue in front of council at their May 7 meeting.
In addition to limiting the use to mixed use zoning districts, which make up a relatively small portion of the city, there are oodles more regulations than were even proposed in 2017. There is a complete ban even on private property except in very specific circumstances. Probably the most key regulation is this:
So this new mobile law clinic helping to serve Raleigh’s underserved citizens will be limited to operating 10 weekends per year.
Again, I am forced to wonder. What exactly is this city council protecting us from?
Pro bono legal services? Access to justice for all? Charity?
Hopefully, once these wrongheaded, myopic regulations are passed by city council, the mobile clinic can file a lawsuit on their own behalf.
Maybe they’ll even find a free lawyer.