Category Archives: Legal

Legal Resources and information relevant to Sex Workers (Escorts, Adult Entertainers, Call Girls, Rent Boys, Sensual Massage Providers, Exotic Dancers, etc.) in the New Orleans area.

New-ish stuff–Please add to these lists if you can!

New Orleans Community Resource Guides via Common Ground Health Clinic

via the Common Ground Health Clinic website. Visit the their site for more community health (and other) resources.

Greater New Orleans Resource Guide

Table of Contents

  • Basic Needs Assistance – Page 4
  • Primary Health Care Clinics – Page 13
  • Mental Health – Page 21
  • Dental and Eye Care – Page 27
  • HIV / AIDS and STIs – Page 29
  • Reproductive Health – Page 32
  • Hospitals – Page 36
  • Prescription Assistance – Page 39
  • Addiction Services – Page 41
  • Anti-Violence Resources (Domestic abuse, sexual assault, etc.) – Page 45
  • Shelters and Housing – Page 47
  • Special Needs – Page 52
  • Employment – Page 56
  • Community Support & Education – Page 57
  • Formerly Incarcerated – Page 68
  • Justice & Legal Aid – Page 69
  • Recovery & Rebuilding – Page 73
  • Index – Page 75

Guia de Recursos Comunitarios de New Orleans (Actualizado: Julio de 2009)

Other resource guides available (via the ReachNOLA website):

West Bank Resource Guide (last updated January 2010)

Treme / 7th Ward Resource Guide (last updated January 2011)

Women’s Health Resource Guide (last updated February 2009)

Central City Resource Guide (last updated July 2010)

Registered as a Sex Offender for a Crime Against Nature Conviction? The Law Has Changed!! Louisiana Revised Statute 15:542(F)(4) – Crime Against Nature and Sex Offender Registry

From Deon Haywood of Women With a Vision:

Are you currently required to register as a sex offender for a crime against nature conviction? If so, the law has changed and you may no longer be required to register as a sex offender. In order to be relieved of your sex offender registration requirement, the new law requires you to do certain things, including filing what’s called a Motion in court to get you off the sex offender registry permanently. If you think this applies to you and you want to learn more about the new law and how to file a Motion in court, please come to one of the following Community Meetings organized by Women With A Vision and Orleans Public Defenders:

DATE TIME LOCATION coming soon

For more information about the Meetings, please contact:

Kim Diemer
Orleans Public Defenders
2601 Tulane Ave, 7th Floor
(504) 821-8101
kdiemer@opdla.org

Deon Haywood,ED
Women With A Vision
(504) 931-7944
deon@wwav-no.org

The new law states that “Any persons who was convicted of crime against nature…may file a motion in the court of conviction to be relieved of the sex offender registration and notification requirements.” (Louisiana Revised Statute 15:542(F)(4)). This law was passed by the Louisiana Legislature because the sex offender registration for those convicted of crime against nature was found unconstitutional.

———

Louisiana Revised Statute 15:542(F)(4))

(4)(a) Any person who was convicted of crime against nature (R.S. 14:89) prior to August 15, 2010, may file a motion in the court of conviction to be relieved of the sex offender registration and notification requirements of this Chapter if the offense for which the offender was convicted would be defined as crime against nature by solicitation (R.S. 14:89.2) had the offender been convicted on or after August 15, 2010. Offenders convicted of an offense under the laws of another state, or military, territorial, foreign, tribal, or federal law may file a motion in the district court of his parish of residence once the administrative procedures of R.S. 15:542.1.3 have been exhausted, and the elements of the offense of conviction have been found to be equivalent to the current definition of crime against nature by solicitation (R.S. 14:89.2). The provisions of this Subparagraph shall not apply to persons whose conviction for crime against nature pursuant to R.S. 14:89 involved the solicitation of a person under the age of seventeen and would authorize sentencing of the offender pursuant to R.S. 14:89.2(B)(3), had the offender been convicted on or after August 15, 2010.

(b) The motion shall be accompanied by supporting documentation to establish that the person was convicted of crime against nature prior to August 15, 2010, and that the offense for which the offender was convicted would be defined as crime against nature by solicitation (R.S. 14:89.2) had the offender been convicted on or after August 15, 2010.

(c) The district attorney, office of state police, and the Department of Justice, shall be served with a copy of the motion.

(d) If the supporting documentation described in Subparagraph (b) of this Paragraph is provided and meets the requirements of Subparagraph (4)(b), relief shall be granted unless the district attorney objects and provides supporting documentation proving that the offense for which the person was convicted, and which requires registration and notification pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter, involved the solicitation of a person under the age of seventeen.

(e) If the district attorney proves by clear and convincing evidence that the conviction for crime against nature pursuant to R.S. 14:89 involved the solicitation of a person under the age of seventeen, the court shall deny the motion to be relieved of the sex offender registration and notification requirements as provided by the provisions of this Paragraph.

(f) The provisions of this Paragraph shall not apply to any person who was convicted of one or more offenses which otherwise require registration pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter.

Know Your Rights!

Hilarious video on dealing with law enforcement. The first few minutes are Chicago-specific, so skip to 3 minutes in where she talks about constitutional rights that apply to all of us.

kittenINFINITE explains what your rights are if you are a sex worker arrested on the job, and what you should and should not do when dealing with law enforcement. The SWOP-Chicago gang re-enact some commonly used police tactics in interrogation and how you should handle yourself in each situation.

via redlightdistrictchicago.com

Also, check out SWOP-Boston’s Know Your Rights page.

Be Prepared! Emergency Response Worksheet

(via SWOP-Chicago)

Emergency Response Worksheet

In the event of an arrest, these steps will be taken to ensure that your responsibilities and other needs are taken care of…

1.    Memorize your lawyer’s phone number asap. If you don’t have a lawyer, memorize this number: _______________________________

2.    Memorize your Emergency Contact Person’s (ECP) phone number. In jail, they may only allow one call, usually to a land line. If this is the case, give your emergency contact person’s phone number to the lawyer’s secretary when you call and usually they don’t mind calling for you. If you meet with your lawyer prior to arrest, you can also put this information on file.

Emergency contact person:         _________________________
Phone: _______________ Email:     ______________________

List children/pets:
Circle one     Name           Emergency Care Person and phone
Child  Pet  Other    ______________    _______________________________________________
Child  Pet  Other   _________   _____________________________
Child  Pet  Other    ______________    _______________________________________________
(Use back of this sheet if more space is needed)
______________________________

3.    List an emergency care person for each child/pet and their contact info  (if different from Emergency Contact Person.) Your ECP will contact each care person and they will carry out your instructions. Make sure the emergency care person agrees to this responsibility before listing them.

4.    If you have Children, create a daily schedule on a separate sheet of paper. Keep this schedule updated each semester to reflect school/activity changes. Make sure the emergency contact as well as the emergency care people have this information in advance. You may also want to have a pet feeding/walking schedule.

5.    Have a plan for what you will tell your friends/ lovers/ family/ children/ school/ job/ etc. if an arrest occurs.

This is who you can call

Name____________ Relation_________ Number_________________
What to tell them___________________________________________
Name____________ Relation_________ Number_________________
What to tell them___________________________________________
Name____________ Relation_________ Number_________________
What to tell them____________________________________________

This is who you SHOULD NOT CALL

Name____________ Relation__________ Reason_________________
Name____________ Relation__________ Reason_________________

6.    Put aside money to live off of in case an arrest prohibits you from working for a while. It would also be a good idea to have money set aside for a lawyer, but just in case you don’t….

Who to call for money

Name____________ Relation__________ Number________________
Name____________ Relation__________ Number________________

7.    Decide if you want community/court support. If yes, join the phone/email tree and give a copy of the list to your Emergency Contact Person.  Contact SWOP-USA at 1-877-776-2004 for support.

8.    Keep this and all other material/information in a safe place where you don’t work.  Make sure you emergency response person has a KEY to your house.  Above all, make sure you KNOW YOUR RIGHTS!!!!

DO NOT KEEP ANY ER MATERIAL WHERE YOU WORK!

Get Legal Help

The Pro Bono Project:  Volunteer Lawyers Providing Access to Justice

LawHelp.org/La : Louisiana’s Online Guide to Free Legal Help

 

Feel free to leave a comment below with links to any sex-worker friendly legal resources you know of!

DON’T PANIC!! (Have a Plan in Case of Arrest)

(via SWOP-Boston)

If an arrest occurs in our community how will we respond? Often when a support sex worker gets arrested, s/he loses contact with his/her friends and support network. This is often because of the misguided notion that if one person is in trouble, his/her friends are also at risk. This is simply not true when dealing with state-level misdemeanors.

An arrest is an opportunity for us to unify and take action against the system that oppresses us. We can strengthen our community by demonstrating support for our colleague in need, we can get our messaging out into the media and we can prevent further intrusions by observing the legal process directly as it relates to sex workers.

We are a mixed group of people. Some are extremely private and concerned about confidentiality. Others choose to take extra precautions, but also are willing to speak publicly either as a sex worker or as an advocate for the rights of sex workers. In the event of an arrest within our community, having an emergency response plan in place will make it possible for people in all areas of the privacy continuum to actively participate in a pro-active approach to dealing with risk.

I’m going to make a brief outline of how this system can work and I’m curious to see what direction others may like to take it in. Please respond back with any questions/concerns you have so that we can modify and develop this into a realistic peer support project.

Phase 1: Individual Emergency Plan

If an individual in our community gets arrested, there will be some essential immediate tasks that they will need somebody to deal with. I’m going to try to summarize an example of how an Emergency Response (ER) can deal with these issues…

Kandie has one daughter named Rachel, a parakeet and a Golden Retriever. Her partner, Steve, lives in another town about 30 mins away. She lives in an apartment in the Sunset and works nearby in a separate location. On Tuesdays, her daughter gets out of school at 3pm and has soccer practice from 4pm-5:30pm. The dog stays in the house all day and she lets him out to relieve himself once every two hours. The parakeet is fine in his cage for a day or two as long as his food and water are full.

On a Tuesday afternoon Kandie has a meeting with a new client at 10 am, then she plans to take her dog for a walk, stop by the post office to post bills, take a steak out of the freezer to thaw for dinner, and head over to the school to pick up Rachel, prepare her a snack and take her to soccer practice.

Unfortunately, the 10am appt turned out to be a sting, despite the fact that Kandie got a reference. Kandie is arrested and her in-call location gets destroyed while the police dig around for evidence. Fortunately, Kandie didn’t keep her computer, cell phone or other records in her space. By 12 noon, Kandie is in the back of a cop car being transported to 850 Bryant.
After being processed, Kandie is permitted to make one call. She calls the number that she has memorized, it is the home phone number of her trusted friend Angela. Angela answers and Kandie only has to say that she’s been picked up and Angela knows exactly what steps to take because they worked out their emergency response plan in advance.

Angela looks at her ER schedule and sees that Rachel is out of school at 3pm and has soccer from 4-5:30pm. Angela has enough time to pick Rachel up from school, get her a snack, grab the out-going mail and walk with the dog to the park where Rachel’s practice is held. However, she’s working the 6-11pm shift at the Lusty Lady and can’t afford to take the night off. She calls Steve to let him know what’s happening. He says he can leave work early and meet them at the park by 5pm so that Angela can get to work on time. He has an early meeting the next morning, so Angela will need to come back after her shift and spend the night so that she can get Rachel off to school in the morning.

During this time, Angela and Steve have told Rachel whatever story Kandie prepared in advance (maybe out of town for work, dealing with family emergency, maybe the truth, etc) They worked as a team to ensure that Rachel’s day was not seriously disrupted in order to minimize the stress and confusion that Rachel may be experiencing with her mother’s abrupt absence.
Since Kandie knew her rights, she told the arresting officers and all of the officers at the jail that she would like to remain silent and would like to see her lawyer. The officers don’t like people who invoke their rights and they decide to fuck with her. So they keep her in overnight. Luckily, Angela had the phone number to Kandie’s lawyer and called her immediately after speaking to Kandie. Kandie’s lawyer meets with her in jail and gets her out asap.

While Kandie was in jail, she knew that her child and pets were being well cared for by her loved ones. Since she didn’t have to worry about Rachel and the pets, she was able to focus on her situation. She requested a piece of paper and pencil, which she’s entitled to by state law and she writes down every detail she can remember of the entire arrest- including the badge number of the officer who called her a skank and said “Women like you are trash.” Her very detailed notes will be useful to her lawyer during phase 2 of the ER plan.

When Kandie gets out she has just enough time to go home and shower and then pic Rachel up at school on Wednesday. Rachel is happy to see her and Kandie chooses how much of the story, if any, she’s going to tell her. Kandie has a court date in a couple days and has to choose whether to plea guilty to disturbing the peace or to fight the charges and demand her jury of peers.

Phase 2: Court Support/Teamwork

Kandie knows that the charges are bogus and that the SFPD will have a very difficult time finding a jury in SF that will actually find her guilty. She’s not ashamed of what she does for a living and has told her loved ones what she does, so she’s not afraid to fight the charges. Despite feeling confident, Kandie knows that this will be a difficult and humiliating process, so she activates the Emergency Response Network for support.

Once kandie knew her court date and details, she called the first number on her ER phone tree. She gave all of the details to that person, who then called the next person on the list, and so on and so on. The members of the ER team who have time will sit in court with her when she enters her plea. They will also be available to help get Rachel to/from school if court dates conflict with her schedule. Whike this form of support will not necessarily change the outcome of kandie’s sentencing, she will feel stronger and less humiliated when her peers are present to provide moral support.

Kandie’s lawyer will determine whether or not direct action is useful in this case. Direct action would include things such as writing letters to the editor to express outrage at kandie’s arrest, asking people in the community to write letters to Kandie’s judge that express why she’s a good person and model citizen to demonstrate the absurdity of trying her, etc. Each different case will need to have a different direct action plan based on the circumstances of the case, the preferences of the defendant, and the recommendations of the lawyer.

-Individual Plan
*Be strong!
*Take legal trainings, know your rights and BE PREPARED!
*Identify your emergency point people
*Create list of priorities for what needs to be cared for in your absense
*Create schedule of children’s activities, pet feeding, plant watering, etc.
*Memorize emergency point people’s phone numbers
*Know who your lawyer will be or make preparations for dealing with a public defender
*Have plan for what you will tell your kids/parents/lovers/etc in the event of an arrest
*Put aside money to live on while potentially being unable to work

-Court Support
*Make contact with other sex workers in your region
*Participate and Develop ER phone tree/email lists, then distribute phone tree to all participants
*Develop court support plans
*Follow through with ER plan (make phone calls, attend court hearing, attend meetings, etc.)