Legal aid kiosk now open at Franklin library

The new ATM-like machine at Johnson County Public Library’s Franklin branch doesn’t dispense cash, but does it dispense legal help.

The library’s new Legal Help Kiosk gives free information some residents may find helpful, especially those facing eviction. It is part of a $13.1 million federally-funded initiative that was paid for 120 kiosks throughout the state, said Abbie Bush, director of civil legal assistance programs for the Indiana Bar Foundation.

Because the comes from U.S. Department of the Treasury’s emergency rental assistance program, the kiosks are targeted at helping people facing eviction. The idea for the kiosks came through a partnership between the bar foundation and the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, or IHCDA, which awarded the grant, Bush said.

The kiosks will help prevent evictions, Indiana Lieutenant Suzanne Crouch, who oversees IHCDA, said in a news release from the Indiana Bar Foundation.

“This partnership furthers our mission of preventing eviction and promoting housing stability across our state,” Crouch said in the statement. “We are proud of this collaborative effort to provide pro bono legal services to Hoosiers navigating the courts.”

The kiosks include a computer to search the website, a printer for client documents, a scanner for clients to confidentially upload documents and a chat feature to connect them to remote legal navigators, according to Indiana Legal Help. The funding has also made additional resources available through, including free legal help in the Johnson County area, Bush said.

“This connects Hoosiers to legal support and services. It can connect them to forms, guides and other tools to answer questions they may have about eviction,” Bush said. “Most of the kiosks are placed in courthouses and libraries, as well as some community organizations. The goal was to place them in public places where people can access them.”

While the kiosk is currently centered on topics and resources regarding eviction, the range of services will likely expand in the future, library spokesperson Jody Veldkamp said in an email.

“At the kiosk, community members will find a listing of free legal clinics, connections to civil legal aid organizations, and court forms and guides for self-represented litigants,” Veldkamp said. “The kiosk furthers JCPL’s mission to connect our community to valuable resources with the help of statewide partners. The kiosk provides information to a network of legal services, including brief advice legal clinics, legal aid attorneys and non-attorney legal navigators to support Hoosiers facing eviction.”

The kiosks are available to patrons any time the library branch, at 401 State Street, is open. The branch is open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.