Practicing Law|Without a License

     NEW ORLEANS (CN) – A website that sells “tailor made pleadings” and “legal documents” is practicing law without a license, a frustrated customer claims in a class action lawsuit.
     Lead plaintiff Latoisha Van Buren sued Pro Se Planning in Orleans Parish Court.
     Van Buren claims she paid Pro Se Planning $149 for divorce papers she could not legally file in Louisiana. She bought the paper from the Washington state-based company through its website, Van Buren says.
     “Pro Se Planning, Inc. prepares legal documents to the general public through its website, Pro Se Planning, Inc. offers this service by utilizing ‘form filing’ software on its website, whereby consumers input personal information about their marriage and ‘tailor made’ pleadings and/or legal documents, including petitions for divorce, are created,” according to the complaint.
     Van Buren says she filled out a questionnaire about her marital status on the site on Aug. 7, and paid $149 for a divorce petition.
     She says Pro Se Planning advertises itself as a “money-saving alternative to lawyers.”
     But Van Buren claims the company is not licensed to practice law in Louisiana and any contracts for legal services with nonlawyers in the state “are absolutely null.”
     Van Buren estimates the class contains more than 100 people.
     She class certification, an injunction, and she wants her money back, and costs.
     She is represented by Roberto Costales, of New Orleans.
     A Pro Se Planning employee declined to comment on the lawsuit.

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