Author: Helen Hobson

Legal Aid of North Carolina (LANC) is proud to announce that its Chief Innovation Officer (CINO), Scheree Gilchrist, has been recognized by Triangle Business Journal as one of the recipients of the 2024 Women in Business Awards. This accolade celebrates women in the Triangle region who demonstrate outstanding leadership, showcasing accomplishments in both business and community service. 

For the past 26 years, Triangle Business Journal has been honoring women leaders in the area, and Gilchrist’s inclusion in the 2024 Women in Business Awards underscores her contributions to the legal and innovative landscape. 

As the CINO at LANC, Gilchrist shapes the organization’s strategic vision for innovation. She is at the forefront of developing sustainable plans that not only enhance access to justice for clients but also streamline internal processes to better serve the community.  

In her role, Gilchrist serves as the director of LANC’s Innovation Lab, a first-of-its-kind initiative in a legal services program nationwide. In this capacity, she leads an interdisciplinary team dedicated to collaboration, development and implementation of innovative ideas that revolutionize the delivery of legal services in North Carolina.  

Upon learning of her recognition, Gilchrist expressed her gratitude, stating, “I am deeply honored to be recognized among the outstanding women leaders in the Triangle. This award is a testament to the collective efforts of our team and our commitment to innovation in the pursuit of access to justice.” 

Learn more about Scheree Gilchrist here.  


Author: Helen Hobson

← Back to Family Law

RALEIGH, NC – The Child’s Advocate (TCA), a project of Legal Aid of North Carolina (LANC), is pleased to announce the appointment of Atiya M. Mosley as its new Project Director. Mosley, former co-director of TCA alongside Suzanne Chester, brings a wealth of experience and commitment to advocating for the rights and well-being of children.

Mosley, a graduate of George Washington University Law School, joined the Raleigh office of LANC in 2005 as a Domestic Violence Prevention Initiative attorney. Since 2017, she has been an integral part of TCA, where she has represented child clients and served as the Strategy Manager for the implementation of LANC’s Strategic Plan.

Mosley, a graduate of George Washington University Law School, joined the Raleigh office of LANC in 2005 as a Domestic Violence Prevention Initiative attorney. Since 2017, she has been an integral part of TCA, where she has represented child clients and served as the Strategy Manager for the implementation of LANC’s Strategic Plan.

In addition to her legal expertise, Mosley has presented numerous Continuing Legal Education (CLE) programs in the areas of lawyer well-being, ethics, domestic violence, and family law. Her dedication to her work has been recognized with the Attorney Child Advocate of the Year award in 2003 and the Wake Woman of the Year by the Wake Women Attorneys in 2016.

TCA, a project committed to providing attorneys for children in highly contested private custody cases, is appointed by judges in family court in Wake and Durham counties. The project addresses cases involving domestic violence, child abuse or mistreatment, substance abuse or mental instability of a parent, relocation of a parent, or a child with special needs.

“Our role is different from that of guardian ad litem (GAL). Instead of deciding what is best for our clients, we investigate and advocate for what our clients believe is best for them. To do this, we collaborate with mental health providers to better understand our clients’ perspectives and preferences. Throughout our representation of our clients, we maintain a confidential attorney-client relationship,” explains Mosley.

The project settles most cases without the need for a trial by collaborating with parents and their attorneys. In cases requiring a trial, TCA presents evidence and calls witnesses to ensure the court learns about the child’s experience, concerns and preferences.

Mosley expressed her enthusiasm about taking on this expanded role, stating, “I am excited and honored to lead The Child’s Advocate in making a real difference in the lives of children in North Carolina. Our commitment to providing representation and advocating for vulnerable children is unwavering. I look forward to continuing the impactful work of this project.”

TCA recruits and trains pro bono attorneys from the private family law bar to ensure that every child appointed an attorney has dedicated representation. The project aims to expand its services gradually to additional counties in North Carolina, furthering its mission to protect and advocate for the rights of children.

Read more about Mosley and her role at TCA in the Wake County Bar Association blog.

Learn more about TCA at


Author: Helen Hobson

Legal Aid of North Carolina – Central Carolina Office

Carrboro, NC – In a move to enhance accessibility and better serve the community, Legal Aid of North Carolina (LANC) relocated its historic “Pittsboro” office to Carrboro, North Carolina at the end of 2023.

Since its establishment in 2002, LANC’s “Pittsboro” office has been serving the eligible residents of Alamance, Orange, Chatham, Lee, Moore, Richmond, and Anson Counties. The new location, situated at 205 W. Main Street, Suite 203, Carrboro, NC 27510, within walking distance of various community organizations and accessible via public transportation lines, will continue to provide legal assistance to the same seven counties.

Additionally, to further extend reach and accessibility, the “Central Carolina” office will be opening a satellite office in downtown Sanford, Lee County, NC, in the Spring of 2024. This satellite office will complement existing services, ensuring that individuals in need of civil legal assistance in the seven-county region have access to support.

The “Central Carolina” LANC team, consisting of 10 attorneys and legal staff, specializes in areas such as domestic violence, family law, housing, consumer law, public benefits, and senior law and can be reached by phone at 919-542-0475.


Legal Aid of North Carolina is a statewide, nonprofit law firm that provides free legal services in civil matters to low-income people in order to ensure equal access to justice and to remove legal barriers to economic opportunity. Learn more at Apply for help online at or by phone at 1 (866) 219-LANC (5262).

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Media Contact

Helen Hobson, Chief Communications Officer, 704-430-7616,

Author: Helen Hobson

← Back to Disaster Relief

By Tiffany Smith, Attorney, Disaster Relief Project

Starting in August 2023, I began a journey across North Carolina that most people, including North Carolinians, had never done. Earlier that year in May, I attended a rural economic development seminar in Elizabeth City, NC. During that seminar, they provided a map of the most at-risk disaster areas in NC. At the top of the list was Hyde County. I had no clue where Hyde County was in NC, as I had never heard of it, but I decided to reach out to them that day. You see, I work as a staff attorney in Legal Aid of North Carolina’s Disaster Relief Project, and I am an African American female who is a double graduate of North Carolina Central University (NCCU). During the Elizabeth City presentation, the statistics showed that Hyde County is majority rural, and the African American community there is the most at risk of land loss during disasters than any other people in the state. Because of my background, I was immediately drawn to do outreach there. I scheduled a presentation on Disaster Relief’s services for August 2023.

Fast forward to August, and lo and behold I had completely forgotten to appropriately schedule myself. Instead, I was asked by a supervisor to do outreach in Haywood County, to which I had agreed. A day later, one of the teams’ paralegals called me and asked if I was still going to Hyde, and I replied yes. I had assumed the travel dates would be apart; however, when I looked at my schedule, I realized that I had to travel the entire length of the state of NC, from Hyde to Haywood, in a matter of days. Rather than cancel and not keep my word, I decided to travel to both events. At that point, I wanted to make it a journey and do outreach in every single county in NC. In that initial journey, I talked to people about the services of Legal Aid in at least 33 counties. In October and November, I realized that I had to travel the length of the state again, so I decided on a different route. By the end of November, I had traveled to 87 out of 100 counties. In December, over the holidays, I went on to complete my journey.

I am very interested in economic development, in addition to disaster relief. Traveling the state, I was able to learn about everyday people’s knowledge and curiosity of disasters and economic development. From this experience, I realized the top disaster on the majority of the state’s mind was active shooting and domestic terrorism. I was able to ask about natural disasters and climate change, and many of the people I spoke to were not as concerned. In terms of economic development, I realized much of the state is very rural. I noticed that there is no consistent and functional cell phone reception in much of the state. As a disaster relief team member, this concerned me. I realized that in the event of a disaster, many people will not be able to call for help. This may result in an underreporting of the number of disasters accounted for. In addition, in many of the rural counties, law enforcement presence is lacking, and in many urban communities, law enforcement and first responder presence is overrepresented. This leaves open the possibility of no first responders being able to access people in a timely manner in the event of a disaster.

Leaving aside the disasters, I learned that the most beautiful places in the state are not in the middle, but in the far east and west. They are the most rural and underdeveloped, but their natural beauty is more picturesque. Here are some of the hidden gems of North Carolina that I came across in my travels: Currituck County to the east, Rutherford County to the west, and Alamance County in central NC. I do look forward to traveling back to those for personal enjoyment, as well as a handful of other places that I would love to do day trips.

Author: Helen Hobson

Can you believe that 2023 is already over? What a year it’s been for Legal Aid of North Carolina! As we reflect on the past year, we find ourselves feeling grateful for the continued support from our community and proud of the progress we’ve made as an organization.

At the onset of 2023, we set goals aimed at delivering high-quality legal and non-legal services to eligible North Carolinians. This included preserving the stability and safety of individuals and families, defending the rights of homeowners and tenants, promoting economic stability and development, and safeguarding access to vital government benefits. We’d like to take a moment to share how we worked towards and met these objectives.

LANC by the Numbers

In 2023, we managed over 25,000 cases, empowering more than 65,000 individuals to understand and assert their rights. Our efforts extended to over 30,000 children in North Carolina. Our top service areas included issues such as domestic abuse, eviction, immigration/naturalization, federally subsidized housing, and criminal record expungement.

Within this framework, we addressed the unique challenges faced by our clients, whose average household income stood at $21,635 annually, reflecting 102.9% of the federal poverty level.

(a few of) Our Biggest Accomplishments

A standout achievement for us in 2023 was the launch of our Innovation Lab – a collaborative hub where interdisciplinary legal teams come together to develop and test ideas, leveraging new technologies to enhance the efficiency of legal services for North Carolinians. You can learn more about our Innovation Lab here.

In July 2023, our Farmworker Unit made headlines by filing a lawsuit against Lamm Farms, LLC, Alvarado’s Harvesting, LLC, and others for human trafficking and wage violations. As this case unfolds, we remain steadfast in our commitment to defending our client and other farmworkers against poor working conditions and withheld wages, with a vision to set a precedent for improved working conditions for all farmworkers. Learn more.  

Last October, we launched a campaign for Domestic Violence Awareness Month, including the debut of Beyond Fear, our first-ever documentary. Beyond Fear shines a light on the stories of survivors who sought support from our organization. These stories remind us of the hidden world of domestic violence, and we’re proud to stand with survivors breaking free from the cycle of abuse. You can watch Beyond Fear here.

Exciting, New Faces at LANC

In 2023, we introduced some new faces to our leadership team! Say hello to Chief Technology Officer Sean Burke, Chief Diversity Officer Demetrius Edwards, Director of Development Missy Hatley, and Chief Community Engagement Officer Niya Fonville Swint.

Sean Burke
Chief Technology Officer

Demetrius Edwards
Chief Diversity Officer

Missy Hatley
Director of Development

Niya Fonville Swint
Chief Community Engagement Officer

We would also like to give a shoutout to our new Board Chair, Nikki Feliciano of Pinto Coates Kyre & Bowers, PLLC. We thank her for taking the responsibility of representing our Board of Directors and look forward to her continued leadership in 2024!

Nikki Feliciano
Board Chair
Pinto Coates Kyre & Bowers, PLLC.

A Shoutout to CIU

The 17-year anniversary of our Centralized Intake Unit (CIU) was another cause for celebration. Beyond managing our intake process, the CIU staff delivers legal services and information by phone or online, alongside engaging in community education and outreach. Hats off to CIU for 17 years of making North Carolina more just!

An End of Year Suprise

The year concluded on a high note with a generous surprise from philanthropist Mackenzie Scott, who donated $5.5 million to Legal Aid of North Carolina. We express our gratitude for this donation, which will play a pivotal role in our work. A significant portion of these funds will go towards supporting our Domestic Violence Prevention Initiative, enabling us to go above and beyond in protecting survivors.

We can’t do our work without continued support and donations, so we’d like to thank all of you who champion our cause! Every dollar makes a difference.


To every member of our stellar team, our amazing community, and our generous donors, here’s a massive virtual hug. You made 2023 one for the books! As we head into 2024, get ready for more accomplishments, more impact, and a whole lot more justice for all North Carolinians. Let’s make it a year to remember!

Video: Year in Review 2023

Author: Helen Hobson

The holiday season is not only a time for festive decorations, delicious meals, and cherished traditions but also a season of compassion and generosity. We at Legal Aid of North Carolina rely on the spirit of giving. Our donors bridge the justice gap for our clients during some of the most difficult hardships of their lives.

Legal Aid of North Carolina is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing free legal services to low-income individuals and families across the state. We work to address a wide range of legal issues that affect basic needs like housing, employment disputes, domestic violence, child custody, and consumer rights.

For many low-income individuals and families, the holiday season can exacerbate existing challenges. Legal issues, such as eviction threats, loss of employment, or family conflicts, can become overwhelming during this time of year.

Holiday donations to Legal Aid of North Carolina can make a difference in the lives of those facing legal hardships. Here are several ways in which these contributions can have a positive impact:

  1. Preventing Homelessness:
    • We can help prevent evictions, ensuring that families have a safe and stable home during the holidays.
  2. Ensuring Employment Rights:
    • We can provide assistance to individuals facing unfair employment practices, securing their livelihoods and financial stability.
  3. Protecting Victims of Domestic Violence:
    • The holiday season can be particularly challenging for victims of domestic violence. Donations can enable us to offer legal support and protection to those in need.
  4. Promoting Consumer Rights:
    • Holiday donations allow us to advocate for consumer rights, preventing seniors and other vulnerable individuals from predatory practices.
  5. Providing Access to Education:
    • Our services also extend to ensuring access to education for children, guaranteeing that every child can learn and grow.

As we celebrate the holidays and express our gratitude for the blessings in our lives, we must remember those who are less fortunate. Your holiday donations to Legal Aid of North Carolina contribute to the creation of a more just and equitable society, where everyone has the opportunity to enjoy the season without the burden of legal hardships. This holiday season, let us come together to make a difference and spread the spirit of giving to ensure that justice is accessible to all.

Author: Helen Hobson

← Back to Family Law

When I started this project, I didn’t know what to expect. It’s not always easy to get people to share their stories, let alone such raw stories of fear and survival. To my surprise, we found three powerful, strong women who agreed to speak with me and did the strongest thing they could – share their stories.

‘Beyond Fear,’ a documentary that seeks to shed light on the stories of domestic violence survivors, came into being one morning in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina. As a first-time filmmaker, I embarked on this journey alongside a dedicated team of videographers, not knowing just how profoundly it would impact my life.

Our initial meeting was with Amy, the ultimate star of the film. She courageously welcomed us into her home, meeting us with love and openness that instantly put us at ease. Little did we know that this would be the beginning of an unforgettable journey.

As we spent time with Amy, we laughed together, cried together, and shared experiences that transcended mere words. Her warmth and resilience were palpable, and her willingness to relive painful memories for the sake of helping others was nothing short of inspirational. Amy’s story was one of survival, of breaking free from the clutches of an abusive relationship, and ultimately finding her strength. She was, and remains, a beacon of hope.

But Amy was just the beginning. After her, we had the privilege of meeting Aracely and Gina, two more incredible women who shared their stories with us. Like Amy, they opened their hearts and homes to a group of strangers, and their courage left an indelible mark on us.

What united these three remarkable women was not only their survival but also the vital role that Legal Aid of North Carolina played in helping them escape their painful situations. It was through the dedicated efforts of our domestic violence advocates that Amy, Aracely, and Gina found the legal support they needed to break free from their abusers and start anew.

As we delved deeper into their stories, it became evident that ‘Beyond Fear’ was not just a documentary but a powerful testament to the strength of survivors and the importance of organizations like ours. It highlighted the crucial role played by advocates and lawyers in helping survivors navigate the complex legal system and find their path to safety and healing.

I want to take a moment to extend my heartfelt gratitude to Amy, Aracely, and Gina. Your willingness to share your stories with us, to relive those painful moments, and to open your hearts and homes to our team was an act of immense courage and selflessness. You are the heart and soul of ‘Beyond Fear,’ and your strength will undoubtedly inspire countless others who watch your journey.

Written by Helen Hobson, Legal Aid of North Carolina’s Chief Communications Officer

Watch the documentary here:

Author: Helen Hobson

Organization received $500,000 grant from the Governor’s Crime Commission

RALEIGH, NC – August 17 2023 – Today, Legal Aid of North Carolina announced it has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the Governor’s Crime Commission, the chief advisory body on crime and justice issues to North Carolina’s Governor and Secretary of Public Safety, to support survivors of domestic violence, while also increasing awareness and education statewide.

Domestic violence related homicides in 2023 have also been increasing. Within the first six months of the year, 39 homicides have been reported, according to the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence Fatality Report.  In addition, from 2019 to 2021, there were more than 138,300 reports of assaults committed by former intimate partners or family members, according to the Criminal Justice Analysis Center, North Carolina’s Statistical Analysis Center.

“With the support of the Governor’s Crime Commission, we launched and will continue to come alongside survivors of domestic violence to empower and support them with services that can help them achieve stability and a path to independence,” said TeAndra Miller, project manager of Legal Aid North Carolina’s Domestic Violence Prevention Initiative. “This grant will also allow us to focus on educating and engaging residents throughout North Carolina about legal services and the resources that are available.”

The Governor’s Crime Commission (GCC) annually awards state and federal grants to North Carolina law enforcement, governmental bodies and related non-profit agencies.

Legal Aid of North Carolina will direct efforts towards launching an integrated domestic violence awareness campaign runs through National Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October. The campaign will include:

  • An interactive website, which will include resources for survivors
  • Compelling creative statewide outreach and events to increase awareness of services that are available through Legal Aid of North Carolina for survivors
  • A powerful documentary that provides an intimate look at stories of domestic violence survivors in North Carolina and a series of documentary screenings throughout the state to uplift and provide survivors with resources

About Legal Aid of North Carolina

Rooted in more than 40 years of experience, Legal Aid of North Carolina has provided legal assistance to any victim of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking, regardless of income or immigration status. Legal Aid of North Carolina is a statewide, nonprofit law firm that provides free legal services in civil matters to low-income people in order to ensure equal access to justice and to remove legal barriers to economic opportunity. Learn more at

Author: Helen Hobson

Innovations in the Legal Field and Launch of Legal Aid of North Carolina’s New Innovation Lab Discussed on “Talk Justice” a Legal Services Corporation podcast

Raleigh, NC – Legal Aid of North Carolina’s Chief Innovation Officer, Scheree Gilchrist, was recently featured on Legal Services Corporation’s Podcast “Talk Justice” in an episode titled “The First Legal Aid Innovation Lab.”

During the episode, Scheree Gilchrist joined host Cat Moon, Director of Innovation Design for the Program on Law and Innovation, to discuss groundbreaking innovations within the legal sector. A key focus of the conversation was the inauguration of Legal Aid of North Carolina’s Innovation Lab, an initiative aimed at driving transformative change in the delivery of legal services.

The podcast episode also highlighted guests Ashley Campbell, CEO of Legal Aid of North Carolina, and Jeff Kelly, partner at Nelson Mullins and chair of the advisory board for the Innovation Lab. The conversation revolved around the significance of innovation in fostering broader access to justice and addressing disparities in legal service delivery, particularly in rural areas.

Scheree Gilchrist highlighted the pivotal role of the Innovation Lab in shaping the future of legal aid, saying, “The Lab for us is really the vehicle by which we believe we will be able to fulfill and sustain the vision we have of being an innovative, efficient, and inclusive legal services provider.”

The mission of Legal Aid of North Carolina’s Innovation Lab is to revolutionize the legal landscape by enhancing the delivery of legal services, expanding access to justice, and combating inequities in underserved rural communities. By fostering collaboration, technological advancements, and fresh approaches, the Innovation Lab aims to make a lasting impact on individuals and communities that often face barriers in accessing legal assistance.

Ashley Campbell expressed the importance of the Innovation Lab, saying, “We know that innovation is needed and necessary for us to provide access to justice to all the folks that need it.”

Legal Aid of North Carolina is dedicated to enhancing the quality and accessibility of legal services for all North Carolinians. The “Talk Justice” podcast episode is a testament to the organization’s commitment to innovation and its proactive approach in reshaping the legal landscape.

For more information about Legal Aid of North Carolina and the Innovation Lab, please visit

Author: Helen Hobson

← Back to Farmworker, represented by Legal Aid of North Carolina and Farmworker Justice, Files Unpaid Wages and Human Trafficking Suit Against Eastern North Carolina Employers

Lamm Farms, others violated rights of H-2A farmworker

en español abajo

Raleigh, N.C. – On July 28, 2023, a North Carolina farmworker, represented by the Legal Aid of North Carolina’s Farmworker Unit (“FWU”) and Farmworker Justice (“FJ”) filed a lawsuit in the Eastern District of North Carolina [] against Lamm Farms, LLC, Alvarado’s Harvesting, LLC, and other defendants for human trafficking and state and federal minimum and overtime wage violations. The complaint also states causes of action for Defendants’ fraudulent inducement of employment, breach of contract, and unlawful retaliation. Plaintiff seeks actual and punitive damages for Defendants’ violations of law.

In 2022, Plaintiff Axel Campos Arroyo was recruited by Lamm Farms and their farm labor contractor, Alvarado’s Harvesting, LLC, to perform agricultural work in Bailey, NC on an H-2A temporary work visa. However, according to Mr. Campos Arroyo, when he arrived to North Carolina, he and his co-workers were subjected to horrific working conditions, where they worked upwards of 60 hours a week under constant threat of deportation and harm to their family members. Plaintiff alleges that he and his coworkers never received the wages Defendants promised to them and were required to be paid subject to the United States Department of Labor’s H-2A visa regulations. In addition, Plaintiff was forced to pay off to the recruiter and supervisor hired by Lamm Farms debts imposed upon him for his travel to North Carolina as part of the trafficking scheme. Despite the fact that Defendants were limited under the H-2A program to employing Plaintiff and his coworkers to perform only agricultural work, Defendants conspired with other employers to employ Plaintiff and his coworkers in construction work, where Plaintiff again worked more than 60 hours a week without overtime pay.

The complaint states that Lamm Farms and other Defendants confiscated Plaintiff’s and the other workers’ passports upon their arrival to North Carolina and did not provide them with details on the locations or farms where they would be working.

After Plaintiff escaped his employer-controlled housing in the middle of the night, Defendants repeatedly called and texted Plaintiff, threatening to have him arrested and deported to Mexico.

Labor traffickers frequently utilize recruitment practices that involve deception and illegal fees, trapping workers into debt, and threats related to immigration status to coerce workers to endure intolerable conditions. Both Farmworker Justice and FWU have seen a rise in the trafficking of agricultural workers in the past decade. In this case, Plaintiff alleges that Lamm Farms and the other defendants utilized similar methods to obtain workers to pick and harvest their crops and to maintain control over them and exploit their labor by forcing them to work long hours at poverty wages.

“Quite often farm owners delegate the role of worker recruitment to farm labor contractors, but this should not shield them from liability when these contractors violate the law by trafficking workers,” stated Trent Taylor, Staff Attorney for Farmworker Justice. “No one, regardless of where they’re from or the work they perform, should be forced to work under threat from their employer.”

“When the plaintiff lawfully arrived to the United States to perform work for Lamm Farms, he expected to be treated humanely and to be fairly compensated for his work. The defendants failed to pay him his promised and legally required wages, subjected him to the threats of retaliation if he complained or spoke up about their violations of law, and deprived him of the reimbursement of travel expenses they certified to the United States government that they would pay,” added Taylor.  


Legal Aid of North Carolina’s FWU focuses on representing H-2A and other farmworkers with employment and civil rights matters. Legal Aid of North Carolina is a statewide, nonprofit law firm that provides free legal services in civil matters to low-income people in order to ensure equal access to justice and to remove legal barriers to economic opportunity. Learn more at Farmworkers that have experienced issues in North Carolina and who have questions about their rights can call FWU’s confidential hotline at (919) 856-2180.

Farmworker Justice is a national non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C. that aims to empower farmworkers and their families to improve their living and working conditions, immigration status, health, occupational safety, and access to justice. FJ engages in policy advocacy, litigation, and capacity-building. Learn more at  


Trabajador agrícola, representado por Ayuda Legal de Carolina del Norte y Justicia Campesina, presentan una demanda por salarios no pagados y trata de personas contra empleadores del este de Carolina del Norte

Lamm Farms, y otros violaron los derechos de un trabajador agrícola H-2A

RALEIGH, NC – El 28 de julio de 2023, un trabajador agrícola de Carolina del Norte, representado por la División de los Trabajadores Agrícolas de Ayuda Legal de Carolina (“FWU” por sus siglas en inglés) y Justicia Campesina (“FJ” por sus siglas en inglés) presentó una demanda en el Distrito Este de Carolina del Norte [] contra Lamm Farms, LLC, Alvarado’s Harvesting, LLC y otros acusados por trata de personas y violaciones del salario mínimo estatal y federal y horas extras. La demanda también establece las causas de acción por: incentivo fraudulento de empleo, el incumplimiento del contrato, y por represalias ilegales de los Demandados. El Demandante busca daños reales y punitivos por las violaciones de la ley de los Demandados.

En el 2022, el Demandante Axel Campos Arroyo fue reclutado por Lamm Farms y su contratista de mano de obra agrícola, Alvarado’s Harvesting, LLC, para realizar trabajos agrícolas en Bailey, Carolina del Norte con una visa de trabajo temporal H-2A. Sin embargo, según el Sr. Campos Arroyo, cuando llegó a Carolina del Norte, él y sus compañeros de trabajo fueron sometidos a condiciones de trabajo horribles, donde trabajaban más de 60 horas a la semana bajo amenazas constantes de deportación y de daños a familiares. El Demandante alega que él y sus compañeros de trabajo nunca recibieron los salarios que los Demandados les prometieron y que son requeridos bajo las regulaciones de la visa H-2A del Departamento del Trabajo de los Estados Unidos. Además, el Demandante se vio obligado a pagar al reclutador, y a un supervisor contratado por Lamm Farms, las deudas que se le impusieron por su viaje a Carolina del Norte, como parte de un esquema de trata de personas. A pesar de que los Demandados estaban limitados bajo el programa H-2A, a emplear al Demandante y a sus compañeros de trabajo para realizar únicamente trabajos agrícolas, los Demandados conspiraron con otros empleadores para emplear al Demandante y sus compañeros de trabajo en trabajos de construcción, donde el Demandante de nuevo trabajó más de 60 horas a la semana sin recibir pago por horas extras.

La demanda establece que Lamm Farms y otros Demandados confiscaron los pasaportes del Demandado y de los demás trabajadores a su llegada a Carolina del Norte, y no les proporcionaron detalles sobre las ubicaciones o las granjas en donde trabajarían.

Después de que el Demandante escapó de la vivienda controlada por su empleador en medio de la noche, los Demandados llamaron y enviaron mensajes de texto repetidamente al Demandante, y amenazándole con hacer que lo arrestaran y deportaran a México.

Los traficantes de mano de obra frecuentemente utilizan prácticas de contratación que incluyen engaño y tarifas ilegales, atrapando a los trabajadores en deudas, y también amenazas relacionadas a su estado migratorio, para obligar a los trabajadores a permanecer bajo condiciones intolerables. Tanto Justicia Campesina como FWU han visto un aumento en la trata de personas de trabajadores agrícolas en la última década. En este caso, el Demandante alega que Lamm Farms y los otros Demandados utilizaron métodos similares para obtener trabajadores para recoger y cosechar sus cultivos y para mantener control sobre ellos y explotar su mano de obra obligándoles a trabajar muchas horas con salarios de pobreza.

“Muy a menudo, los propietarios de granjas delegan la función de reclutamiento de trabajadores a contratistas de mano de obra agrícola, pero esto no debería protegerlos de la responsabilidad cuando estos contratistas violan la ley al traficar con trabajadores,” declaró Trent Taylor, Abogado de plantilla de Justicia Campesina. “Nadie, sin importar de donde vengan, o del trabajo que realicen, debería ser obligado a trabajar bajo amenaza por parte de su empleador.”

“Cuando el Demandante llegó legalmente a los Estados Unidos para realizar un trabajo para Lamm Farms, esperaba recibir un trato humano y una compensación justa por su trabajo. Los Demandados dejaron de pagarle el salario prometido, y exigido legalmente, lo sometieron a amenazas de represalias si se quejaba o hablaba sobre sus violaciones de la ley, y le privaron del reembolso de sus gastos de viaje que ellos aseguraron que pagarían al gobierno de los Estados Unidos,” añadió Taylor.


La División para los Trabajadores Agrícolas de Ayuda Legal de Carolina del Norte se enfoca en representar a H-2A y otros trabajadores agrícolas en asuntos laborales y de derechos civiles. Ayuda Legal de Carolina del Norte es una firma de abogados sin fines de lucro en todo el estado que brinda servicios legales gratuitos en asuntos civiles a personas de bajos ingresos para garantizar la igualdad de acceso a la justicia y eliminar las barreras legales a las oportunidades económicas. Obtenga más información en Los trabajadores agrícolas que han experimentado problemas en Carolina del Norte y que tienen preguntas sobre sus derechos pueden llamar a la línea directa confidencial de FWU al (919) 856-2180.

Justicia Campesina es una organización nacional sin fines de lucro con sede en Washington, D.C. que tiene como objetivo empoderar a los trabajadores agrícolas y sus familias para mejorar sus condiciones de vida y de trabajo, estado migratorio, salud, seguridad ocupacional y acceso a la justicia. FJ se dedica a la promoción de políticas, litigios y desarrollo de capacidades. Obtenga más información en