2017 Civil Right to Counsel Bills

 

Listed below are all of the 2017 bills that address the right to counsel in civil cases.  The NCCRC monitors all such bills and regularly reports on their progress, and we also are involved with some of them.


 

 

Enacted bills

 

State Bill # Sponsor

Description

Status

     

 

 

 

Pending bills

 

State Bill # Sponsor

Description

Status

AR SB 18 Sen. Clark

Would remove the indigency requirement for a parent to have a right to counsel in termination of parental rights cases.

 

Prefiled on 12/2/16.  Referred to Judiciary Committee on 1/9/17.

AZ HB 2098 Rep. Thorpe

Requires the public defender to be appointed in civil forfeiture proceedings.

 

Introduced and referred to JPS, FPRPP, and Rules Committees on 1/17/17.  FPRPP Committee approved on 1/24/17.

CT SB 496

Sen. Doyle

Would implement recommendations of legislative Task Force to Improve Access to Counsel in Civil Matters, which would create right to counsel for cases involving restraining orders, evictions, detained removal, and child custody.

 

Introduced and referred to Joint Committee on Judiciary on 1/20/17.

CT SB 364

Sen. Looney

Would increase access to legal representation in basic human needs civil cases (details not specified).

 

Introduced and referred to Joint Committee on Judiciary on 1/19/17.

 

D.C. B22-0012

Councilmember Evans

 

Requires court to appoint counsel for minor ward who is 14 or older in guardianship prior to authorizing expenditures for certain medical treatments.  Also permits court to appoint counsel for minor ward in protective order proceeding involving minor's property.

 

Introduced on 1/6/17.  Referred to Judiciary and Public Safety Committee on 1/10/17.

 

D.C. B22-0024 various Council members

Would expand representation in certain kinds of housing cases.  Read more.

Introduced and referred to Judiciary and Public Safety Committee on 1/10/17. 

 

GA SB 130 Numerous cosponsors in Senate

Would require that waiver of counsel for parents is knowing/voluntary and on the record.

 

Introduced on 2/7/17.  Committee substitute approved on 2/17/17.

 

HI HB 506  Rep. Nishimoto

Would permit arbiter in family law disputes not involving custody to appoint counsel for the child at the expense of the parties.


Introduced on 1/20/17.  Referred to Judiciary Committee on 1/25/17. 
HI SB 1061 Sen. Shimabukuro

Would address timing of appointment of counsel for parents in child welfare proceedings.

Referred to JDL and WAM committees on 1/31/17.

 

IA HB 133 Judiciary Committee

Requires that GALs for children in dissolution and custody actions be attorneys, and specifies that court can appoint an attorney separate from GAL (at which point same person cannot fill both roles).


Introduced on 1/30/17.  Passed House on 2/14/17.  Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee on 2/14/17.

IL HB 689 / SB 1578 Reps. Guzzardi, Anderson, Demmer, Riley, and Skillicorn / Sen. Harmon

Would permit person not named in forfeiture complaint who claims to have interest in property to intervene, and permits court to appoint counsel for such person. 

HB 689 Introduced and referred to Rules Committee on 1/25/17.  Assigned to Judiciary Criminal Committee on 2/8/17.

 

SB 1578 introduced on 2/9/17.

 

IN SB 8 Sens. Boots, Young, Kruse, and Randolph

Would require a criminal conviction prior to forfeiture, and where defendant is represented by Public Defender in criminal proceeding, would authorize PD's office to represent the individual in the forfeiture proceeding.


Introduced and referred to Committee on Corrections and Criminal Law on 1/3/17.

IN SB 113 Sen. Cruse

Would abolish civil forfeiture and provide a right to counsel for criminal forfeiture proceedings.

 

Prefiled and sent to Committee on Corrections and Criminal Law on 1/4/17.

MA SD 694 Sen. DiDomenico

Would guarantee counsel for indigent tenants in eviction cases.

 

Filed on 1/17/17.

MD HB 1165 Numerous delegates

Establishes procedures to set up visitation of person subject to guardianship by family, and permits court to appoint counsel for ward in visitee proceeding.

 

Introduced and read by Health and Government Operations on 2/9/17.  Hearing set for 2/22/17.

ME HB 363 Numerous cosponsors

Would require appointment of counsel for child in child protective proceedings who is living with relative.

 

Introduced and referred to Judiciary Committee on 2/2/17.

MN HB 988 Numerous cosponsors

Creates process for minor to petition for emancipation, and permits court to appoint counsel for minor or parents.

 

Introduced and referred to Civil Law and Data Practices Policy Committee on 2/9/17.

MS HB 1033 Reps. Gipson and Bomgar

Would require counsel to be appointed prior to incarceration for failure to pay fees/fines.

 

HB 1033 introduced and referred to Judiciary B on 1/16/17.  Committee substitute (which removed right to counsel) favorably voted on 1/26/17.  Motion to reconsider tabled on 2/10/17.  Transmitted to Senate on 2/11/17.  Referred to Judiciary A on 2/20/17.

 

MT HB 59 Rep. Dukik at request of Task Force on State Public Defender Operations

Requires putative father to be successfully served and to request counsel before counsel is appointed in child welfare proceedings.

 

Introduced on 12/9/16.  Passed Judiciary Committee on 1/11/17.  Passed House on 1/13/17.  Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee on 1/16/17.  Committee amended bill on 2/3/17.  Returned to House with amendments on 2/8/17.  Passed Senate on 2/13/17.  Sent to Governor on 2/20/17.

 

NE LB 526 Sen. Morfeld

Would require appointment of counsel for contempt proceedings related to debt collection.


Filed on 1/18/17.  Referred to Judiciary Committee on 1/20/17.  Hearing set for 2/22/17.



NH SB 200 Numerous senators and reps

Would require appointment of counsel prior to incarcerating a person for failure to pay fines/fees or perform community service.


Introduced and referred to Judiciary Committee on 1/30/17.  Hearing on 2/7/17.  Committee voted to pass on 2/9/17.  Senate passed on 2/16/17.

 

NJ AB 4015 Reps. Dancer and Huttle

Would require appointment of counsel for minors subjected to civil commitment (current law only requires counsel if appointed GAL is not an attorney).


Introduced and ref'd to Assembly Human Services Committee on 6/30/16.
NJ SB 89 Sen. Whelan

Specifies that child's appointed counsel continues past termination of parental rights until permanent placement has been finalized.

Introduced and ref'd to Senate Judiciary Committee on 1/12/16.  Ref'd to Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee on 5/5/16.


NJ AB 1099 / AB 3981 Numerous assembly sponsors

Requires counsel to be appointed for new process for involuntary substance abuse admissions.

AB 1099 introduced and ref'd to Assemby Human Services Committee on 1/27/16.

 

AB 3981 introduced and referred to Human Services Committee on 6/20/16.


NY AB 3666 Numerous Assembly sponsors

Creates process for involuntary civil commitment due to substance abuse, and requires appointment of counsel.


Introduced and referred to Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Committee on 1/30/17.

NY AB 4305 Assemblyman Lawrence

Requires minor to notify parents prior to abortion, and provides right to appointed counsel upon request if minor seeks judicial bypass of parental notification requirement.

 

Introduced and referred to Health Committee on 2/2/17.

NY AB 5524 / SB 4407 Numerous Assembly cosponsors / Sen. Lanza

Increases age of consent to marry to 17, and requires court to appoint counsel if applicant for marriage is 17 years old.

AB 5524 introduced and referred to Judiciary Committee on 2/10/17.


SB 4407 introduced and referred to Judiciary Committee on 2/14/17.


NY AB 5637 Numerous Assembly cosponsors

Requires minor to obtain parental consent prior to abortion, and provides right to appointed counsel upon request if minor seeks judicial bypass of parental consent requirement.

 

Introduced and referred to Health Committee on 2/14/17.

NY SB 17 Sen. Hoylman and various cosponsors

Establishes paternity proceedings for children born through artificial insemination or surrogate parenting, and requires counsel to be appointed for child.


Prefiled on 12/29/16.  Referred to Judiciary Committee on 1/4/17.


NY AB 2433 Numerous Assembly sponsors

Establishes new procedure for addressing abandoned infants, and requires appointment of counsel for such infants.


Introduced and referred to Judiciary Committee on 1/20/17.

NYC Intro 214-A Councilmembers Levine/Gibson + veto-proof majority

Would create a right to counsel for eviction and foreclosure cases for those at 200% or below of poverty level.

Introduced and ref'd to Committee on Courts and Legal Services on 3/26/14.  Re-ref'd to Committee on 2/24/15.  Committee public hearing held on 9/26/16.  Mayor announced intention to fund on 2/12/17.


NYC Intro 96 Councilmember Mendez + 40 co-sponsors

Would create a right to counsel for eviction and foreclosure cases for seniors at a certain income level.

Introduced and ref'd to Committee on Aging on 2/26/14. Committee hearing held on 10/26/16.


OK SB 93 Sen. Smalley, Rep. Biggs

Would require appointment of counsel or a GAL for a child in need of medical treatment prior to releasing said child from emergency state custody if parents rely on spiritual means alone to treat child.

 

Introduced on 2/6/17.  Referred to Judiciary Committee on 2/7/17.
OR HB 2021 Rep. Barker, Sen. Courtney

Establishes procedure to detain person as sexually violent offender after completion of prison sentence, and requires counsel for proceedings.

 

Introduced on 1/9/17.  Referred to Judiciary Committee on 1/17/17.
OR SB 501 Senate Committee on Judiciary

Requires court to appoint counsel for adult protective proceedings (including guardianships) upon request, provided that court holds hearing.

 

Introduced and sent to President's desk on 1/9/17.  Referred to Judiciary and Ways and Means Committee on 1/17/17.
OR SB 502 Senate Committee on Judiciary

Requires court to hold hearing for any petition for appointment of fiduciary or guardian filed by a county public guardian, and requires counsel to be appointed for such hearings.


Introduced and sent to President's desk on 1/9/17.  Referred to Judiciary and Ways and Means Committee on 1/17/17.

PA HB 384 Numerous cosponsors

Creates process for involutary treatment due to drugs/alcohol and requires appointment of counsel for such proceedings.


Introduced and referred to Human Services Committee on 2/7/17.


PA SB 314 Numerous cosponsors

Creates process for registration of domestic violence predators, and requires appointment of counsel for those challenging registration.


Introduced and referred to Judiciary Committee on 2/15/17.


RI HB 5503 Reps. Jacquard, Vella-Wilkinson, Morin, Null, and Nunes

Would replace current sex offender registration and notification requirements (which include right to appointed counsel to challenge registration/notification) with federal SORNA (which does not).


Introduced and referred to House Finance Committee on 2/15/17.

TX HB 205 Rep. Keough 

Requires counsel to be appointed when suit brought against parent for required participation in court-ordered services.


Prefiled on 11/14/16.  Referred to Human Services Committee on 2/14/17.

TX HB 596 / SB 469 Rep. Johnson / Sen. West

Requires counsel or GAL appointed for child in conservatorships to continue appointment as long as child remains in conservatorship.

HB 596 filed on 12/14/16.  Referred to Juvenile Justice and Family Issues Committee on 2/20/17.

 

SB 469 filed on 1/12/17.  Referred to Health and Human Services Committee on 2/6/17.

 

VT HB 263 Reps. Lucke, Frank, Christie, Dunn, and Savage

Provides procedure for health care worker exposed to bodily fluids of patient with communicable diseas to petition court to obtain blood sample from patient, and provides right to appointed counsel for "any indigent client not already represented."

 

Introduced and referred to Human Services Committee on 2/14/17.
WA HB 1003 / SB 5320 numerous House sponsors / numerous Senate sponsors

Requires parental notification for minor to obtain abortion, and requires appointment of counsel for minor in judicial bypass proceeding.

 

HB 1003 prefiled on 12/6/16.  Assigned to Health Care and Wellness Committee on 1/9/17.

 

SB 5320 introduced and referred to Law and Justice Committee on 1/20/17.  Public hearing on 1/26/17.  Senate approved on 2/8/17.

 

 

WA HB 1251 / SB 5363 Numerous sponsors

Would require counsel to be appointed for child two years or older in dependency proceeding.

 

HB 1251 introduced and referred to Judiciary Committee on 1/16/17.  Public hearing on 1/24/17.  Judiciary Committee approved substitute on  2/9/17.  Referred to Appropriations Committee on 2/13/17.

 

SB 5363 introduced and referred to Human Services, Mental Health & Housing Committee on 1/20/17.  Public hearing on 1/30/17.

 

Dead bills

 

State Bill # Sponsor(s)

Description

Status

IL

HB 468  Rep. Riley   Would abolish civil forfeiture and provide a right to counsel for criminal forfeiture proceedings.

Filed and referred to Rules Committee on 1/17/17.  Assigned to Judiciary - Criminal Committee on 2/2/17.  House tabled bill on 2/16/17.


 MS

HB 672 / SB 2527 Rep. Wooten / Sen. Horhn

Would require counsel to be appointed prior to incarceration for failure to pay fees/fines.


HB 672 introduced and referred to Judiciary A on 1/13/17.  Died in Committee on 1/31/17.

 

SB 2527 introduced and referred to Judiciary A Committee on 1/16/17.  Died in committee on 1/31/17.


 

 

NH

HB 422 Rep. Brewster  Would repeal the child protection act, including the right to counsel for parents.

Introduced and referred to Children and Family Law Committee on 1/5/17.  Public hearing held on 1/24/17.  Committee voted Inexpedient to Legislate on 2/10/17, and House concurred on 2/15/17.

 

VA

HB 1510 Del. Lindsey Requires court to appoint attorney as GAL for "any party under a disability" (rather than just defendants under disability), as opposed to staying proceedings.

 Introduced and referred to Committee for Courts and Justice on 12/20/16.  Assigned to Civil Law subcommittee on 1/13/17.  Subcommittee recommended striking from docket on 1/16/17.  Left in Courts of Justice on 2/7/17.