2021/2022 CIVIL RIGHT TO COUNSEL BILLS

 

Listed below are all of the 2021/2022 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.


Where any bills from a prior year are listed as "active", they are carryover bills.


 

 

Enacted bills

 

State Bill #

Description

Latest Status

AR HB 1379

Requires court to appoint counsel in adoption cases for limited purpose of assisting birth parent execute or withdraw consent to adoption.

 

Became law on 4/6/21.
AZ HB 1391  

Establishes child's right to counsel in dependency and termination of parental rights cases.

 

Signed by Governor on 4/14/21.
AZ SB 1417   

In context of health care directives, authorizes court to appoint attorney when principal or another person petitions court to require agent to allow principal to have contact with someone.

 

Signed by Governor on 5/21/21.

 

CO

HB 1094

 

Creates program to provide voluntary extended foster care for youths 18-21 and requires court to appoint counsel for the process.

 

Signed by Governor on 6/25/21.
CT

HB 6531

 

 

Provides a right to counsel for low-income tenants facing eviction.

 

Signed by Governor on 6/10/21.

 

DC B23-0181

Authorizes court to appoint counsel for a minor in certain protective order or anti-stalking cases provided it would not unduly delay issuance of order.

 

Returned by the Mayor on 1/14/21. 
FL SB 80

Requires court to appoint counsel for caregiver of child in certain circumstances when change of custody sought post-disposition in child welfare cases.

 

Approved by Governor on 6/29/21. 

HI HB 345

Changes law for assisted community placement for drug/alcohol treatment such that a guardian ad litem is appointed instead of the public defender.

 

 

Approved by Governor on 6/24/21.

 

IA HB 743

Requires public defender to represent person seeking adoption of child after TPR, provided that public defender was involved in the TPR. 

 

 
Signed by Governor on 6/8/21. 
MD HB 18

Provides a right to counsel for low-income tenants facing eviction.

 

 Became law on 5/28/21.

 

MO  HB 429

Eliminates birth parent's right to counsel in adoption cases but preserves authority for court to appoint counsel for birth parent on discretionary basis.

 

 Signed by Governor on 4/22/21.
MT SB 104

Permits court to appoint attorney for a child in an arbitrated child custody dispute.

 

 
Signed by Governor on 2/23/21. 
NC HB 132

Requires court to appoint provisional counsel for parent if motion to amend/modify child welfare order is filed and parent's previously-appointed attorney was released.

 

 Signed by Governor on 8/6/21.
ND HB 1035  

Requires court to appoint counsel for child in Child in Need of Care cases, and in child protection cases where child is "of sufficient age and competency to assist counsel."

 

Signed by Governor on 4/28/21. 
NV SB 7

Requires court to appoint counsel for minor respondents in order of protection cases.

 

 

Approved by Governor on 5/27/21.

 

NV

SB 70

 

Requires appointed counsel for involuntary outpatient treatment services.

 

Approved by Governor on 6/4/21. 

 

NV

SB 274 

 

Creates process for admission of commercially sexually exploited child to receiving center or secured child care facility, and provides right to counsel for parents and children.

 

Approved by Governor on 6/4/21. 
OR SB 578  

Requires court to appoint counsel for respondent in adult protective proceedings where respondent requests counsel or objects to proceedings.

 

Signed by Governor on 6/23/21.

 

TX HB 567  

Requires court to appoint attorney ad litem for child and parent (immediately after petition but before hearing) where state petitions to require parent to participate in certain services.

 

 Effective without Governor's signature on 5/15/21.
TX HB 3041

Creates pilot program for family preservation services in lieu of placing child in foster care, and requires appointment of attorney ad litem for both parent and child.

 

Signed by Governor on 6/4/21.

TX HB 3394

Authorizes court to appoint attorney ad litem upon court's own motion or motion of interested person in situation where there is belief that guardian of protected person is themselves suffering from incapacity.

 

 Signed by Governor on 6/4/21.

 

TX HB 1315

Specifies that GAL or attorney ad litem, or counsel appointed for child, in proceeding for state to become managing conservator continues as long as the child is in conservatorship.

 
 Signed by Governor on 6/16/21.
WA SB 5160  

Requires court to appoint counsel for indigent tenants in eviction court proceedings.

 

Signed by Governor on 4/22/21.

 

WA HB 1219  

Requires court to appoint counsel for all children in dependency proceedings.

 

Signed by Governor on 5/10/21. 

 

  

Active bills

 

State Bill #

Description

Latest Status

federal HB 530 ("REUNITE Act")

Guarantees appointment of counsel for children and vulnerable adults in immigration removal proceedings.

 

Referred to Judiciary Committee on 1/28/21.

 

federal unnumbered ("U.S. Citizenship Act")

Guarantees appointment of counsel for children and vulnerable adults in immigration removal proceedings.

 

Not yet introduced. 
federal

S. 901 ("Funding Attorneys for Indigent Removal Proceedings Act")

 

Requires court to appoint counsel if necessary to children and vulnerable adults in immigration removal proceedings.

Introduced on 3/25/21.

federal

HB 6 ("American Dream and Promise Act of 2021")

 

Requires appointed counsel for people appealing denial of adjustment of immigration status.

 

Passed House on 3/18/21.  Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee on 3/22/21.


federal

HB 3580 ("Eviction Prevention Act")

 

Provides federal funding for cities/states to expand tenant representation, with priority going to jurisdictions that have established a right to counsel for tenants facing eviction.

 

Referred to Committee on Financial Services and Judiciary Committee on 5/28/21.

 

federal SB 1927 (CAPTA)

Amends Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment act (CAPTA) to require appointment of counsel for both parents and children.

 

Reported favorably with substitute from Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions on 6/19/21.

 

federal SB 2234 ("Affordable HOME Act")

Creates federal funding for cities/states that enact a right to counsel for tenants facing eviction.

 

Referred to Committee on Finance on 6/24/21.

 

AL HB 394

Eliminates civil forfeiture in some circumstances and specifies that PD may/shall represent person in forfeiture portion of criminal proceeding if that person was already represented by the PD.

 

Reported favorable from State Government Committee on 3/11/21.

AR HB 1388

Would authorize court to appoint counsel in proceeding to enforce post-adoption contact agreement.

 

Passed House and Senate on 4/15/21.

AR HB 1813

Removes indigency/request requirements for parents to be appointed counsel in neglect cases, and adds discretion for court to appoint counsel to noncustodial parents and putative fathers.

 

Passed House and Senate, and sent to Governor on 4/20/21.

CA AB 596

Specifies that appointed attorney in conservatorship is discharged and replaced with guardian ad litem where client is not able to communicate with attorney, and that appointed attorney acts as advocate and cannot substitute judgment for client's expressed interests.

 

Referred to Judiciary Committee on 2/18/21.

CA AB 1194

Requires court investigator in guardianship cases to determine if appointed counsel would be helpful where proposed protected person has not retained counsel or expressed desire for appointed counsel.

 

Passed Assembly on 5/28/21.  JUD committee recommended passage and referred to B., P. & E.D. Committee on on 6/24/21.

CA SB 724

Requires court to appoint counsel in conservatorships whether or not a request for counsel is made.

 

Reported with amendments by Judiciary Committee on 4/14/21.  Appropriations Committee voted do pass on 5/20/21.

 

CA AB 1243

Authorizes court to appoint counsel for subject of adult protective person proceeding in certain circumstances.

 

Passed Assembly on 5/24/21.  Referred to Appropriations and Judiciary Commtitees on 6/3/21.

 

CT  HB 5053  

Provides right to counsel to any tenant who is in eviction proceedings as a result of COVID-19.

 

Referred to Judiciary Committee on 1/11/21.

 

CT SB 531

Provides a right to counsel for tenants facing eviction.

 

Referred to Joint Judiciary Committee on 1/27/21.


DC B24-0093

Authorizes arbiter in family law dispute to appoint counsel for a child at the expense of the parties.

 

Referred to Judiciary and Public Safety Committee on 3/2/21.


DE SB 101

Creates a right to counsel for tenants facing eviction or termination of housing subisides, or who seek to affirmatively enforce housing rights.

 

Passed Senate and assigned to House Housing & Community Affairs Committee on 6/8/21.


DE SB 141

Removes discretion for court to appoint attorney for child in reinstatement of parental rights proceeding.

 

Passed Senate on 6/9/21.  Passed House on 6/24/21.

 

HI HB 453 / SB 821

Requires court to appoint counsel for minor seeking emancipation.

 

HB 453 referred to HHH, JHA, and FIN Committees on 1/27/21.


SB 821 passed Senate on 3/9/21.  Assigned to House HHH, JHA, and FIN Committees on 3/11/21.  HHH recommended passage with amendments on 3/19/21.  JHA recommended deferring measure on 3/23/21.


HI HB 480 / SB 885

Requires court to appoint counsel for indigent parents in dependency proceedings to conform to constitutional ruling in In re TM, and specifies timing.

 

HB 480 referred to HHH, JHA, and FIN Committes on 1/27/21.  Carried over to next session on 7/19/21.

 

SB 885 referred to HMS, WAM, and JDC Committees on 2/3/21.  HMS committee deferred measure after public hearing on 2/11/21.

 

IL HB 2879

Provides a right to counsel for anyone affected by state emergency health/safety order in challenge to that action.

 

Assigned to Rules Committee on 3/27/21.


IN SB 339

Requires court to appoint counsel for child in child welfare case where basis for case is human trafficking.

 

Referred to Committee on Corrections and Criminal Law Committee on 1/11/20.


IN SB 350

Requires appointed counsel for tenants in small claims possessory actions in Marion County.

 

Referred to Judiciary Committee on 1/11/21.

KS SB 123

Creates process for terminating parental rights to child conceived due to sexual assault, and requires appointment of counsel for parent.  Court may also appoint attorney as guardian ad litem for child.

 

Referred to Judiciary Committee on 2/2/21.


KY HB 420

Would require appointment of counsel for minors or incarcerated adults who are respondents in order of protection cases.

 

Passed House on 3/3/21.  Referred to Judiciary Committee on 3/5/21.

KY HB 463

Requires court to appoint counsel for indigent respondent subject to extreme risk protection order related to firearms.

 

Introduced on 2/10/21.


KY SB 229

Requires court to appoint counsel for indigent respondent subject to crisis aversion and rights retention order related to firearms.

 

Introduced on 2/10/21.


MA HB 272 / SB 124

Requires appointment of counsel where there is petition to terminate supported decisionmaking agreement for protected person.

 

HB 272 referred to Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities on 4/13/21.

 

SB 124 referred to Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities on 3/29/21.


MA HB 1678

Removes right to appointed counsel in sex offender classification hearings.

 

Referred to Joint Committee on Judiciary on 3/29/21.

 

MA HB 1463

Requires court to appoint counsel for guardian of child regardless of indigence where guardian seeks to adopt or where non-custodial parent seeks change in custody, provided non-custodial parent is represented.

 

 

Referred to Joint Committee on Judiciary on 3/29/21.

 

MA HB 1724

Provides a right to counsel in civil forfeiture cases.

 

Referred to Judiciary Committee on 3/29/21.  Public hearing on 9/23/21.

 

MA HB 1436 / SB 874

Creates a right to counsel for indigent tenants facing eviction.

 

HB 1436 referred to Joint Committee on Housing on 3/29/21.

 

SB 874 referred to Joint Committee on Housing on 3/29/21.

 

MA HB 1710 / SB 938

Provides a right to counsel for plaintiffs who are minors in protective order proceedings.

 

HB 1710 referred to Joint Committee on the Judiciary on 3/29/21.  Public hearing on 9/23/21.


SB 938 referred to Joint Committee on the Judiciary on 3/29/21.  Public hearing on 9/23/21.


MD HB 750 / SB 317

Provides a right to counsel for immigration removal proceedings.

 

For HB 750, Judiciary Committee public hearing occurred on 3/3/21.


For SB 317, Judicial Proceedings public hearing occurred on 1/27/21.


MD HB 242 / SB 173

Requires court to appoint counsel for minor seeking to emancipate in order to marry.

 

HB 242 passed House with amendments on 3/18/21, and referred to Senate Judicial Proceedings on 3/19/21.

 

SB 173 referred to Judicial Proceedings on 1/13/21.

 

ME HB 480

Requires automatic appointment of counsel in guardianships and conservatorships rather than requiring protected person to make a request.

 

Referred to Judiciary Committee on 2/11/21.  Carried over on 6/7/21.

ME  HB 1030

Broadens circumstances in which parental rights can be terminated in private action between private parties, and requires appointment of counsel for respondent while authorizing appointment of counsel for petitioner where respondent is represented.  

 

Passed House and Senate on 6/17/21.

MI HB 4848

Requires guardian ad litem in guardianship proceeding to inquire whether protected person who has not requested counsel needs counsel, and ends automatic appointment of counsel where petition is contested.

 

Referred to Judiciary Committee on 5/18/21.

MI SB 503

Broadens circumstances in which court must appoint counsel for protected person in guardianship case.

 

Referred to Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety on 6/3/31.

MN HB 312 / HB 1078/ SB 941 / SB 383

Requires court to appoint counsel upon request for indigent parents in child welfare and termination of parental rights cases.

 

For HB 312, Judiciary Finance and Civil Law Committtee recommended passage with amendments and referred to Human Services Finance and Policy on 2/15/21.


HB 1078 indefinitely postponed on 4/17/21.


For SB 941, Civil Law and Data Practices Policy Committee recommended passage with amendments, and referred to Human Services Reform Finance and Policy Committee on 2/22/21.


SB 383 passed Senate on 4/29/21.


MN HB 1151SB 843

Requires court to appoint counsel for indigent African-American parents in child welfare proceedings.

 

HB 1151 referred to Judiciary Finance and Civil Law Committee on 3/4/21.  Committee voted to adopt as amended on 3/10/21.


SB 843 eferred to Civil Law and Data Practices Policy Committee on 2/11/21.


MN HF 450 / HF 1077 /SB 1290

Provides a right to counsel for public housing tenants facing eviction for an alleged breach of lease.

 

 

For HF 450, Housing Finance and Policy Committee recommended passage on 2/218/21.  Referred to Judiciary Finance and Civil Law Committee.


HF 1077 passed House and Senate on 4/20/21.  House refused to concur w/Senate amendment, so conference committee appointed on 4/21/21.


For SB 1290, bill referred to Civil Law and Data Practices Policy Committee on 2/22/21.

 

MO

HB 1221

Eliminates birth parent's right to counsel in adoption cases and authority for court to appoint counsel for birth parent on discretionary basis.

 

Voted Do Pass by Judiciary Committee on 3/3/21.

NE LB 419

Requires court to appoint counsel for all tenants in eviction proceedings.

 

Public hearing before Judiciary Committee occurred on 2/4/21.


NJ AB 5664 / SB 4016

Guarantees a right to counsel for tenants facing eviction.

 

AB 5664 referred to Judiciary Committee on 5/12/21.


SB 4016 referred to Senate Judiciary Committee on 6/28/21.


NJ AB 923 / SB 211

Permits court to appoint counsel for active service member who fails to appear in a proceeding.

 

AB 923 referred to Military and Veterans' Affairs Committee on 1/14/20.


SB 211 referred to Military and Veterans' Affairs Committee on 1/14/20.


NJ AB 684 / SB 2002

Requires court to appoint counsel in hearing to establish limited guardianship for purposes of authorizing treatment for substance abuse.


AB 684 referred to Human Services Committee on 1/14/20.

 

SB 2002 referred to Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee on 3/5/20.

 

NJ AB 4615 / SB 2877

Requires appointment of counsel for all conservatorship proceedings until conservatorship terminated.


AB 4615 reported out of Aging and Senior Services Committee with amendments on 3/8/21.

 

SB 2877 referred to Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee on 9/14/20.

 

NJ AB 4618 / SB 2876

Requires appointment of counsel for all guardianship proceedings until guardianship terminated.


AB 4618 reported out of Aging and Senior Services Committee with amendments that removed requirement of counsel continuation until termination on 3/8/21.

 

SB 2876 referred to Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee on 9/14/20.

 

NJ AB 2245

Requires court to appoint counsel for child prior to involuntary treatment.


 

Referred to Human Services Committee on 1/14/20.


NJ AJR 30 / SJR 36

Creates legislative task force to study appointment of counsel for DV victims.

 

AJR 30 passed Assembly and referred to Senate Judiciary Committee on 2/24/20.

 

SJR 36 referred to Judiciary Committee on 2/3/20.

 

NJ AB 4522 / SB 2778  

Requires court to appoint counsel for proceeding to civilly commit person for substance abuse.

 

 

Referred to Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee on 8/3/20.


NY AB 6678

Guarantees appointment of counsel for tenants in a variety of situations, including evictions and affirmative cases to enforce housing rights.

 

Referred to Housing, Construction, and Community Development Committee on 5/11/21.

NY AB 2581

Requires appointment of counsel for a kinship caretaker acting as a parent of a child and who is seeking guardianship/custody of the child.

 

Referred to Children and Families Committee on 1/19/21.

 

NY AB 3780

Establishes a requirement that minor notify parents prior to seeking abortion and requires appointment of counsel for minor who seeks to bypass requirement.

 

Referred to Health Committee on 1/28/21.

NY AB 5778

Provides that, if tenant defaults in eviction case, petitioner must alleged whether or not tenant is not senior citizen, and if senior citizen, court may appoint counsel to represent tenant.

 

Referred to Housing Committee on 2/24/21.

 

NY SB 6074

Requires court to appoint counsel for kinship caregiver seeking custody or guardianship of child, and for respondents in all child guardianship proceedings.

 

Passed Senate and referred to Assembly Children and Families Committee on 6/2/21. 


OK HB 1765

Requires court to appoint counsel for involuntary drug/alcohol treatment.

 

Referred to Public Health Committee on 2/2/21.

 

OR HB 2545

Requires court to appoint counsel for indigent parents in child custody proceedings.

 

Assigned to Subcommittee of Civil Law within Judiciary Committee on 1/29/21.  Hearing occurred on 2/8/21.

 

OR HB 3022

Eliminates right to counsel for children in custody proceedings and makes appointment discretionary.

 

Referred to Subcommittee on Civil Law within Judiciary Committee on 1/29/21.  Public hearing occurred on 3/3/21 and another public hearing scheduled for 3/17/21.


PA HB1366

Authorizes arbitrator in custody arbitration to appoint counsel for child.

 

Referred to Judiciary Committee on 5/10/21.


SC HB 3072

Requires appointment of counsel for tenants in any cases relating to termination or alleged noncompliance with rental agreement.

 

Referred to Committee on Labor, Commerce and Industry on 1/12/21.


SC HB 4086

Creates process for person committed to Sexually Violent Predator Treatment Unit to challenge commitment and subsequent periodic reviews based on ineffective assistance of counsel during commitment trial or periodic review proceedings, and requires appointed counsel for the challenge.

 

Assigned to Judiciary Committee on 3/17/21.

SC SB 70

Eliminates civil forfeiture and specifies that PD may represent person in forfeiture portion of criminal proceeding if that person was already represented by the PD.

 

Referred to Judiciary Committee on 1/29/21.

TN HB 502 / SB 408

Requires court to appoint counsel for individual subjected to mandatory outpatient/inpatient treatment due to being a risk to cause serious harm to other persons.

 

HB 502 failed in Health Committee on 3/10/21.


SB 408 referred to Judiciary Committee on 2/10/21.

TN HB 896SB 684

Requires court to appoint counsel when person's provisionally-restored right to vote is revoked due to willful non-compliance with child support repayment plan.

 

HB 896 Referred to Criminal Justice Committee on 2/22/21.


SB 684 introduced on 2/10/21.

TX HB 2680

Requires court to appoint counsel for parents prior to ordering participation in services.

 

Passed House on 4/21/21.  Referred to Senate Health & Human Services Committee on 5/6/21.

 

TX HB 1171

Authorizes court to appoint an attorney ad litem or guardian ad litem to represent fetus in proceeding initiated by minor to bypass parental consent requirement for abortion.

 

Reported favorably by Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence Committee on 3/31/21.  Committee reconsidered vote and again reported favorably on 4/8/21.

 

TX HB 4034

Requires court to appoint an attorney ad litem or guardian ad litem to represent fetus in proceeding initiated by minor to bypass parental consent requirement for abortion.

 

Referred to Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence committee on 3/29/21.
TX HB 1190 / HB 1204

Requires appointment of counsel for indigent alleged sex offenders for administrative hearings as to whether to place the offender on the registry.

 

HB 1190 reported favorably as substituted by Human Services on 5/4/21.


HB 1204 referred to Human Services Committee on 3/4/21.


TX HB 1675

Would remove requirement to appoint attorney ad litem in certain guardianships involving minors who become adults.

 

Passed House, and referred to Senate Jurisprudence Committee on 4/19/21.

TX SB 1603

Creates process for placing parent on abuse/neglect central registry and requires appointment of counsel for alleged offending parent.

 

Referred to Health and Human Services Committee on 3/24/21.


TX SB 1897

Specifies that attorney ad litem appointed for child in proceeding for state to become managing conservator continues as long as the child is in conservatorship.

 

Referred to State Affairs Committee on 3/26/21.

VA HB 2166

Requires appointment of counsel for periodic review of involuntary outpatient treatment.

 

Passed House, and referred to Committee on Rehabilitation and Social Services on 2/5/21. 


VA SB 550

Expands authorization of courts in First and Second Judicial Districts to appoint counsel for alleged victims from family abuse to also include dating relationship abuse.

 

Judiciary continued bill to 2021 on 2/3/20.


VA HB 116

Eliminates process for involuntary sterilization of developmentally disabled person while allowing such person to volintarily seek such sterilization and requiring appointed counsel for such a hearing.

 

Referred to Committee on Human Services on 1/26/21.

WA SB 5053

Establishes court bypass procedure for new requirement for minors to notify parents prior to seeking abortion, and require appointed counsel for such a procedure.

 

Referred to Law & Justice Committee on 1/11/21.

WA (Seattle) CB 120007

Provides a right to counsel for all tenants facing eviction regardless of income.

 

Referred to City Council on 3/1/21.

 

WV HB 2258 / HB 2277

Establishes procedure for treatment of IV drug users and requires appointed counsel for petitions related to such procedure.

 

HB 2258 referred to Prevention and Treatment of Substance Abuse and Judiciary Committees on 2/10/21.

 

HB 2277 referred to Prevention and Treatment of Substance Abuse and Judiciary Committees on 2/10/21.


 

Dead bills

FL HB 405 / SB 828

Requires court to appoint public defender when minor assents to admission to inpatient mental health treatment.

 

HB 405 died in Health & Human Services Committee on 2/8/21.


SB 828 died in Appropriation Committee after being referred out by Children, Families, and Elder Affairs Committee.


FL HB 1323

Creates right to counsel for respondent in risk protection order cases.

 

Died in Judiciary Committee.

 

FL SB 1100

Specifies that children in out-of-home care have a right to an attorney to represent their legal interests "where appropriate."

 

Died in Appropriations Subcommittee after being referred out by Children, Families, and Elder Affairs Committee.


FL SB 1812

Authorizes regional counsel to provide pre-petition representation in child welfare cases.

 

Died in Children, Families, and Elder Affairs Committee.

 

FL SB 1920

Requires court to appoint counsel for child 10 or older in child welfare proceeding.

 

Died in Appropriations Committee after being referred out by Children, Families, and Elder Affairs Committee.