Major developments


This page lists all of the most recent developments on civil right to counsel across the country. These could be newly created rights to counsel, significant publications, public events, advocacy efforts, or other things that don't fit into a neat category.

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All about the lawsuit involving the right to counsel for immigrant children


A class action filed in federal court seeks a constitutional right to counsel for all immigrant children in deportation proceedings.

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Wisconsin advocates petition WI Supreme Court for right to counsel rules


WI advocates have filed two petitions asking the WI Supreme Court to establish civil right to counsel rules and pilot projects.

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NYC first jurisdiction to guarantee counsel for evictions, looks to expand


NYC is the first jurisdiction in the country to establish a right to counsel for low-income tenants in eviction cases.

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Texas court: failure to appoint counsel for parent was reversible error


An appellate court held the failure to advise a parent of the right to counsel in a TPR case, and delayed appointment, required reversal.

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Acting on CT legislative task force suggestions, Legislature enacts DV representation pilot


A new DV representation pilot follows a recommendation of the legislative Task Force to Improve Access to Counsel in Civil Matters.

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Louisiana court: child's right to counsel in adoptions is mandatory


A Louisiana court held that a child's right to counsel in adoption cases is not subject to waiver and must be strictly enforced.

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Mississippi court: parent should've been appointed counsel in termination case


A trial court found it erred when it failed to consider whether a parent was entitled to counsel in a termination of parental rights case.

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Complaints allege CA court violating Americans with Disabilities Act


Complaints filed with the Sacramento County Superior Court allege violations of the ADA where counsel is not appointed in certain guardianships.

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City of Los Angeles explores housing right to counsel ordinance


The City of Los Angeles is exploring whether to enact an ordinance providing a right to counsel in housing court similar to New York City.

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Newark looking to be second city to guarantee counsel for evictions


Newark Mayor Ras Baraka announced a plan to introduce a bill to provide a right to counsel for tenants in evictions.

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ABA resolution calls for right to counsel in fees/fines cases


The American Bar Association has adopted a set of principles on how fees/fines should be collected, and one advocates for a right to counsel.

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Wyo. Supreme Court upholds parents' right to counsel


The Supreme Court of Wyoming held parents are entitled to appointed counsel in abuse/neglect cases even when not the subject of allegations.

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Florida court: adoption agencies can't challenge parents' right to counsel


A Florida Court of Appeals held that an adoption agency could not challenge the appointment of counsel for a parent in an adoption case.

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Fed legislation would require immigration counsel for children, vulnerable adults


A federal bill would require counsel for unaccompanied minors and vulnerable adults in immigration proceedings.

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Concord CA eviction report calls for right to counsel


A report out of Concord, California finding numerous problems with the housing market recommends a right to counsel as a policy solution.

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California report flags eviction numbers/speed, calls for right to counsel


A new report from Tenants Together cites sky-high statewide eviction numbers and calls for a right to counsel.

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Right to counsel the focus of July 17 public breakfast event


On July 17 in NYC, the NCCRC hosted a public breakfast event to educate about the latest happenings in the civil right to counsel movement.

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Discretionary appointment of counsel - standby guardianships


A court may appoint counsel for a child when petition by a standby guardian to assume custody is filed.

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Right to counsel


Children in abuse/neglect cases are entitled to a GAL who is an attorney.

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Cincinnati report flags troubling eviction stats, calls for right to counsel


A new report flags the low number of represented tenants and the high minority eviction rates in Cincinnati, and calls for a right to counsel.

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Right to counsel - voluntary extension of foster care


A 2018 law permits a court to appoint counsel for a child who voluntarily agrees to extend foster care.

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Report makes case for universal representation for immigrants


A report from New Jersey Policy Perspective shows that immigrants fare better and the state saves money when counsel is provided.

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San Francisco is second city to enact right to counsel in housing cases


A ballot initiative passed in June 2018 guarantees counsel for San Francisco tenants in eviction cases regardless of income.

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Right to counsel - student making terroristic threat


A bill passed in 2018 requires the appointment of counsel for a student subjected to mental health evaluation after making a terroristic threat.

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New Georgia law protects parents' right to counsel


Waiver of a parent's right to counsel in child welfare cases now has to be knowing, voluntary, and intelligent, thanks to new legislation.

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PA court: fees/fines defendants have right to appointed counsel


The Pennsylvania Superior Court held defendants have a right to appointed counsel prior to being incarcerated for failure to pay fees/fines.

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MA moves to guarantee counsel for all fees/fines incarceration


A bill passed in 2018 guarantees counsel for all those subject to incarceration for failure to pay any money owed.

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Right to counsel - reinstatement of parental rights


The court must appoint counsel for an indigent child in foster care where a petition to reinstate parental rights is filed.

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Wisconsin takes step towards right to counsel for parents


A new 2018 law creates pilot programs that provide a right to counsel for parents in CHIPS cases in 5 counties.

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Fed court: NJ township violated defendant's right to counsel in fees/fines case


A federal court held that a NJ township violated defendants' right to counsel in its handling of fees/fines cases.

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