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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Legislation: debt collection

02/22/2017

This bill would require appointment of counsel for contempt proceedings related to debt collection.

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Legislation: child counsel in conservatorships

02/20/2017

These bills require counsel or a GAL appointed for a child in conservatorships to continue as long as the child remains in conservatorship.

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Legislation: waiver of parental right to counsel

02/17/2017

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

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South Carolina Sup. Ct.: right to counsel in sex offender commitment cases

02/16/2017

The Supreme Court of South Carolina held there is a constitutional right to appointed counsel in sex offender commitment cases.

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Legislation: fees/fines cases

02/16/2017

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

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Legislation: counsel for children in private custody cases

02/14/2017

This bill would clarify the appointment of GALs and attorneys for children in custody and dissolution cases.

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Legislation: child counsel in dependency cases

02/13/2017

These bills would require counsel to be appointed for a child two years or older in a dependency proceeding.

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NYC first in country to provide right to counsel in housing court

02/12/2017

NYC will be the first jurisdiction in the country to establish a right to counsel in housing cases following an announcement by Mayor de Blasio.

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Legislation: civil forfeiture

02/09/2017

These bills would permit a court to appoint counsel for a third party intervening in a civil forfeiture action.

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Legislation: timing of appointment of parental counsel

01/31/2017

This bill would address the timing of appointment of counsel for parents in child welfare proceedings.

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Bipartisan call for legislative right to counsel in civil forfeiture cases continues to grow

01/25/2017

Calls to reform civil forfeiture proceedings have come from all sides of the aisle, with legislation filed at the federal and state level.

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Legislation: civil forfeiture

01/24/2017

This bill would would require the public defender to be appointed in civil forfeiture proceedings.

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Acting on CT legislative task force suggestions, new bills would provide new rights to counsel

01/20/2017

Newly-filed bills would implement the recommendations of the legislative Task Force to Improve Access to Counsel in Civil Matters.

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Federal agency: all parents/children should be represented in child welfare cases

01/17/2017

DHHS' Administration for Children and Families has issued a memo calling for counsel for all parents/children in child welfare cases.

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Boston Mayor Walsh advances housing right to counsel bill

01/17/2017

Boston Mayor Walsh backed a statewide bill that would guarantee counsel for indigent tenants in eviction cases.

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Legislation: adult guardianships

01/17/2017

These bills would provide a right to counsel for prospective adult wards in guardianship proceedings.

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Everything about D.C.'s Expanding Access To Justice Act Of 2017

01/12/2017

This page has all the information about the 2017 bill to expand housing representation in the District of Columbia.

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Legislation: guardianship of minors

01/10/2017

Requires court to appoint counsel for minor ward 14 or older in guardianship prior to authorizing expenditures for certain medical treatments.

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Legislation: termination of parental rights

01/09/2017

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

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Legislation: civil forfeiture

01/04/2017

This bill would abolish civil forfeiture and provide a right to counsel for criminal forfeiture proceedings.

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Legislation: civil forfeiture

01/03/2017

This bill would require a criminal conviction prior to forfeiture, and would authorize PD's office to represent individual in forfeiture.

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Washington State mulls rule on counsel in admin proceedings for litigants with disabilities

01/01/2017

WA's Office of Administrative Hearings is considering a rule for appointing counsel for litigants with mental disabilities in admin proceedings.

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Utah high court: some parents have right to counsel in private termination cases

12/08/2016

The Supreme Court of Utah held that parents may be constitutionally entitled to counsel in private termination of rights cases.

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U.S. gets "D" on access to counsel in housing cases

12/05/2016

The latest Human Rights Report Card from NLCHP gives the United States a "D" on access to counsel in housing cases.

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NY Governor Cuomo: all immigrants will receive representation

11/22/2016

NY Governor Cuomo announced a plan to create the “first-in-the-nation immigrant legal defense fund” to provide counsel for all immigrants.

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MA Senate Committee, Trial Court reports flag right to counsel issues in fees/fines cases

11/17/2016

Reports from a MA Senate Committee and MA Trial Court Working Group call for a right to counsel in fees/fines cases.

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Housing Not Handcuffs campaign kicks off, features right to counsel

11/15/2016

A new campaign to end the criminalization of homelessness features right to counsel in housing cases as a major policy platform.

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Philly City Council resolution authorizes hearings on right to counsel in housing cases

11/04/2016

The Philadelphia City Council passed a resolution authorizing hearings on solving landlord/tenant issues, including looking at right to counsel.

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U.S. rank on access to civil justice in Rule of Law Index drops to 94th out of 113 countries

10/27/2016

The 2016 World Justice Project's Rule of Law Index ranked the U.S. 94th in the world on access to civil justice.

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NY court: wards have constitutional right to counsel in Art. 17-A guardianship proceedings

10/03/2016

A NY Surrogate's Court held that proposed wards have a constitutional right to counsel in Article 17-A guardianship cases.

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