Washington State expands rule on counsel for litigants with disabilities to admin proceedings
While a state may have many statutes, court decisions, or court rules governing appointment of counsel for a particular subject area, a "Key Development" is a statute/decision/rule that prevails over the others (example: a state high court decision finding a categorical right to counsel in guardianships cases takes precedence over a statute saying appointment in guardianship cases is discretionary).
08/02/2017, Court Rule or Initiative, All Basic Human Needs
Washington State's Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH), the central panel in charge of hearing cases for over 40 state agencies, is adopting a rule that will permit the appointment of counsel for people with disabilities (similar to GR-33, an existing Washington rule authorizing appointments in court proceedings as a reasonable accommodation). The rule goes into effect on Jan 1, 2018.
OAH hears cases for the Department of Social and Health Services (public assistance and child support cases), Healthcare Authority (Medical assistance cases), Employment Security (UI cases), and the Office of the Superintendent for Public Instructions (special education cases), to name just a few of the agencies that serve clients who often have disabilities affecting their ability to represent themselves in hearings.
If "yes", the established right to counsel or discretionary appointment of counsel is limited in some way, including any of: the only authority is a lower/intermediate court decision or a city council, not a high court or state legislature; there has been a subsequent case that has cast doubt; a statute is ambiguous; or the right or discretionary appointment is not for all types of individuals or proceedings within that category.
Appointment of Counsel: discretionary Qualified: yes
|The NCCRC gave input on the draft rule.|