All about Toledo's right to counsel for tenants facing eviction
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).
02/10/2023, Legislation, Housing - Evictions
UPDATE: additional data shows continued success of right to counsel
The Toledo Blade reports that one year into Toledo's eviction right to counsel, "Of the 139 cases closed so far, nearly 88 percent, or 122, of those cases were successful in avoiding eviction. As a result, 177 adults and 190 children were able to stay in their homes." Also, check out the City of Toledo's February 2023 press release about the first year.
UPDATE: early data shows success of right to counsel program
An article in The Toledo Blade reports on some of the early data from Toledo's program to provide a right to counsel for tenants facing eviction. Prior to the implementation of a right to counsel, a study by the Blade had found that 79% of landlords in Toledo have counsel, compared to 2% of tenants. While the data set from the right to counsel is small at this stage, 38% of represented were able to remain in their homes, 44% were able to negotiate a reasonable move-out date and more than half of the cases have been dismissed.
The Toledo City Council has enacted a tenant right to counsel ordinance that guarantees counsel for all tenants facing eviction who are at 200% or below of the federal poverty level. The law is to be phased in over 5 years and staffed by Legal Aid of Western Ohio, and will be funded by $250k/year in American Rescue Plan Act funding. The news was reported in the Toledo Blade.
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: categorical Qualified: yes
The NCCRC submitted supportive testimony, met with advocates and city leaders, and worked with advocates on the bill language.