Westchester County NY is first county with tenant right to counsel
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).
05/19/2023, Legislation, Housing - Evictions
In May 2023 Westchester County NY became the first county, and 19th jurisdiction, to provide a right to counsel for tenants in a variety of scenarios. The legislation, adopted unanimously by the County's Board of Legislators, covers court evictions, rent increases that fail to comply with state law, public housing or rent subsidy hearings, and "restoration and/or maintenance of essential services, the deprivation of which has caused or may cause the client to vacate
the residential rental premises." The legislation creates an Office of Housing Counsel and requires that all tenants at 300% or below of the federal poverty level receive full representation as soon as practicable (those over income are entitled to brief legal assistance).
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
We provided support to the advocates pursuing this policy and submitted supportive testimony.