Discretionary appointment of cousel
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).
Litigation, All Basic Human Needs
In 1985, the Court of Common Pleas for Berks County held that the Act of 11, Henry VII, chapter 12 (1494) (which provided a right to counsel for indigent plaintiffs in civil cases) "remains in effect as a part of the Common Law of Pennsylvania," and that the statute "requires us, sitting with the discretionary power in this limited area of a Chancellor of England, to determine whether or not he should have free counsel appointed for him." Zerr v. Scott, 39 Pa. D. & C.3d 459, 461 (Ct. Com. Pl. 1985) (citing Report of the Judges, 3 Binney 617 (1808)). While acknowledging that "there may be some question as to whether the above-mentioned statute meets our present day concepts of constitutionality (it concerns itself with poor plaintiff's [sic] but ignores poor defendants, for example)," the court identified the progression of legislative and judicial determinations that keep this English chapter in force in Pennsylvania and concluded that it was, in fact, still effective. The court accepted that it was "fundamental that no lay person can adequately represent himself pro se in civil litigation. For a lay person to have meaningful access to our courts, he must have a skilled lawyer to represent him." The court nonetheless made the discretionary determination that appointment of counsel was not required under the circumstances of the case, because it concluded that the claim the indigent plaintiff sought to bring was time-barred by the applicable statute of limitations. See also Madden v. City of York, 59 Pa. D. & C.2d 367, 370 (Ct. Com. Pl. 1972) ("[T]he statute of 11, Henry VII, quoted above is to be incorporated in the statute laws of Pennsylvania."); Sturgeon v. Ely, 6 Pa. 406 (Pa. 1847) (relying upon 11 Hen. 7, c. 20).
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