2016 Justice Index now features civil right to counsel
05/20/2016, Miscellaneous, All Basic Human Needs
The Justice Index is a tool that ranks all states on a variety of metrics, such as the number of attorneys available for poor people, language access, resources made available for self-represented litigants and people with disabilities, and so on. Up to now, the Index did not factor in any aspects of whether there is a right to counsel, but the NCCRC worked with the creators of the Justice Index to add some right to counsel questions to the 2016 version of the Index. The Index now asks whether the states, through a statewide, statute, rule, regulation, appropriation or other written guidance:
· "COLLECT DATA ON FREQUENCY OF RIGHT TO COUNSEL APPOINTMENTS. Collect data on how often counsel is appointed in any categories of civil cases in which there is a statewide right to counsel?”
· “COLLECT DATA ON QUALITY OF RIGHT TO COUNSEL REPRESENTATION. Collect data on the quality of representation provided by attorneys who are appointed pursuant to a statewide right to counsel?”
· “COLLECT DATA ON FREQUENCY OF DISCRETIONARY APPOINTMENTS OF COUNSEL. Collect data on how often counsel is appointed in any categories of civil cases in which the state provides discretion to a decisionmaker to decide whether to appoint counsel?”
· “RECOGNIZE A RIGHT TO COUNSEL IN HOUSING CASES. Require the appointment of counsel at public expense for indigent parties in any type of housing proceeding (e.g., eviction, foreclosure, discrimination, etc.)?”
· “RECOGNIZE A RIGHT TO COUNSEL IN ABUSE/NEGLECT CASES. Require the appointment of counsel at public expense to indigent accused parents in abuse/neglect/dependency proceedings where the state seeks to remove a child?”
· “PROVIDE FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL AS ACCOMODATION. Identify the provision of counsel at public expense to litigants with disabilities as a form of reasonable accommodation?"
· “RECOGNIZE A RIGHT TO COUNSEL IN INVOLUNTARY COMMITMENT. Prov ide counsel at public expense in all cases where an indigent person is subject to a petition for involuntary commitment?"
· “RECOGNIZE A RIGHT TO COUNSEL IN GUARDIANSHIP. Provide counsel at public expense to an indigent proposed ward for all proceedings involving guardianship due to a mental impairment or psychiatric disability?”
The answers to some of these questions relies on data from the NCCRC.
|The 2016 Justice Index relies on NCCRC data to answer some of the right to counsel questions.|