This page lists all of the most recent developments on civil right to counsel across the country. These could be newly created rights to counsel, significant publications, public events, advocacy efforts, or other things that don't fit into a neat category.
Report: multidisciplinary rep for parents reduces foster care use
A comprehensive, multi-year study found that providing multidisciplinary representation for parents in child welfare cases improved outcomes.
Ninth Circuit twice dodges question of right to counsel for kids in immigration cases
Two federal cases sought a right to counsel for all immigrant children in deportation proceedings, but the Ninth Circuit avoided both cases.
Iowa adds right to counsel for parents, children in guardianship cases
the Iowa Minor Guardianship Proceedings Act, enacted in 2019, guarantees counsel for parents and children in child guardianship cases.
North Dakota ensures counsel for parents, kids in guardianship cases
A 2019 law change provides a right to counsel for both parents and children in private guardianship proceedings.
Right to counsel - extreme risk protection orders
A respondent has a right to counsel in a proceeding relating to a protection order due to possession of firearms.
State adds right to counsel for extended foster care
A new New Mexico law adds voluntary extended foster care for children aging out and provides counsel for children who opt in.
Connecticut exploring right to counsel in eviction proceedings
A bill has been introduced that would guarantee counsel for indigent tenants in eviction proceedings.
U.S. rank on access to civil justice in Rule of Law Index drops to 99th out of 126 countries
The 2019 World Justice Project's Rule of Law Index ranked the U.S. 99th in the world on access to civil justice.
Montana Supreme Court acts to protect parent right to counsel
The Montana Supreme Court found that a parent had not waived his right to counsel in an adoption case, and strengthened the waiver standard.
Report: tenants in Columbus OH with rep avoid adverse judgments far more often
A report by Legal Aid Society of Columbus found that tenants with representation received favorable outcomes in their cases far more often.
Report: Hennepin County MN tenants w/rep 2x more likely to stay in homes
A report on tenant representation Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid found that tenants experienced far better outcomes with counsel.
NJ court: counsel must be appointed prior to suspending driver's licenses
A NJ trial court has held the state must appoint counsel prior to suspending a person's driver's license for inability to pay child support.
U.S. Senate hearings on adult guardianship address right to counsel
The U.S. Senate's Special Committee on Aging held hearings on state guardianship proceedings, and the right to counsel was discussed.
NCCRC Coordinator delivers keynote speech in Minnesota
NCCRC Coordinator John Pollock delivered a keynote speech on right to counsel to an audience of 400 people in Minnesota in November.
Civil Rights Commission: Tennessee forfeiture proceedings should include counsel
A civil rights report critiques Tennessee's civil forfeiture practices for not providing a right to counsel for property owners.
Vermont Supreme Court affirms right to counsel in contempt proceedings
The Vermont Supreme Court re-affirmed the right to counsel in contempt proceedings involving incarceration.
Philadelphia divorce study finds representation makes big difference
A study found that those who received full representation in divorce cases were significantly more successful in completing their divorces.
Another report calls for right to counsel in fees/fines cases
A report from Alabama Appleseed urges the state to provide counsel at all postconviction proceedings related to court debt.
NH Supreme Court extends right to counsel to certain debt collection cases
The right to counsel extends to cases where the State seeks to collect appointed counsel fees, the NH Supreme Court ruled.
Wisconsin advocates petition WI Supreme Court for right to counsel rules
WI advocates have filed two petitions asking the WI Supreme Court to establish civil right to counsel rules and pilot projects.
Texas court: failure to appoint counsel for parent was reversible error
An appellate court held the failure to advise a parent of the right to counsel in a TPR case, and delayed appointment, required reversal.
Acting on CT legislative task force suggestions, Legislature enacts DV representation pilot
A new DV representation pilot follows a recommendation of the legislative Task Force to Improve Access to Counsel in Civil Matters.
Report details dramatic effect of having counsel in Seattle evictions
A new report by the Seattle Women's Commission has some powerful stats on how much a lawyer makes a difference in eviction cases.
Louisiana court: child's right to counsel in adoptions is mandatory
A Louisiana court held that a child's right to counsel in adoption cases is not subject to waiver and must be strictly enforced.
Complaints allege CA court violating Americans with Disabilities Act
Complaints filed with the Sacramento County Superior Court allege violations of the ADA where counsel is not appointed in certain guardianships.
ABA guidelines call for right to counsel in fees/fines cases
The American Bar Association has adopted a set of principles on how fees/fines should be collected, and one advocates for a right to counsel.
San Francisco is second city to enact right to counsel in housing cases
A ballot initiative passed in June 2018 guarantees counsel for San Francisco tenants in eviction cases regardless of income.
Wyo. Supreme Court upholds parents' right to counsel
The Supreme Court of Wyoming held parents are entitled to appointed counsel in abuse/neglect cases even when not the subject of allegations.
Florida court: adoption agencies can't challenge parents' right to counsel
A Florida Court of Appeals held that an adoption agency could not challenge the appointment of counsel for a parent in an adoption case.
Fed legislation would require immigration counsel for children, vulnerable adults
A federal bill would require counsel for unaccompanied minors and vulnerable adults in immigration proceedings.