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.
Discretionary appointment of counsel - standby guardianships
A court may appoint counsel for a child when petition by a standby guardian to assume custody is filed.
Right to counsel
Children in abuse/neglect cases are entitled to a GAL who is an attorney.
Cincinnati report flags troubling eviction stats, calls for right to counsel
A new report flags the low number of represented tenants and the high minority eviction rates in Cincinnati, and calls for a right to counsel.
Right to counsel - voluntary extension of foster care
A 2018 law permits a court to appoint counsel for a child who voluntarily agrees to extend foster care.
Report makes case for universal representation for immigrants
A report from New Jersey Policy Perspective shows that immigrants fare better and the state saves money when counsel is provided.
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.
Right to counsel - student making terroristic threat
A bill passed in 2018 requires the appointment of counsel for a student subjected to mental health evaluation after making a terroristic threat.
New Georgia law protects parents' right to counsel
Waiver of a parent's right to counsel in child welfare cases now has to be knowing, voluntary, and intelligent, thanks to new legislation.
PA court: fees/fines defendants have right to appointed counsel
The Pennsylvania Superior Court held defendants have a right to appointed counsel prior to being incarcerated for failure to pay fees/fines.
MA moves to guarantee counsel for all fees/fines incarceration
A bill passed in 2018 guarantees counsel for all those subject to incarceration for failure to pay any money owed.
Right to counsel - reinstatement of parental rights
The court must appoint counsel for an indigent child in foster care where a petition to reinstate parental rights is filed.
Wisconsin takes step towards right to counsel for parents
A new 2018 law creates pilot programs that provide a right to counsel for parents in CHIPS cases in 5 counties.
Fed court: NJ township violated defendant's right to counsel in fees/fines case
A federal court held that a NJ township violated defendants' right to counsel in its handling of fees/fines cases.
Texas court: when parents square off in private termination case, kids must have counsel
A statute requires counsel for a child in a termination case unless their interests are adequately represented by another party.
NY appellate ct: trial court erred in imputing income for appointed counsel decision
An appellate court in New York held that trial courts cannot impute income in determining whether a person is entitled to appointed counsel.
Utah becomes 27th state to guarantee counsel for parents in private termination cases
A statute enacted in 2016 and amended in 2018 requires counsel for a parent in a juvenile court private termination of parental rights case.
New national reports call for right to counsel in housing cases
New reports by the Center for Social Innovation and the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty support a right to counsel in evictions.
ACLU report decries private debt collection, calls for right to counsel
A new report by the ACLU looks at the collection of private debt and the need for counsel to protect debtors from incarceration.
Pennsylvania adds right to counsel for sex offender registration proceedings
A bill passed in 2018 guarantees counsel for proceedings to determine the need for sexually violent predator registration.
Legislation: private termination of parental rights
A bill would change the law to make appointment of counsel for indigent parents in private termination of parental rights mandatory.
ABA adopts NCCRC-authored resolution on right to counsel
A new ABA resolution, authored by the NCCRC, calls for a right to counsel whenever physical liberty is at stake.
Legislation: body attachments
A proposed bill would guarantee counsel when a body attachment to detain a tenant for failing to pay a money judgment to a landlord.
King County WA creates right to counsel for certain crime victim families
A King County WA ordinance enacted in 2018 provides a right to counsel for families of police violence victims at inquest proceedings.
Florida constitutional amendment would have guaranteed counsel for dependent children
A proposed constitutional amendment would have guaranteed counsel for all Florida dependent children, but it did not make it out of committee.
Supreme Court of Ohio strengthens parental right to counsel
A new decision from the Supreme Court of Ohio creates a stronger standard for waiver of a parent's right to counsel in the termination context.
Vermont bill would establish right to counsel for immigration matters
A bill would require the appointment of counsel for immigrants in various kinds of immigration proceedings.
New uniform law expands protections in adult guardianship proceedings
An updated uniform act improves the right to counsel for adult wards in guardianship proceedings.
MA trial court issues historic right to counsel decision
A Massachusetts trial court ordered the appointment of an attorney ad litem in a housing eviction case.
Legislation: higher education proceedings
This bill would require counsel for an indigent higher education student subject to disciplinary proceeding due to allegation of a crime.
Legislation: parents in dependency proceedings
Two bills would create a pilot project where parents in certain counties would have a right to counsel in dependency cases.