Major developments

 

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.

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Mississippi finally authorizes appointment of counsel in child welfare cases

05/13/2016

In 2016, the Mississippi Legislature enacted a law authorizing youth court judges to appoint counsel for parents in child welfare cases.

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Legislation: child counsel in termination cases

05/05/2016

This bill specifies that a child's appointed counsel continues past termination of parental rights until permanent placement has been finalized.

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MA high court: parents have right to counsel in private child guardianship establishment and modification proceedings

05/04/2016

The Supreme Judicial Court of MA held there is a constitutional right to counsel in proceedings to establish or modify a child guardianship.

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Nebraska authorizes appointment of counsel in civil forfeiture cases

04/19/2016

A new law authorizes appointment of counsel for a person (other than the defendant) claiming an interest in property subject to forfeiture.

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Wisconsin legislature creates access to civil legal services study committee

04/18/2016

The Wisconsin legislature has created a study committee to examine how to expand access to counsel in civil cases.

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Mississippi finally authorizes appointment of counsel in termination of parental rights cases

04/18/2016

In 2016, the Mississippi Legislature passed a bill authorizing judges to appoint counsel for parents in termination of parental rights cases.

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TX Sup. Ct: parental right to counsel in abuse/neglect cases extends to high court appeal

04/01/2016

The Supreme Court of Texas held that a parent's right to counsel in child welfare cases extends to an appeal to the high court.

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TX Sup Ct: parental right to counsel in termination cases extends to high court appeal

04/01/2016

The Supreme Court of Texas held that a parent's right to counsel in termination of parental rights cases extends to an appeal to the high court.

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AP story featuring right to counsel, NCCRC picked up by Washington Post and NYTimes

03/30/2016

A story by the Associated Press features civil right to counsel legislation across the country and the NCCRC.

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Utah authorizes appointment of counsel in private termination cases

03/22/2016

An enacted 2016 bill permits a trial court to appoint counsel for a parent in a private termination of parental rights proceeding.

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Fed gov't agencies warn state courts about right to counsel obligations

03/21/2016

The Department of Justice and Office of Child Support Enforcement have reminded state courts about the right to counsel for some civil matters.

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Bills on civil right to counsel dominate 2016 legislative sessions

02/23/2016

Over two dozen bills that would establish or expand rights to counsel in civil cases have been filed in state legislatures across the country.

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Fed legislation would require immigration counsel for children, vulnerable adults

02/11/2016

A bill introduced by U.S. Senator Harry Reid would require counsel for unaccompanied minors and vulnerable adults in immigration proceedings.

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CT Chief Justice, State Bar President cite importance of civil right to counsel

01/11/2016

The incoming CT State Bar President and the CT Supreme Court Chief Justice say a civil right to counsel must be examined.

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NY extends right to counsel to non-respondent parents

01/01/2016

A 2015 bill extended the right to counsel in abuse/neglect proceedings to non-respondent parents who appear in court.

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Philadelphia Bar Chancellor Joins Chorus for Civil Right to Counsel

12/09/2015

New Philadelphia Bar Chancellor Gaetan Alfano has said that civil right to counsel will be a priority during his term.

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NCCRC participates in DOJ/White House meeting on debtor's prison

12/02/2015

The NCCRC joined a December meeting convened by the Department of Justice and the White House about the rise of debtor's prisons.

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Study: detained immigrants 5.5x more likely to prevail with lawyer

12/01/2015

A comprehensive study concluded that detained immigrants are 5.5 times more likely to avoid removal if they have a lawyer.

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Nat'l Center for State Courts: 3/4 of civil cases have one unrepresented party

11/11/2015

A report by the National Center for State Courts reveals that at least three-quarters of all civil cases involve at least one pro se party.

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ABA, legal aid groups support right to counsel in Alaska custody case

11/08/2015

A case before the Alaska Supreme Court about the right to counsel in custody cases has the support of the ABA and various legal aid groups.

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NH Supreme Court rejects attempt to truncate parental right to counsel

10/19/2015

The NH Supreme Court rejected a proposed rule change that would have truncated a parent's right to counsel in dependency (abuse/neglect) cases.

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WA State Bar: kids should have right to counsel in dependency proceedings

10/17/2015

The Washington State Bar Association passed a resolution urging the state to guarantee lawyers for children in dependency (abuse/neglect) cases.

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MO court: parents must be informed of right to counsel

10/06/2015

A Missouri appellate court found that courts must tell parents they have a right to request appointment of counsel.

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New Hampshire restores, protects right to counsel for parents in abuse/neglect proceedings

10/01/2015

In 2013, the legislature restored the right to counsel for parents in abuse/neglect cases, and the NH Supreme Court has acted to protect it.

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D.C. pilot expands housing representation

09/26/2015

An effort funded by the D.C. Council is expanding representation for tenants in housing cases.

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Wisconsin launches DV representation pilot project

09/26/2015

In Wisconsin, a pilot started in 2015 in Winnebago County to provide representation to DV victims in family law cases.

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Florida SCT: right to counsel in termination proceedings survived SCOTUS opinion

07/09/2015

The Florida Supreme Court upheld the due process right to counsel for indigent parents in termination proceedings, rejecting SCOTUS precedent.

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UNC Law School human rights report flags lack of right to counsel in civil cases

06/29/2015

A new report by UNC Law School explains how lack of a civil right to counsel violates international human rights law.

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Texas decriminalizes truancy, adds appointment of counsel provision

06/18/2015

A law signed by the Texas governor on June 18 decriminalizes truancy and permits the court to appoint counsel for the child.

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NY Legislature becomes first to support civil right to counsel

06/18/2015

The NY Senate and House passed a concurrent resolution supporting the concept of universal representation in basic human needs civil cases.

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