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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Legislation: timing of appointed counsel for parents

02/21/2017

A bill would specify that parents are entitled to appointed counsel early in the child welfare process.

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Legislation (dead): fines/fees cases

02/21/2017

A series of bills would have required appointment of counsel prior to incarceration for failure to pay fines/fees.

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South Carolina Sup. Ct.: right to counsel in sex offender commitment cases

02/16/2017

The Supreme Court of South Carolina held there is a constitutional right to appointed counsel in sex offender commitment cases.

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Legislation: child counsel in dependency cases

02/13/2017

These bills would require counsel to be appointed for a child two years or older in a dependency proceeding.

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Fed legislation would require immigration counsel for children, vulnerable adults

02/11/2017

A federal bill would require counsel for unaccompanied minors and vulnerable adults in immigration proceedings.

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Legislation (dead): civil forfeiture

01/24/2017

A bill would have required the public defender to be appointed in civil forfeiture proceedings.

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Legislation: Boston Mayor Walsh advances housing right to counsel bill

01/23/2017

Boston Mayor Walsh backed a statewide bill that would guarantee counsel for indigent tenants in eviction cases.

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Legislation: minor defendants in DV proceedings

01/23/2017

These bills would require appointment of counsel for minor defendants in protection from abuse proceedings.

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Legislation: forfeiture

01/23/2017

This bill would eliminate civil forfeiture and requires appointment of counsel for indigent persons opposing forfeiture.

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Legislation: minor plaintiffs in DV proceedings

01/23/2017

These bills would require appointment of counsel for minor plaintiffs in protection from abuse proceedings.

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Federal agency: all parents/children should be represented in child welfare cases

01/17/2017

DHHS' Administration for Children and Families has issued a memo calling for counsel for all parents/children in child welfare cases.

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Legislation (dead): adult guardianships

01/17/2017

These bills would have provided a right to counsel for prospective adult wards in guardianship proceedings.

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Right to counsel

01/09/2017

The Alaska Supreme Court has held that indigent parents have a state constitutional right to counsel in certain custody proceedings.

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Legislation (dead): termination of parental rights

01/09/2017

This bill would have removed the indigency requirement for a parent to have a right to counsel in termination of parental rights cases.

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Legislation (dead): civil forfeiture

01/04/2017

This bill would have abolished civil forfeiture and provided a right to counsel for criminal forfeiture proceedings.

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Legislation (dead): civil forfeiture

01/03/2017

This bill would have required a criminal conviction prior to forfeiture, and authorized the PD's office to represent an individual.

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Utah high court: some parents have right to counsel in private termination cases

12/08/2016

The Supreme Court of Utah held that parents may be constitutionally entitled to counsel in private termination of rights cases.

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U.S. gets "D" on access to counsel in housing cases

12/05/2016

The latest Human Rights Report Card from NLCHP gives the United States a "D" on access to counsel in housing cases.

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MA Senate Committee, Trial Court reports flag right to counsel issues in fees/fines cases

11/17/2016

Reports from a MA Senate Committee and MA Trial Court Working Group call for a right to counsel in fees/fines cases.

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Housing Not Handcuffs campaign kicks off, features right to counsel

11/15/2016

A new campaign to end the criminalization of homelessness features right to counsel in housing cases as a major policy platform.

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U.S. rank on access to civil justice in Rule of Law Index drops to 94th out of 113 countries

10/27/2016

The 2016 World Justice Project's Rule of Law Index ranked the U.S. 94th in the world on access to civil justice.

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NY court: wards have constitutional right to counsel in Art. 17-A guardianship proceedings

10/03/2016

A NY Surrogate's Court held that proposed wards have a constitutional right to counsel in Article 17-A guardianship cases.

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Report: represented immigrants far more likely to be released, win case

09/29/2016

A new report by the American Immigration Council shows that represented immigrants are far more likely to be released and win their cases.

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Nevada Sup. Ct. Commission urges expansion of right to counsel for adult guardianships

09/29/2016

A commission created by the Nevada Supreme Court released a report calling for all potential wards to be provided counsel in guardianships.

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Former AG Eric Holder calls for civil right to counsel

09/29/2016

At the 2016 NLADA Exemplar Award Dinner, Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder called for the right to counsel in civil cases.

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Former NY Chief Judge calls for constitutional convention on civil right to counsel

09/28/2016

Former NY Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman has called for New York to hold a constitutional convention on the right to counsel in civil cases.

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NIJ study released on effect of counsel for DV victims

09/26/2016

A study on the impact of providing counsel for DV victims was conducted by the University of Iowa and Iowa Legal Aid.

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Delaware grants right to counsel for children in termination cases

09/22/2016

A law passed in 2016 requires the court to appoint an attorney for a child to act as guardian ad litem in termination cases.

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California Legislature calls for fed gov't to ensure counsel for children in immigration cases

09/09/2016

SJR 28, passed by the California Assembly, urges the federal government to guarantee counsel for children in immigration cases.

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Delaware grants right to counsel for children in abuse/neglect cases

09/06/2016

A law passed in 2016 requires the court to appoint an attorney for a child to act as guardian ad litem in abuse/neglect cases.

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