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.

View by State

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.

See more

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.

See more

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.

See more

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.

See more

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.

See more

NY Legislature first to declare support for civil right to counsel principles

06/18/2015

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

See more

Texas enacts law expanding right to counsel for parents

06/02/2015

A Texas law enacted in 2015 provides for appointment of counsel for unknown/unlocatable parents and provides earlier notice to other parents.

See more

Missouri debtor's prison case, including right to counsel claim, moves forward

05/26/2015

A federal case alleging the City of Ferguson is jailing indigent debtors without a hearing or counsel has survived a motion to dismiss.

See more

WA court orders appointment of counsel under ADA for admin proceeding

05/25/2015

A WA trial court ordered ADA counsel to be appointed for a disabled litigant in a hearing before the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals.

See more

Mississippi pilots show significant benefit of counsel in child welfare cases

05/15/2015

A recent Mississippi study showed that parents benefit significantly when given access to legal counsel.

See more

Other countries to U.S.: provide counsel in civil proceedings

05/15/2015

During a periodic review of the U.S. by the U.N. Human Rights Council, countries urged the U.S. to provide counsel in certain civil cases.

See more

Fed court: counsel must be appointed earlier in child welfare process

03/30/2015

A federal court found that a South Dakota court's practice of not appointing counsel at 48-hour child removal hearings violated due process.

See more

MA Supreme Court: parents have a right to counsel in abuse/neglect cases

02/10/2015

The MA high court has said that the constitutional right to counsel applies to abuse/neglect cases.

See more

ABA: all unaccompanied minors should get counsel

02/09/2015

ABA Resolution 113 calls for the appointment of counsel for unaccompanied minors in all immigration proceedings.

See more

Fed judge laments lack of right to counsel, recuses himself for helping pro se litigant

01/15/2015

A federal judge felt he had to recuse himself after helping a pro se litigant, and pointed to the lack of a right to counsel as the problem.

See more

Wisconsin advocates petition WI Supreme Court for right to counsel rules

12/05/2014

WI advocates have filed two petitions asking the WI Supreme Court to establish civil right to counsel rules and pilot projects.

See more

Wisconsin case addresses right to counsel for confinement of pregnant women

12/04/2014

A Wisconsin case raises the issue of right to counsel when pregnant women are civilly committed for alleged child endangerment.

See more

Montana parents have constitutional right to counsel in adoptions, says high court

12/02/2014

The Supreme Court of Montana held the state's failure to provide counsel in private adoption cases violated the state's equal protection clause.

See more

Two MD legislative commissions urge phased-in RTC in DV, and custody pilot

12/01/2014

One Maryland legislative task force and one commission urge the state to adopt a phased-in right to counsel in DV cases and a custody pilot.

See more

NY Times features NCCRC, nationwide push for civil right to counsel

11/22/2014

The New York Times discussed the nationwide push for civil legal aid and highlighted the NCCRC as well as efforts by some of its participants.

See more

Minnesota Supreme Court essay contest focuses on civil right to counsel

11/21/2014

The Minnesota Supreme Court Historical Society's 2014 essay contest for high school students was about civil right to counsel.

See more

Alabama fed court settlement establishes RTC in ability-to-pay cases

11/17/2014

A federal district court approved a settlement requiring counsel for indigent debtors at ability-to-pay hearings.

See more

MA Report discusses those turned away for legal aid, and benefits of counsel

10/01/2014

The BBA Task Force to Expand Civil Legal Aid's report discusses how many eligible clients are turned away and the economic benefits of counsel.

See more

State supreme court justices talk civil right to counsel

09/15/2014

At the LSC 40th Anniversary event, several state supreme court justices spoke favorably about the right to counsel in civil cases.

See more

GA high court says some civil contempt cases might require counsel

09/01/2014

In response to a class action, the Supreme Court of Georgia said there might be a right to counsel in some child support civil contempt cases.

See more

Lack of right to counsel affects minorities, says treaty body

08/29/2014

The international body that enforces the CERD treaty urged the U.S. to address the impact of a lack of a right to counsel on people of color.

See more

WA Court of Appeals finds right to counsel for foster child

06/10/2014

The WA Court of Appeals held that a trial court abused its discretion in not appointing counsel for a minor child in a dependency proceeding.

See more

NJ appellate court extends right to counsel to civil contempt review proceedings

06/01/2014

A New Jersey court found a right to appointed counsel in a hearing on whether a child support obligee should remain in prison for contempt.

See more

Report finds right to counsel in immigration would pay for itself

05/29/2014

A report commissioned by the NYC Bar finds that an immigration right to counsel would pay for itself.

See more

Colorado court finds due process right to counsel in parental rights case

05/22/2014

The Colorado Court of Appeals found a due process right to counsel for a father for a relinquishment of parental rights case.

See more