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: 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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New uniform law expands protections in adult guardianship proceedings


An updated uniform act improves the right to counsel for adult wards in guardianship proceedings.

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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.

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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.

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Immigration representation across country to expand, backed by report


A study found represented immigrants are 12 times more likely to avoid deportation. The study is tied to a project to expand representation.

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Wisconsin case addresses right to counsel for confinement of pregnant women


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

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NCCRC gives input to 2017 UN Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty


NCCRC collaborated on a report to a UN Rapporteur urging the recognition of a right to counsel in civil cases as a way of combatting poverty.

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Delaware Access to Justice Commission subcommittees call for right to counsel


A report by several subcommittees of the Delaware Access to Justice Commission urges recognition of a right to counsel for more civil cases.

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Survey: Americans overwhelmingly support right to counsel in civil cases


A survey conducted by Voices for Civil Justice reveals that Americans strongly support a right to counsel in civil cases.

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WA court says child should have been appointed counsel


A Washington Court of Appeals held that a trial court should have appointed counsel for a child in a dependency proceeding.

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Report: Turner's "procedural safeguards" have failed in South Carolina


A report studying the impact of Turner v. Rogers in the child support context has found that most indigent obligors are still incarcerated

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US Commission on Civil Rights calls for counsel in fees/fines cases


The US Commission on Civil Rights released a report regarding the need for counsel prior to incarceration for failure to pay fees/fines.

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Conference of State Court Administrators urges counsel for all child welfare cases


COSCA has released a new child welfare policy urging all state courts to provide counsel for parents and children in child welfare cases.

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PA Supreme Court: children have right to counsel in termination proceedings


The PA Supreme Court held that children have a right to the appointment of client-directed counsel in termination proceedings.

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ABA resolution calls for right to counsel in immigration cases


ABA Resolution 115, adopted at the 2017 ABA Annual conference, supports a right to counsel in immigration court.

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Nevada Supreme Court case will decide right to counsel in child support cases


The Nevada Supreme Court will decide whether pro se parents have a right to counsel before being incarcerated for failing to pay child support.

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Washington State creates, expands rule for appointment of counsel for litigants with disabilities


A court rule permits appointment of counsel for a person with disabilities as a reasonable accommodation. The rule applies to admin cases too.

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NCCRC Coordinator appears on WNPR's "Where We Live" program


NCCRC Coordinator John Pollock was on WNPR's "Where We Live" program to discuss the right to counsel in civil cases.

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UN report raises need for counsel in all detention cases


A report by the UN Rights Council Working Group on Arbitrary Detention discussed the need for counsel whenever a person faces any kind of detention.

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D.C. Enacts Expanding Access To Justice Act Of 2017


The D.C. Council has appropriated $4.5 million for housing eviction defense with an eye towards a right to counsel in housing cases.

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New law permits appointment of counsel for child in arbitrated custody dispute


In a custody arbitration, the arbitrator may appoint counsel for the child at the expense of the parents.

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Baltimore Sun turns focus to rise of civil right to counsel housing legislation


An article in the Baltimore Sun looked at bills filed at the city level in NYC, Washington D.C., and elsewhere to provide counsel for tenants.

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New Louisiana law requires counsel for fines/fees cases


A bill passed in 2017 requires the court to appoint counsel when a defendant is held in contempt for failure to comply with a repayment plan.

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Legislation (dead): debt collection proceedings


This bill would have, among other things, required appointment of counsel for contempt proceedings related to debt collection.

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