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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Florida Legislature establishes right to counsel for certain dependent children

04/30/2014

A new Florida law provides a right to counsel for particularly vulnerable children in dependency proceedings.

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U.S. hears from advocates on access to justice and CRTC

04/01/2014

An April 2014 meeting between U.S. representatives and access to justice advocates highlighted many issues, including civil right to counsel.

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U.N. Human Rights Committee urges U.S. to provide counsel for DV, immigration

03/27/2014

The U.N. Human Rights Committee gave recommendations to the U.S. as to the ICCPR treaty, and urged the provision of counsel in some cases.

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Indiana Supreme Court declares right to counsel for parents in abuse/neglect cases

03/13/2014

The Indiana Supreme Court clarified that parents have a statutory right to counsel in abuse/neglect cases, and failure to appoint is error.

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New York City holds hearings on providing counsel to immigrants

02/25/2014

The New York City Council's Committee on Immigration held public hearings on different models for providing counsel in immigration cases.

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Hawaii Supreme Court says parents have right to counsel in termination cases

01/06/2014

The Hawaii Supreme Court ruled that all parents have a constitutional right to counsel in termination of parental rights proceedings.

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Hawaii Supreme Court says parents have right to counsel in abuse/neglect cases

01/06/2014

The Hawaii Supreme Court ruled that all parents have a constitutional right to counsel in abuse/neglect proceedings.

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Iowa Supreme Court says statutory limitations on adoption right to counsel are invalid

01/01/2014

The Iowa Supreme Court held that the legislature's limitation of the statutory right to counsel in adoptions did not conform with prior caselaw.

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Illinois legislation creates civil right to counsel pilots project

01/01/2014

The “Access to Justice Act”, enacted in 2013, creates a set of statewide pilot projects for the provision of counsel in civil cases.

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Despite strong dissent, NJ Supreme Court avoids ruling on RTC in DV cases

01/01/2014

The New Jersey Supreme Court declined to review a decision by the NJ Court of Appeals regarding the right to counsel in DV cases.

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Illinois legislation creates 5-year civil right to counsel pilots project

01/01/2014

The 2013 “Access to Justice Act” creates a set of statewide pilot projects (likely to focus on housing) on providing counsel in civil cases.

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Tennessee Bar Civil Right to Counsel Event Gets AP Coverage

11/18/2013

The AP covered a civil right to counsel event by the TN Bar and Legal Aid of West TN held on Friday, Nov. 22.

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MD high court reaffirms right to counsel in civil contempt cases

09/25/2013

The Court of Appeals of Maryland has indirectly reaffirmed that people facing incarceration for civil contempt still have a right to counsel.

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South Carolina court extends statutory right to counsel to private TPR cases

06/03/2013

The SC Supreme Court held that S.C. Code § 63–7–2560 does not distinguish between public and private termination cases, so it applies to both.

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Indiana court allows appointment in small claims case

06/03/2013

Indiana Court of Appeals said a trial court's appointment of counsel in small claims case was not improper.

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NY Chief Judge calls for counsel in all foreclosure cases

06/03/2013

NY Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman has said he wants there to be an attorney in every foreclosure case in the state.

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DOJ implements nationwide program for counsel for detainees with mental disabilities

04/24/2013

In the wake of successful litigation, DOJ announced it would provide legal help to all immigrants with mental disabilities.

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Detainees with mental disabilities have right to assistance, says federal court; deportees may return

04/23/2013

A federal district court held that detainees with mental disabilities have the right to assistance in their immigration removal cases.

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Georgia Legislature establishes right to independent counsel for children in deprivation cases

01/01/2013

Children have a right to their own counsel in deprivation proceedings, thanks to a 2013 amendment to the code.

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Pennsylvania hearings on civil legal aid discuss right to counsel

01/01/2013

The PA Senate Judiciary Committee held hearings in 2013 about the civil legal justice gap, and many people testified about a right to counsel.

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NY civil legal aid hearings invoke right to counsel

01/01/2013

At hearings convened by NY Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, advocates testified about the justice gap and civil right to counsel.

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Constitution requires counsel for children in adoptions, MA high court rules

11/16/2012

The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts found a state due process right to counsel for children in private adoption cases.

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Kansas Supreme Court recognizes right to counsel in sex offender commitment cases

08/17/2012

The Kansas Supreme Court has said there is a right to counsel in sexually violent predator commitment proceedings.

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Model Code for Education includes right to counsel

08/01/2012

The 2012 version of the Model Code on Education and Dignity contains significant right to counsel provisions.

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Constitution requires counsel for parents in adoptions, MA high court rules

01/03/2012

The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts found a state due process right to counsel for indigent parents in private adoption cases.

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San Francisco enacts ordinance declaring intent to become first "right to civil counsel city"

01/01/2012

The San Francisco Council passed an ordinance declaring an intent to become the first "right to civil counsel city".

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ABA Adopts Model Act on Child's Right to Counsel

01/01/2012

In 2011, the ABA endorsed the Model Act for Children in Abuse, Neglect and Dependency Proceedings, which covers right to counsel.

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MA completes comprehensive housing pilots, starts another round

01/01/2012

A set of housing right to counsel pilots were completed in Massachusetts in 2012, and another round started in 2013.

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Ohio Supreme Court extends right to counsel to guardianship review cases

01/01/2012

The Ohio Supreme Court ruled that as a matter of statutory construction, there is a right to counsel in reviews of existing guardianships.

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Maryland Access to Justice Commission Releases RTC Implementation Report

06/03/2011

The ATJC's report described how new rights to counsel might be implemented in MD, and put a price tag on such an implementation.

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