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

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.

See more

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.

See more

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.

See more

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.

See more

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.

See more

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.

See more

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.

See more

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.

See more

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.

See more

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.

See more

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.

See more

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.

See more

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.

See more

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.

See more

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.

See more

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".

See more

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.

See more

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.

See more

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.

See more

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.

See more

Illinois adds counsel for involuntary sterilization proceedings

01/01/2011

A new Illinois law provides a right to counsel where the state proposes to sterilize a ward of the state.

See more

Michigan Supreme Court clarifies right to counsel for adults

01/01/2011

The Michigan Supreme Court clarified that the right to counsel for parents in child protective proceedings includes the preliminary hearing.

See more

Connecticut extends right to counsel for children in child welfare cases

01/01/2011

The legislature enacted a bill for child protection cases requiring children to be appointed a separate child-directed attorney and a GAL.

See more

Trial courts have inherent power to appoint counsel, says Supreme Court of Montana

01/01/2011

The Montana Supreme Court sent a reminder to trial courts that they have the inherent power to appoint counsel in any civil case.

See more

WA Legislature tweaks appointment of counsel for children

01/01/2010

A bill passed in 2010 requires children 12 years and older to be informed of their right to request counsel in dependency cases.

See more

ABA releases Model Act and Basic Principles for civil right to counsel

01/01/2010

In 2010, the ABA released the Model Access Act and Basic Principles of a Right to Counsel in Civil Legal Proceedings.

See more

Minors in DV cases should get counsel, New Jersey court says

01/01/2010

A lower New Jersey court held that a minor plaintiff in a DV restraining order case should have the benefit of counsel.

See more

Right to counsel of terminations extends to appeals, Indiana Supreme Court says

01/01/2010

The Indiana Supreme Court held the statutory right to counsel for parents in terminations of parental rights cases extends to appeals.

See more

Michigan Supreme Court dodges case on right to counsel in termination cases

03/12/2009

The Michigan Supreme Court declined to review a case where the trial court failed to appoint counsel for a parent in a termination case.

See more

Massachusetts establishes right to counsel in adult guardianship proceedings

01/01/2009

In 2009, the new Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code established a right to counsel upon request in adult guardianship/conservatorship cases.

See more