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.
Right to counsel
The Alaska Supreme Court has held that indigent parents have a state constitutional right to counsel in certain custody proceedings.
Legislation (dead): termination of parental rights
This bill would have removed the indigency requirement for a parent to have a right to counsel in termination of parental rights cases.
Legislation (dead): civil forfeiture
This bill would have abolished civil forfeiture and provided a right to counsel for criminal forfeiture proceedings.
Legislation (dead): civil forfeiture
This bill would have required a criminal conviction prior to forfeiture, and authorized the PD's office to represent an individual.
Utah high court: some parents have right to counsel in private termination cases
The Supreme Court of Utah held that parents may be constitutionally entitled to counsel in private termination of rights cases.
U.S. gets "D" on access to counsel in housing cases
The latest Human Rights Report Card from NLCHP gives the United States a "D" on access to counsel in housing cases.
MA Senate Committee, Trial Court reports flag right to counsel issues in fees/fines cases
Reports from a MA Senate Committee and MA Trial Court Working Group call for a right to counsel in fees/fines cases.
Housing Not Handcuffs campaign kicks off, features right to counsel
A new campaign to end the criminalization of homelessness features right to counsel in housing cases as a major policy platform.
NY court: wards have constitutional right to counsel in Art. 17-A guardianship proceedings
A NY Surrogate's Court held that proposed wards have a constitutional right to counsel in Article 17-A guardianship cases.
Report: represented immigrants far more likely to be released, win case
A new report by the American Immigration Council shows that represented immigrants are far more likely to be released and win their cases.
Nevada Sup. Ct. Commission urges expansion of right to counsel for adult guardianships
A commission created by the Nevada Supreme Court released a report calling for all potential wards to be provided counsel in guardianships.
Former AG Eric Holder calls for civil right to counsel
At the 2016 NLADA Exemplar Award Dinner, Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder called for the right to counsel in civil cases.
Former NY Chief Judge calls for constitutional convention on civil right to counsel
Former NY Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman has called for New York to hold a constitutional convention on the right to counsel in civil cases.
NIJ study released on effect of counsel for DV victims
A study on the impact of providing counsel for DV victims was conducted by the University of Iowa and Iowa Legal Aid.
Delaware grants right to counsel for children in termination cases
A law passed in 2016 requires the court to appoint an attorney for a child to act as guardian ad litem in termination cases.
California Legislature calls for fed gov't to ensure counsel for children in immigration cases
SJR 28, passed by the California Assembly, urges the federal government to guarantee counsel for children in immigration cases.
Delaware grants right to counsel for children in abuse/neglect cases
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.
New Mexico court: failure to advise parent of right to appointed counsel is fundamental error
A New Mexico appellate court held that a trial court's failure to advise a parent of her statutory right to counsel was fundamental error.
Report: whether Washington kids get counsel depends on where they live
A report examines the situation in Washington State as to when children are appointed counsel in child welfare cases.
"100% Access to Justice" Initiative launched, includes civil right to counsel
A new "Justice for All Initiative" launched by national court leaders includes civil right to counsel as part of the plan.
NJ Supreme Court recognizes right to counsel for parents in adoption cases
The Supreme Court of New Jersey held there is a right to counsel for parents in adoption cases under the NJ Constitution's Due Process Clause.
Colorado expands appointment of counsel to later guardianship proceedings
A 2016 law authorizes a court to appoint counsel post-imposition of a guardianship/conservatorship if the court determines the ward needs it.
UN body calls for right to counsel in U.S. immigration cases
The U.N. Committee to End Racial Discrimination (CERD) has called on the U.S. to guarantee counsel in immigration cases.
Comprehensive paper explores status, future of civil right to counsel
A paper requested by the ABA Commission on the Future of Legal Services explores the history and future of the civil right to counsel movement.
2016 Justice Index now features civil right to counsel
The updated Justice Index, which ranks the states on access to justice, now includes some factors relating to civil right to counsel.
Mississippi finally authorizes appointment of counsel in child welfare cases
In 2016, the Mississippi Legislature enacted a law authorizing youth court judges to appoint counsel for parents in child welfare cases.
Legislation (dead): child counsel in termination cases
This bill would have required a child's appointed counsel to continues past TPR until permanent placement has been finalized.
MA high court: parents have right to counsel in private child guardianship establishment and modification proceedings
The Supreme Judicial Court of MA held there is a constitutional right to counsel in proceedings to establish or modify a child guardianship.
Nebraska authorizes appointment of counsel in civil forfeiture cases
A new law authorizes appointment of counsel for a person (other than the defendant) claiming an interest in property subject to forfeiture.
Wisconsin legislature creates access to civil legal services study committee
The Wisconsin legislature created a study committee to examine how to expand access to counsel in civil cases.