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.
NCCRC participates in DOJ/White House meeting on debtor's prison
The NCCRC joined a December meeting convened by the Department of Justice and the White House about the rise of debtor's prisons.
Study: detained immigrants 5.5x more likely to prevail with lawyer
A comprehensive study concluded that detained immigrants are 5.5 times more likely to avoid removal if they have a lawyer.
Nat'l Center for State Courts: 3/4 of civil cases have one unrepresented party
A report by the National Center for State Courts reveals that at least three-quarters of all civil cases involve at least one pro se party.
NH Supreme Court rejects attempt to truncate parental right to counsel
The NH Supreme Court rejected a proposed rule change that would have truncated a parent's right to counsel in dependency (abuse/neglect) cases.
WA State Bar: kids should have right to counsel in dependency proceedings
The Washington State Bar Association passed a resolution urging the state to guarantee lawyers for children in dependency (abuse/neglect) cases.
Missouri court: parents must be informed of right to counsel
A Missouri appellate court found that courts must tell parents they have a right to request appointment of counsel.
New Hampshire restores, protects right to counsel for parents in abuse/neglect proceedings
In 2013, the legislature restored the right to counsel for parents in abuse/neglect cases, and the NH Supreme Court has acted to protect it.
Florida SCT: right to counsel in termination proceedings survived SCOTUS opinion
The Florida Supreme Court upheld the due process right to counsel for indigent parents in termination proceedings, rejecting SCOTUS precedent.
UNC Law School human rights report flags lack of right to counsel in civil cases
A new report by UNC Law School explains how lack of a civil right to counsel violates international human rights law.
Texas decriminalizes truancy, adds appointment of counsel provision
In 2015, Texas decriminalized truancy, prevented initial incarceration, and permitted the court to appoint counsel for the child.
NY Legislature first to declare support for civil right to counsel principles
The NY Senate and House passed a concurrent resolution supporting the concept of universal representation in basic human needs civil cases.
Texas enacts law expanding right to counsel for parents
A Texas law enacted in 2015 provides for appointment of counsel for unknown/unlocatable parents and provides earlier notice to other parents.
Missouri debtor's prison case, including right to counsel claim, moves forward
A federal case alleging the City of Ferguson is jailing indigent debtors without a hearing or counsel has survived a motion to dismiss.
Mississippi pilots show significant benefit of counsel in child welfare cases
A recent Mississippi study showed that parents benefit significantly when given access to legal counsel.
Other countries to U.S.: provide counsel in civil proceedings
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.
Fed court: counsel must be appointed earlier in child welfare process
A federal court found that a South Dakota court's practice of not appointing counsel at 48-hour child removal hearings violated due process.
MA Supreme Court: parents have a right to counsel in abuse/neglect cases
The MA high court has said that the constitutional right to counsel applies to abuse/neglect cases.
ABA: all unaccompanied minors should get counsel
ABA Resolution 113 calls for the appointment of counsel for unaccompanied minors in all immigration proceedings.
Fed judge laments lack of right to counsel, recuses himself for helping pro se litigant
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.
California Bar task force calls for right to counsel in 4 civil areas
A report by the Civil Justice Strategies Task Force of the California Bar recommended that the state bar support a right to counsel in 4 areas.
Montana parents have constitutional right to counsel in adoptions, says high court
The Supreme Court of Montana held the state's failure to provide counsel in private adoption cases violated the state's equal protection clause.
Two MD legislative commissions urge phased-in RTC in DV, and custody pilot
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.
NY Times features NCCRC, nationwide push for civil right to counsel
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.
Minnesota Supreme Court essay contest focuses on civil right to counsel
The Minnesota Supreme Court Historical Society's 2014 essay contest for high school students was about civil right to counsel.
Alabama fed court settlement establishes RTC in ability-to-pay cases
A federal district court approved a settlement requiring counsel for indigent debtors at ability-to-pay hearings.
MA Report discusses those turned away for legal aid, and benefits of counsel
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.
State supreme court justices talk civil right to counsel
At the LSC 40th Anniversary event, several state supreme court justices spoke favorably about the right to counsel in civil cases.
GA high court says some civil contempt cases might require counsel
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.
Lack of right to counsel affects minorities, says treaty body
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.
WA Court of Appeals finds right to counsel for foster child
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.