2019 Civil Right to Counsel Bills

 

Listed below are all of the 2019 bills that address the right to counsel in civil cases.  The NCCRC monitors all such bills and regularly reports on their progress, and we also are involved with some of them.


Where any bills from a prior year are listed as "active", they are carryover bills.


 

 

Enacted bills

 

State Bill #

Description

Status

CO HB 1177 

Requires appointment of counsel for defendant when law enforcement offer seeks temporary extreme risk protection order to require person to surrender firearms.

 
 
Signed by Governor on 4/12/19.
GA HB 228  

Requires court to appoint counsel for minor seeking emancipation.


Signed by Governor on 5/6/19. 
IA HB 591

Requires court to appoint counsel for objecting parent, and permits court to appoint counsel for minor, in private guardianship proceedings.

 
Signed by Governor on 5/1/19.
MD HB 1147

Requires court to appoint attorney when minor petitions for emancipation.

 

Passed by House and Senate on 4/8/19.
ME SB 1811

Permits court to appoint attorney for person taken into protective custody by law enforcement in hearing to determine if person must surrender weapons.

 

Passed by House and Senate on 6/20/19.
MS SB 2828

Permits court to appoint counsel for adult or minor subjected to conservatorship.

 

Approved by Governor on 4/20/19.
NC HB 301

Clarifies that parents have right to counsel when unruly or delinquent child is placed in DSS custody.

 

Signed by Governor on 6/21/19. 
ND SB 2051

Permits court to appoint counsel for child when visitation or custody by nonparent is being considered.

 

Signed by Governor on 4/12/19.

 

ND SB 2073

Puts child guardianships under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court instead of the probate court, requires court to appoint counsel for birth parents, and permits court to appoint counsel for child.

 

Signed by Governor on 4/12/19.
NM SB 23

Requires court to appoint counsel for youth-turned-adult still in voluntary foster care.

 

Signed by Governor on 3/13/19.

 

NV AB 91

Requires guardian to seek court approval for sterilization of ward, and requires appointment of attorney and GAL for ward unless ward already has attorney or GAL.

 

Approved by Governor on 5/8/19.

 

UT SB 39

Establishes involuntary outpatient treatment and requires appointed counsel for potential patient.

 

Signed by Governor on 3/25/19.

 

VA HB 1933

Requires the court to appoint counsel for a prisoner subjected to medical/mental health treatment, where such prisoner cannot consent to the treatment.

 

Approved by Governor on 3/26/19.

 

WA SB  5604

Requires court to appoint counsel for parent in private guardianship proceeding, and court may appoint counsel for minor as well.

 

Signed by Governor on 5/21/19.

WV HB 115

Strengthens right to counsel for parents and children in child welfare proceedings.

 

Approved by Governor on 5/29/19.

 

Active bills

 

State Bill #

Description

Status

federal HR 555 ("Disability Integration Act")

Would permit a court to appoint counsel where there is discrimination against an individual with disabilities in need of long-term services.

 

Referred to Committee on Energy and Commerce, and also Committee on the Judiciary, and then to subcommittee on Health and subcommittee on Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties on 2/25/19.

 

federal

S.662 ("Fair Day in Court for Kids Act") / S.1445 ("Central America Reform and Enforcement Act") / S.1733 ("Protecting Families and Improving Immigration Procedures Act")


Would require appointment of counsel for unaccompanied children in immigration removal proceedings.

 

S.662 introduced to Judiciary Committee on 3/5/19.

 

S.1445 ntroduced and referred to Judiciary Committee on 5/14/19.

 

S.1733 referred to Judiciary Committee on 6/5/19.

 

federal

HB 1012 ("Reunite Every Unaccompanied Newborn Infant, Toddler and Other Children Expeditiously Act")

 

Would guarantee appointment of counsel for children and vulnerable adults in immigration removal proceedings.

 

Sent to Judiciary Committee, and then to Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship, on 3/22/19.
federal

HB 3918 / SB 2113 ("Stop Cruelty to Migrant Children Act")

 

Requires appointment of counsel for unaccompanied minors in immigration removal proceedings.

 

HB 3918 sent to Judiciary Committee, and then to subcommittees of Border Security, Facilitation, and Operations and to Immigration and Citizenship on 8/6/19.

 

SB 2113 sent to Judiciary Committee on 7/15/19.

 

federal SB 3524 ("Northern Triangle and Border Stabilization Act")

 

Requires appointment of counsel for minors and "vulnerable adults" in immigration removal proceedings.

 

Referred to Committee on Foreign Affairs as well as a number of other committees, and then to subcommittees of Border Security, Facilitation, and Operations and to Immigration and Citizenship on 8/2/19.

 

federal HR 6HR 2820 ("American Dream and Promise Act of 2019" / "Dream Act of 2019")

Would require appointment of counsel for immigrant seeking judicial review of denial of adjustment of status in certain circumstances.

 

HR 6 passed House on 6/4/19.

 

HR 2820 voted favorably in House Judiciary Committee on 5/22/19.

federal HB 4155 / S.2389 ("Funding Attorneys for Immigrant Removal Proceedings Act")

Requires appointment of counsel for minors and "vulnerable aliens" in immigration removal proceedings.

 

HB 4155 sent to Judiciary Committee, then Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship on 8/15/19.

 

S. 2389 sent to Judiciary Committee on 7/31/19. 

federal HB 2835 ("Due Process Act")

Would require appointment of counsel for defendant in civil forfeiture case.

 

Referred to Committee on the Judiciary, as well as to the Committees on Financial Services, and Energy and Commerce, as well as Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, on 6/26/19.

 

federal unnumbered bill ("Place to Thrive Act")

Would provide $6.5 billion in federal funding over 10 years to states/cities pursing a right to counsel for tenants facing eviction.

 

Introduced on 9/25/19.
GA HB 178

Would have created involuntary outpatient treatment process and required appointment of counsel for respondent.

 

Did make it out of committee, but carried over to 2020.
HI HB 905 / SB 214

Would require court to appoint counsel for parents in child welfare proceedings at the first hearing or delay proceedings absent an emergency.


HB 905 did not make it out of in  HSH, JUD, and FIN Committees, but carried over to 2020.

 

SB 214 passed HMS Committee with amendments but did make it out of JDC Committee.  Carried over to 2020.

 

IL SB 38 / SB 1588

Permits court to appoint counsel for petitioner in sexual harrassment no contact order proceeding if respondent is represented.

 

SB 38 did not receive committee assignment, but carried over to 2020.

 

SB 1588 passed Senate.  Did not make it out of Rules Committee, but carried over to 2020.

 

MA HB 1537 / HB 3456 / SB 913  Would create a right to counsel for low-income tenants in eviction cases.

HB 1537 referred to Joint Judiciary Committee and had public heairng on 7/16/19.

 

HB 3456 referred to Joint Judiciary Committee and had public heairng on 7/16/19.

 

SB 913 referred to Joint Judiciary Committee and had public heairng on 7/16/19.

 

MA HB 1396

Would require appointment of counsel for potential guardians of children in certain situations.

 

Referred to Joint Judiciary Committee and had public hearing on 7/23/19.


MA HB 1452

Would remove right to appointed counsel for sex offender classification hearings.

 

Referred to Joint Judiciary Committee on 1/22/19.


MA HB 1553

Would create a right to counsel for those voluntarily civilly committed who seek release.

 

Referred to Joint Judiciary Committee on 1/22/19.


MA HB 3332 / HB 3347SB 834 / SB 860 Provides right to counsel for minors 13 and older seeking relief from DV-related abuse or harassment.

HB 3332 referred to Joint Judiciary Committee on 1/22/19.


HB 3347 referred to Joint Judiciary Committee on 1/22/19.


SB 834 referred to Joint Judiciary Committee on 1/22/19.

SB 860 referred to Joint Judiciary Committee on 1/22/19.


MA SB 941

Would require appointment of counsel for incapacitated person in proceedings regarding non-compliance with treatment plan.

 

Referred to Joint Judiciary Committee on 1/22/19.


MA SB 942

Would require appointment of counsel for individual receiving critical community health services person in proceedings regarding non-compliance with service plan.

 

Referred to Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery on 3/20/19.


ME HB 531

Would change right to appointed counsel for adult guardianships so as to not require ward to request appointed counsel.

 

Did not make it out of Judiciary Committee but carried over to 2020.


ME SB 1312

Would have created right to counsel for all parties in extreme risk protective order proceeding related to firearms.

 

Passed Senate. Voted down in House but carried over to 2020. 
MN HB 2593 / SB 1785

Would require appointment of counsel for tenants in public housing facing eviciton due to an alleged breach of lease.

 

HB 2593 died in Judiciary Finance and Civil Law Division committee, but carried over to 2020.


SB 1785 died in Judiciary and Public Safety Finance and Policy committees, but carried over to 2020.


MN HB 342 / SB 730

Requires court to appoint counsel for a "parent of an African American or other disproportionately represented child who is subject to an emergency protective care hearing."

HB 342 passed with amendments out of various committees but died in Health and Human Services Finance Division Committee.  Carried over to 2020.


SB 730 died in Judiciary and Public Safety Finance and Policy committees, but carried over to 2020.


MN SB 1242

Tweaks timing and waiver of appointment of counsel for children in child welfare proceedings.

Died in Judiciary and Public Safety Finance and Policy committees but carried over to 2020.


MN SB 2302

Requires appointment of counsel for child when court considers colocating child in "licensed residential family-based substance use disorder treatment program or services provided under the out-of-home placement plan."

 

Died in Health and Human Services Finance and Policy committee but carried over to 2020.


NC HB 619 / SB 337

Would create guardianship study group that would examine, among other things, appointment of legal counsel in addition to guardian ad lite.

 

HB 619 passed House but died in Rules and Operations of the Senate Committee.  Carried over to 2020.


SB 337 died in Rules and Operations of the Senate Committee.  Carried over to 2020.


NE LB 231

Makes appointment of counsel in child welfare proceedings automatic for juveniles regardless of county size, and specifies that counsel appointed for juvenile continues through post-dispositional proceedings until relieved by court or requested by the juvenile.

 

Died after Judiciary Committee hearing, but carried over to 2020.


NJ AJR 115 / SJR 69

Would create legislative task force to study appointment of counsel for DV victims.

 

AJR 115 passed Assembly and is in Senate Judiciary Committee.


SJR 69 assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee.


NY AB 1095

Permits court to appoint counsel for a senior citizen tenant in eviction proceedings.

Died in Housing committee but carried over to 2020.


NY AB 5742

Creates process for involuntary commitment due to substance abuse and requires appointment of counsel for respondent.

Died in Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Committee but carried over to 2020.


NY AB 5999 / AB 6125

Requires parental notification if minor seeks abortion and provides right to counsel for minor to seek judicial bypass of notification requirement.

 

AB 5999 died in Health Committee but carried over to 2020.


AB 6125 died in Health Committee but carried over to 2020.


NY AB 7586 / SB 5434

Provides right to counsel for kinship caregivers and respondents in child guardianship proceedings.

 

AB 7586 died in Children and Families Committee but carried over to 2020.


SB 5434 died in Judiciary Committee but carried over to 2020.


NY AB 6273 / SB 4047 Would create 3-year pilot program to expand representation in civil cases generally.

AB 6273 died in Judiciary Committee but carried over to 2020.


AB 6273 died in Judiciary Committee but carried over to 2020.


PA HB 243

Requires appointment of attorney, GAL, or "similar person" for child in parentage case if interests not adequately represented.

 

Referred to Judiciary Committee on 1/28/19.


PA HB 672

Would require appointment of counsel for civil commitment of minors 14-18 years old who object to commitment.

 

Passed House and now in Senate Health and Human Services Committee.


PA HB 1075 / SB 90

Requires appointment of counsel in "extreme risk protection order" hearings relating to possession of firearms.

HB 1075 referred to Judiciary Committee on 4/5/19.


SB 90 referred to Judiciary Committee on 2/14/19.


PA SB 506

Would require appointment of counsel in involuntary treatment proceedings for drug abuse.

 

Referred to Judiciary Committee on 4/3/19.


TN HB 969 / SB 1344

Establishes involuntary outpatient treatment process and provides right to counsel for proposed patient.

 

HB 969 died in Health Committee but carried over to 2020.


HB 969 died in Judiciary Committee but carried over to 2020.


WV HB 3064

Establishes commitment procedure for IV drug users and requires appointment of counsel for respondent.

Died in Prevention and Treatment of Substance Abuse Committee but carried over to 2020.



 

 

Dead bills

AL HB 231

Would have limited parental RTC in dependency proceedings to situations where State files petition or is a party.

 

Died after being reportedly favorably with amendment from Judiciary Committee.
AR  HB 1488 

Would have required appointment of counsel for biological parents in certain adoption proceedings.

 

Passed House but died in Senate Judiciary Committee.
CO  HB 1251 

Would have required the court to appoint an attorney as guardian ad litem for minors seeking emancipation.

 

Postponed indefinitely by Committee on State, Veterans, & Military Affairs.

 

CT SB 652

Would have required appointment of counsel for tenants in eviction cases.

 

Died in Judiciary Committee.
CT HB 7189

Would have permitted court to appoint counsel for parent when child petitions for restoration of parental rights.

 

Died in Joint Judiciary Committee after public hearing.
CT SB 654

Would have required appointment of counsel for children in immigration proceedings.

 

Died in Joint Judiciary Committee.
CT SB 695

Would have required appointment of counsel for children and adults in immigration proceedings.


Died in Joint Judiciary Committee.
CT SB 991

Would have appropriated $800,000 for representation of children in immigration proceedings.


Joint Judiciary Committee recommended substitute bill, which got favorable report from Legislative Commissioners' Office and then died.

 

FL SB 818 Would have removed right to counsel for involuntary outpatient treatment.

Passed out of Children, Families, and Elder Affairs Committee, but then died in Judiciary Committee.


FL HB 823 / SB 646 Would have permitted court to appoint counsel for any foster child.

HB 823 passed out of Children, Families, and Elder Affairs Committee, but then died in Health and Human Services Committee.

 

SB 646 passed out of Children, Families, and Elder Affairs Committee, but then died in Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services.

 

FL SB 1774  

Would have required parental consent for minor to have abortion and require appointed counsel for minor in judicial bypass proceeding.

 

Received favorable report from Health Policy Committee, but then died in Judiciary Committee.

 

 
KY  SB 205

Would have broadened discretionary power of judges to appoint counsel for minors and persons with disabilities.

 

Passed Senate but died in House. 
MS  HB 130 Would have stripped the right to appointed counsel for parents where child in question conceived as result of rape or sexual battery. Passed House but died in Senate Judiciary Committee.
MS HB 1546

Would have created procedure for civil commitment due to alcohol abuse and required appointment of counsel for respondent.

 

Died in Public Health and Human Services Committee.

 

NJ AB 5664

Would have created process to establish limited guardianship due to alcohol abuse, and required appointed counsel for potential ward.

 

Died in Human Services Committee.

NM HB 600

Would have created parental notice requirement for minors to obtain abortion and authorized court to appoint attorney-GAL for minor.

 

Postponed indefinitely by HCPAC/HJC Committees.

OR SB 371

Would have created pilot projects to provide counsel for children in contested custody cases.

 

Passed out of Judiciary Committee but died in Ways and Means.

 

OR SB 682

Would have required appointment of counsel in adult protective and guardianship proceedings.

 

Passed out of Judiciary Committee with amendments but died in Ways and Means.

OR SB 891

Would have required appointment of counsel in public guardianship proceedings.

 

Passed out of Judiciary Committee but died in Ways and Means. 
TX HB 3379 / SB 480

Would have required appointment of attorney ad litem for every child in permanent managing conservatorship.

 

HB 3379 died in Human Services Committee.

 

SB 480 died in Health and Human Services Committee.

 

TX SB 333

Would have specified that attorney ad litem appointed for child in conservatorship proceedings continues as long as child is in conservatorship of the department.

 

Died in Health and Human Services Committee.

TX HB 3331 / SB 2091

Would have required appointment of counsel for parents and child child when petition filed to require child's custodian to participate in certain services related to the Department.

 

HB 3331ied after substitute reported favorably out of Human Services Committee.


SB 2091 died after being reported favorably out of Health & Human Services Committee.

 

TX HB 3605

Would have authorized court to appoint attorney ad litem for fetus when pregnant minor seeks judicial bypass of parental consent requirement.

 

Died after substitute reported favorably out of Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence Committeee.

TX HB 4562

Would have required appointment of counsel for proposed incapacitated adult in proceeding to appoint parental administrator.

 

Died in Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence Committee.

 

TX SB 1783

Would have authorized court to appoint counsel for ward in proceeding to terminate guardianship.

 

Passed Senate but died in House after being reported favorably out of Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence Committee.