2019/2020 Civil Right to Counsel Bills

 

Listed below are all of the 2019-2020 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.


 

 

Dead bills

 

State Bill #

Description

Status

CO HB 1177 

Requires appointment of counsel for defendant when law enforcement officer 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.
IA SB 2182

Creates a pilot project for the public defender to provide assistance to parents prior to the initiation of formal dependency proceedings.

 

Signed by Governor on 6/17/20.
IN HB 1006

Requires court to appoint an attorney ad litem for a minor seeking emancipation. 

 

Signed by Governor on 3/18/20.
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 400

Creates program to provide voluntary extended foster care for youths 18-21 and authorize court to appoint counsel for the process.

 

Approved by Governor on 3/3/20.
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.

 

Dead bills

 

State Bill #

Description

Latest 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.

 

Died in various committees.

 

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


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

 

All bills died in committee.

 

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.

 

Died in committee.
federal SB 3524 ("Northern Triangle and Border Stabilization Act")

 

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

 

Died in committee. 

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 and died in Senate.

 

HR 2820 voted favorably in House Judiciary Committee but didn't go any further.

 

federal HB 4155 / S.2389 ("Funding Attorneys for Immigrant Removal Proceedings Act") / HR 5210  / SB 2936 ("Refugee Protection Act of 2019")

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

 

All bills died in committee.

federal HB 2835 ("Due Process Act")

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

 

All bills died in committee. 

federal HB 5072 ("A Place to Prosper Act")

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

 

Died in committee.
federal HB 5298 ("Eviction Prevention Act")

Would provide state/local funding for eviction representation and provide priority to jurisdictions establishing or pursuing right to counsel for tenants facing eviction.

 

Died in committee. 

federal HB 5884 / S 3305 ("Legal Assistance to Prevent Evictions Act of 2020")

Would create a federal grant program for representation of tenants, with a preference for jurisdictions that have established a right to counsel.

 

Bills died in committee.

 

federal

S. 3452 ('Affordable Housing Opportunities Made Equitable Act")

 

Would provide federal funding to states/cities pursing a right to counsel for tenants facing eviction.

 

Died in committee.
federal

HB 7847 / SB 4399 ("Housing Emergencies Lifeline Program", or "HELP")

 

Would provide federal funding to states/cities to expand tenant represntation.

 

Bills died in committee.

 

federal S.4519 ("Rent Emergencies Leave Impacts on Evicted Families (RELIEF) Act")

Would provide $500 million in federal funding to states/cities to expand tenant representation, and guarantee counsel for tenants facing eviction in violation of CARES Act.  

 

Died in committee. 

federal HB 5717 / SB 3254

Would authorize state courts to appoint counsel for individual potentially subject to extreme risk protection order that would block possession of firearms.

 

Bills died in committee.

federal HR 6037 ("Fair Access to Legal Counsel Act of 2020")

Would clarify the standards for appointing counsel in federal court civil cases.

 

Died in committee.
federal H. Res. 960

Urges recognition of a right to counsel in civil cases and for Congress to support state/local efforts.

 

Died in committee.
federal Fifth Amendment Integrity Restoration Act ("FAIR Act")

Would provide right to counsel for defendants in federal civil forfeiture proceedings.

 

Died in committee.
federal S.4145 ("Payment Choice Act")

Would require appointment of counsel for a person filing suit to challenge the refusal of a business providing goods/services to accept cash (except goods sold by telephone, mail, or internet).

 

Died in committee.
federal HR 960

Resolution supporting the concept of a right to counsel in civil cases.

 

Died in committee.

 

AK SB 168

Would create process for sex offender to petition for removal from registry and would require appointed counsel for petitioner if indigent.

 

Died in committee.
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.
AZ HB 2149

Would require criminal conviction prior to most forfeiture and would require appointment of public defender for forfeiture proceedings.

 

Died in Rules and Judiciary Committees.
AZ SB 1487

Would require court to appoint counsel for out-of-home placement provider accused of abuse.

 

Did not pass Senate.

CA SB 1016

Would specify that appointed counsel in conservatorships represents the expressed interests of the conservatee.

 

Died in committee.

CO HB 1105

Requires court to appoint counsel for parent in administrative proceeding on whether to list parent in abuse registry.

 

Died in Public Health Care & Human Services 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 HB 5178

Would require appointment of counsel for a child in a paternity proceeding if the court determines the child's interests aren't represented.

 

Died in Joint Judiciary Committee.
CT SB 7 / SB 456

Would provide state funding for legal representation of DV victims seeking an order of protection.

 

SB 7 died in Judiciary Committee.

 

SB 456 died in Joint Judiciary Committee.

 

CT SB 283

Requires counsel to be appointed for children in state department foster care custody up to age 23.

 

Joint Committee reported substitute and then it died.

 

CT SB 377

Would establish a right to counsel for minors in immigration removal proceedings.

 

Died in Joint Judiciary Committee.

 

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.

 

 
FL SB 870

Requires appointment of public defender for minor subject to civil commitment.

 

Died in Judiciary Committee.

 

FL HB 1229

Requires court to appoint counsel when minor voluntarily consents to treatment at facility, in order to ensure consent was truly voluntary.

 

Died in Children, Families, and Seniors Committee.

 

GA HB 178

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

 

Died in committee.
HI HB 905 / SB 214 / SB 2110

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

 

SB 214 passed HMS Committee with amendments but did make it out of JDC Committee.

 

SB 2110 passed Senate, and reported with amendments by HSH committee but died in JUD and FIN committees.

 

HI HB 220 / HB 2502

Makes appointment of counsel for quarantine discretionary rather than mandatory.

 

Did not make it out ofCConference committee appointed to resolve differences between House and Senate versions.

 

HI SB 3

Would require court to automatically apoint counsel for protected person in guardianship proceeding, rather than requiring a request.

 

Deferred by JDC Committee.

IA SSB 3038

Would require appointment of attorney for respondent in proceeding to appoint emergency temporary guardian or conservator.

 

Died in Judiciary Committee.

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.

 

SB 1588 passed Senate but did not make it out of Rules Committee.

 

IL SB 2559

Would remove requirement that court appoint attorney ad litem for child in "related adoptions" where child is not youth in care, and instead make appointment discretionary.

 

Passed Senate but died in House Rules Committee.

IN HB 1418

Requires appointment of attorney ad litem for 17-year old petitioning court to marry and be emancipated.

 

Reported favorably by Judiciary Committee but did not make it any further.

IN SB 360

Requires court to appoint counsel for a child alleged to be a child in need of services as a victim of human or sexual trafficking.

 

Died in Judiciary Committee.

IN SB 289

Would require court to appoint attorney as guardian ad litem for minor seeking emancipation.

 

Passed Senate, and House as amended, but Senate dissented on House amendments.

 

KS HB 2533

Creates process for arbitration of private custody disputes and authorizes arbitrator to appoint counsel for child to represent best interests.

 

Judiciary Committee recommended passage but did not make it any further.

KS SB 404 

Creates process for termination of parental rights when child is conceived as result of sexual assault, and requires appointment of counsel for parent.

 

Passed Senate but died in House Judiciary Committee.
KY HB 395

Would require appointment of counsel for respondents in DV proceedings who are minors or incarcerated, and would specify that appointed counsel for parents in child welfare cases does not extend to appeals.

 

Passed House with committee substitute and floor amendments, but died in Senate 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. 
MA HB 1537 / HB 3456 / SB 913  Would create a right to counsel for low-income tenants in eviction cases.

HB 1537 died in Joint Judiciary Committee after public hearing

 

HB 3456 sent for study after public hearing.

 

SB 913 reported favorably byJoint Judiciary Committee but died in Ways and Means Committee.

 

MA HB 1537 / SB 2785

Would create a pilot right to counsel project.

 

HB 1537 died in Joint Committee on Judiciary after hearing.

 

S2785 reported favorably by Joint Committee on Housing but died in Senate Ways and Means Committee.

 

MA HB 4924

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

 

Passed House but died in Senate Ways and Means Committee.

 

MA HB 1452

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

 

Sent for study.


MA HB 1553

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

 

Sent for study.


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

HB 3347 sent for study.


HB 3332 Reported favorably by Judiciary Committee but died in Joint Committee on Health Care Financing.


SB 834 died in Joint Judiciary Committee.

SB 860 accompanied study order.


MA HB 4349 / SB 2490

Creates process for supported decisionmaking agreement for those with developmental, intellectual or physical disability, or those eligible for guardianship, and requires appointed counsel for indigent person subject to agreement if agreement is challenged on grounds of abuse/neglect.

 

HB 4349 reported favorably out of Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities but did not make it any further.


SB 2490 reported favorably by Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities but died in Ways and Means Committee.


MA SB 941

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

 

Accompanied study order.

MA SB 942

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

 

Accompanied study order.

MD HB 458 / SB 680

Requires court to appoint counsel when minor petitions for emancipation.

 

HB 458 died in Judiciary Committee.


SB 680 died in to Judicial Proceedings Committee.


MD HB 1231 / SB 949

Requires court to appoint counsel for minor who petitions court for permission to marry.

 

HB 1231 passed House with amendments but died in Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.


SB 949 died in Judicial Proceedings Committee.


ME HB 531

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

 

Died in Judiciary Committee.


ME SB 1312

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

 

Passed Senate but voted down in House.
MN HB 2593 / SB 1785

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

 

HB 2593 died in Judiciary Finance and Civil Law Division committee.


SB 1785 died in Judiciary and Public Safety Finance and Policy committees.


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.


SB 730 reported out of Human Services Reform Finance and Policy Commmittee but died in Judiciary and Public Safety Finance and Policy committees.


MN HB 3127 / SB 3245

Would require appointment of counsel for parents in abuse/neglect cases, rather than being discretionary (amended HB 3127 would establish task force to study issue rather than change law at present).

 

HB 3127 reported favorably as amended by Judiciary Finance and Civil Law Division and Government Operations, but died in Health and Human Services Committee.


SB 3245 died in Judiciary and Public Safety Finance and Policy Committees.

 

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.


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."

 

Reported favorably by Human Services Reform Finance and Policy Committee but died in Health and Human Services Finance and Policy Committee.


MO SB 888

Would eliminate birth parent's right to counsel in adoption cases.

 

Died in Seniors, Families and Children Committee.

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 435

Would have required court to terminate parental rights if child conceived as result of rape or sexual battery, and eliminates requirement of evaluating whether to appoint counsel in such proceedings.


Died in 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.

 

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 litem.

 

HB 619 passed House but died in Rules and Operations of the Senate Committee.


SB 337 died in Rules and Operations of the Senate Committee.


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.


NE LB 941

Creates Youth in Care Bill of Rights, which includes appointment of counsel to advocate for the child's expressed interests.

 

Died in Judiciary Committee.


NH HB 1509

Would provide right to counsel to indigent person subject to loss of firearms due to emergency protection order in post secondary educational institution.

 

Referred for interim study by Education 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.

NJ AJR 115 / SJR 69

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

 

AJR 115 passed Assembly but died in Senate Judiciary Committee.


SJR 69 died in Senate Judiciary 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.

NY AB 1095

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

Died in Housing committee.


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.


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.


AB 6125 died in Health Committee.

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.


SB 5434 died in Judiciary Committee.

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

AB 6273 died in Judiciary Committee.


AB 6273 died in Judiciary Committee.


NY SB 7261

Would establish a right to counsel for immigrants in removal proceedings.

 

Died in Finance Committee.

NY SB 9045

Would provide expanded representation for veterans below 400% of poverty level for evictions/foreclosure, certain employment disputes, benefits appeals, cases involving children (including child support establishment and enforcement).

 

Died in Senate Rules Committee.

OR HB 4040

Would establish a Family Treatment Court Program within the child welfare context for parents with substance abuse issues and require the PD to provide counsel for eligible persons.

 

Recommended favorably by Judiciary Committee, and Ways and Means Committee recommended passage with amendments, but did not go any further.

 

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. 

 

PA HB 243

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

 

Died in Judiciary Committee.

PA HB 672

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

 

Passed House but died 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 died in Judiciary Committee.


SB 90 died in judiciary Committee.

PA HB 1920

Creates process for involuntary treatment due to substance abuse and requires appointed counsel for indigent respondents.

 

Died in Human Services Committee.

PA SB 506

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

 

Died in Judiciary Committee.

PA SB 924

Would create process for guardianship of medically disabled adult children and require appointed counsel for such adult children in proceedings to establish the guardianship.

 

Laid on table after being reported out of Judiciary Committee.

PA SB 23

Would require court to appoint counsel for alleged disabled person in guardianship proceeding.

 

Died in Judiciary Committee.

TN HB 969 / SB 1344

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

 

HB 969 reported favorably with amendments by Health Committee and Government Operations Committee but died in Finance, Ways, and Means Committee.


SB 1344 died in Judiciary 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 when petition filed to require child's custodian to participate in certain services related to the Department.

 

HB 3331 died 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.

 

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.

 

WV HB 3064 / HB 4013

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

HB 3064 died in Prevention and Treatment of Substance Abuse Committee.


HB 4013 died in Prevention and Treatment of Substance Abuse Committee.