2023/2024 FEDERAl/STATE CIVIL RIGHT TO COUNSEL BILLS

 

Listed below are all of the 2021/2022 federal/state 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

Latest Status

AR HB 1153

Began as bill that would have replaced child's right to atty ad litem w/ right to client-directed counsel, but now only requires court to consider child's preferences if they are able to reason, regardless of their chronological age.

 

Enacted on 3/2/23.


DC B24-0093

Authorizes arbiter in family law dispute to appoint counsel for a child at the expense of the parties.

 

Signed by the Mayor and enacted on 1/10/23.


MN SF 667

Providing RTC to any indigent parent or Indian custodian in any state court child placement proceeding and to any Indian child ten years of age or older.

 

Approved by Governor on 3/16/23.


ND HB 1113

Clarifies that when judge exercises discretion to appoint a GAL to represent a child in a contested action regarding parenting rights and responsibilities, the GAL must be an attorney.

 

Signed by Governor on 3/27/23.

ND SB 2222

Amends probate act to create procedure for appointment of emergency conservator to provide a right to GAL for the respondent upon filing the petition for appointment; however, unlike other sections of the code providing for a right to an attorney guardian ad litem, this new section doesn't specify that the GAL is an attorney.

 

Signed by Governor on 3/27/23.

ND SB 2224

Narrows discretionary appointment of counsel for children subject to guardianships to situations where the court determines "the child is of sufficient age and competency to assist counsel".

 

Signed by Governor on 3/27/23.

ND SB 2225

Revokes guardian's authority to consent to involuntarily treatment of ward with prescribed medications; Creates process through which guardian must seek authorization to involuntarily treat the ward and requires the court to appoint an attorney GAL for the ward upon the filing of a petition for involuntary treatment.

 

Signed by Governor on 3/27/23.

ND SB 2327

Bill would've created father's adoption registry & a RTC for registered, indigent alleged fathers who timely file intent to claim paternal rights. Amended bill removed RTC and adoption registry provisions.

 

Signed by Governor on 3/16/23.

SD HB 1174

Provides that a person with a felony sexual offense charged that has been dismissed due to a developmental disability may be subject to civil commitment proceedings for which they have the RTC if indigent.

 

Signed by Governor on 3/27/23.

 

VA SB 1033

If a minor is called as a witness, the court may appoint an attorney GAL to represent the minor's interests if the court determines "the circumstances so require."

 

Signed by Governor on 3/23/23.

 

WY SF 94

Indigent parents or Indian custodians of Indian children have the RTC in shelter care placement or termination proceedings; court may appoint counsel for Indian child if in child's best interests.

 

Chaptered on 3/9/23.

 

  

Active bills

 

State Bill #

Description

Latest Status

US HB 666/ SB 342

Requiring the Sec. of Homeland Security to ensure that a "covered individual" in an immigration proceeding has a "meaningful opportunity to consult with counsel" and "to the greatest extent practicable, accommodate a request by the covered individual for counsel."

 

HB 666: Referred to Committee on the Judiciary on 1/31/23.


SB 342: Referred to the Committee on the Judiciary on 2/9/23.


US SB 685

Appears that this bill attempts to roll back the RTC for unaccompanied children in immigration matters by striking "have counsel to represent them," replacing with "have access to counsel to represent them." Unclear whether this is the impact that would result.

 

Referred to Judiciary Committee on 3/7/23.


AL SB 50/ HB 101

Provides an adult adoptee with right to GAL if adoptee unable to give consent; Replaces discretionary appointment of GAL for incompetent/incapacitated parent with mandatory appointment of independent counsel or GAL; Replaces mandatory appointment of GAL for adoptee in contested adoptions with discretionary appointment of court rep.

 

SB 50: Referred to Judiciary Committee on 3/7/23.


HB 101: Passed in House on 3/23/23 and referred to Senate Children & Youth Health Committee.


AZ SB 1643

Adding Chapter regarding Indian Child Welfare proceedings, which would provide the RTC for indigent Indian parents or custodians in any involuntary juvenile court proceedings under the Act and provide for discretionary RTC for Indian child if court finds appoint is in child's best interest.

 

Assigned to Senate Rules Committee on 2/2/23.


CO SB 170

Subject of temporary extreme risk protection order who must surrender their firearms and conceal carry permit has RTC at hearing on the extreme risk protection order.

 

Passed Senate with amendments on 3/13/23. Passed House with amendments on 3/26. Senate considered amendments but Laid Over Daily on 3/28.


CO HB 1168

Requiring the Dep't of Ed. to create and maintain a list of qualified attys to represent a parent in a DP complaint.

 

Passed House w/o amend. on 3/13/23. Senate Ed. Committee hearing on 3/20; To Approp. on 3/20.


CO SB 39

Provides that the court shall appoint counsel for abuse/neglect proceeding respondents who are incarcerated or involuntary committed, unless the court determines the respondent is able to financially secure counsel on their own.

 

Passed Senate with amendments on 3/23/23. House Pub. & Behavioral Health & Hum. Servs. Committee hearing on 4/5 at 1:30pm.


CO HB 1086

Provides RTC for claimant-criminal defendants in forfeiture proceedings if the public defender or other appointed counsel represents the defendant in the related criminal matter.

 

Hearing scheduled for 3/7/23 at 1:30pm and referred to Appropriations on 3/7/23.


CT SB 1008

Specifies that counsel appointed for a child in neglect proceedings continues for the duration of any such proceedings, i.e. to extended foster care proceedings.

 

Referred to Joint Committee on Children on 2/9/23; Public hearing held on 2/16/23.


CT HB 6261

Requiring Judicial Branch to review procedures of housing court to ensure procedures are consistent with the state's RTC program.

 

Referred to Joint Committee on Judiciary on 1/19/23.


CT HB 6108/ SB 941

Expanding eviction RTC to all residents of "distressed" municipalities as identified by the Dep't of Economic and Community Develop. Eligibility for eviction RTC is currently tied to HH income (80% or less of AMI) or receipt of public benefits.

 

HB 6108 referred to Joint Committee on Housing on 1/18/23.


SB 941 referred to Joint Committee on Housing on 2/2/23.


CT SB 81

An act for continued funding of the eviction RTC program.

 

Referred to Joint Committee on Appropriations on 1/12/23.


CT SB 1204

Providing RTC to indigent parents or Indian custodians in any removal, placement or TPR proceeding concerning Indian child.

 

Joint Hum. Servs. Committee held hearing on 3/16. Joint favorable substitute filed w/ Leg. Comm'ners' on 3/28. 


CT HB 6889

CT amended its law in 2017 to stop handling truancy in court. The bill would return truancy to court, categorizing the matter as a "family with service needs" case, and provides that a "child shall be entitled to representation by counsel" in matters related to noncompliance with court orders.

 

To Joint Judiciary Committee on 3/9; Public hearing held on 3/15/23.


DE SB 1

Provides counsel to indigent tenants facing eviction whose landlords have 4 or more units provided that the tenant applies for services and their case is deemed meritorious.

 

Passed by Senate on 3/28/23. To House Housing Committee on 3/29.


DE SB 4

Providing RTC at revocation of parole hearing.

 

Introduced and Assigned to Corrections & Public Safety Committee on 3/1/23.


DE HB 86

Indigent parents currently have a discretionary RTC in abuse/neglect matters. The bill would provide them with a categorical RTC at all stages of the proceedings and require notice of the right.

 

Judiciary Committee favorably reported; referred to Approp. on 3/30.


FL HB 875/ SB 1384

Replaces mandatory RTC for certain categories of children who are alleged dependent with a discretionary RTC for all children alleged dependent.  Requires appointment of attorney for all children but the attorneys play an ad litem role.

 

HB 875: Referred to Health & Hum. Servs., Approp., and Civil Justice s/c on 3/20.


SB 1384: Children, Families, and Elder Affairs hearing on 4/4 at 11am.


FL SB 488

Expanding the categories of dependent children who must be appointed legal counsel to include children younger than 8 years of age who are prescribed psychotropic medication; children exhibiting symptoms of a developmental disability; at risk of becoming a victim of human trafficking; with open criminal or delinquency matters; who the court determines need an attorney; and those required to have counsel for a postdispositional change in custody hearing under Sec. 39.522(3)(c).

 

Referred to Judiciary, Fiscal Policy, Crim. and Civil Justice  Appropriations Committees on 2/9/23. Introduced on 3/7/23.


GA HB 460

Provides RTC to children receiving extended youth care services.  Permits court to appoint counsel for child at hearings about continuation or termination of temporary guardianship or at legitimation proceeding.

 

Passed in House 3/1/23. Passed on Senate on 3/16/23.


HI SB 411/ HB 779/ HB 829

Providing RTC for indigent parents upon the filing of petition for custody or family supervision and at first hearing attended unless knowing and voluntary waiver. Places affirmative duty on court to inquire about indigence if parent appears without counsel. Prohibits entry of prejudicial finding or order if attorney not present, and provides court must grant requested continuance if counsel not appointed at least 3 days before hearing.

 

SB 411 referred to HHS and JDC on 1/25/23.


HB 779 referred to JHA on 1/30/23.


HB 829 scheduled to be heard before JHA on 2/7/23 at 2:00 pm, but the committee(s) on JHA recommend(s) that the measure be deferred.


HI SB 399

For minors seeking emancipation, the court shall appoint a GAL for the minor and and attorney to "represent the interest of the minor" if indigent and "where the court finds that the minor requires a separate legal advocate to advise the minor regarding the rights, responsibilities, and legal consequences associated with emancipation".

 

Referred to HHS, JDC on 1/25/23.


HI HB 1291/ SB 1530

Requires child's GAL, attorney, CASA et al. to notify court if aware that child in foster care has suffered an injury that may constitute a tort. Court shall hold hearing to determine whether to appoint a master to investigate merits of tort claim. If court decides further action is necessary, it may authorize tort claim and either appoint outside counsel for child if in child's best interest or authorize master to continue to represent child.

 

HB 1291: HUS Committee recommends pass with amendments' referred to JHA on 2/17.


SB 1530: referred to HHS, JDC on 1/30/23.


HI HB 1440 / SB 1595

Enacts RTC for minors subject to guard. where (i) requested by a minor 12 yrs of age or older, (ii) GAL recommends, or (iii) court determines minor needs rep; Changes factors court must consider in deciding whether to appoint atty for adult in plenary guard. hearings; Changes RTC for adults in emergency guard. cases from discretionary to mandatory and adds RTC in emergency conservatorship cases; Adds RTC where adult seeks to remove guard. or conservator and where adult seeks to modify or terminate guard/conservatorship and factors are met.

 

HB 1440 scheduled for hearing on 2/24/23. Committee recommends that the measure be deferred on 2/24/23.


SB 1595 referred to HHS, JDC ON 1/30/23.


HI SR 70/ SCR 78

Requesting the judiciary to collect data about how often the landlord is granted possession in eviction cases when the LL has counsel and the tenant is pro se.

 

 

SR 70: Judiciary Committee recommends passage w/ amend. on 3/23.


SCR 78: Same.


IL HB 3709

Creates RTC program for tenants to be phased in, as well as landlord registry, tenant bill of rights, and other measures aimed at addressing shortage of safe and affordable housing.

 

Referred to Rules Committee on 3/9/23.


IL HB 1444/ HB 2315

Requires court to appoint counsel for indigent tenants facing eviction; Supreme Court A2J Comm'n responsible for implementing.

 

Both referred to Rules Committee: on 3/13/23 and 3/10/23, respectively.


IL SB 1478

Provides RTC to unrepresented children in abuse/neglect proceedings, even where an attorney GAL or CASA is appointed and the CASA is represented by an attorney; also creates the Due Process for Youth Oversight Commission to oversee the creation/implementation of a youth's statutory RTC.

 

Committee amend. no. 1 filed on 2/16/23.  Judiciary Committee hearing held. To House Rules Committee on 3/27.


IL HB 2175/ HB 2606

This bill would require unemancipated minors to notify an adult family member when seeking an abortion and provide procedure for judicial bypass of the notice, requiring court to appoint a GAL for the minor and an attorney for the minor upon request in such proceedings.

 

HB 2175: Referred to Rules Committee on 3/16/23.


HB 2606: Referred to Rules Committee on 3/16/23.


IL SB 2379

Amends existing "[RTC] in Immigration Act," which created a task force to investigate the resources that would be required to to create a RTC for covered individuals in certain immigration matters, to extend the deadline for the task force's report from to 2024 and extend the repeal date to 2025.

 

Passed in Senate on 3/23/23. To House Rules Committee on 3/24.


IN SB 485

In juvenile case where child's atty serves as a GAL or CASA, the atty must ask for independent GAL or CASA if child's wishes differ from the atty's opinion about child's best interests. Also changes RTC for children in TPR cases from discretionary to mandatory; expands mandatory RTC to include (1) children who are, or who will be, in out-of-home placement w/a services provider and (2) children 12 yrs of age or older in a CHINS proceeding. Also, children younger than 12 with a constitutional RTC cannot waive RTC and specifies the ways in which a child 12 or older can waive the RTC.

 

Referred to Committee on Family and Children Services on 1/19/23.


IN SB 484

Establishes pilot programs administered by court services office, which will select participating courts under criteria in bill. Requires these courts to appoint counsel for children under specified circumstances including where child is a respondent in a CHINS case or in a dual CHIN/delinquency case and there is a significant difference between the child's wishes and the child's best interest.

 

Referred to Committee on Family and Children Services on 1/19/23.


IN HB 1479

In school disciplinary proceedings where the student or student organization does not have an attorney or nonattorney advocate to conduct cross-examination, the public education institution shall either appoint counsel or a nonattorney advocate for purposes of cross examining adverse witnesses or "provide an alternative method for conducting a meaningful cross-examination."

 

Referred to Committee on Education on 1/17/23.


IN SB 26

Requires appointment of counsel for familial caregivers in abuse/neglect cases where caregiver has provided care to child within their own home for at least 6 months.

 

Judiciary Committee amend do pass adopted and reassigned to Appropriations Committee on 1/19/23.


IN SB 287

Adds new section to Probate Act related to RTC for respondents in proceedings related to petitions requesting disclosure of respondent's confidential medical records, for purposes of protective order.

 

Passed Senate on 1/31/23; Passed by House on 3/28/23.


KS HB 2017

Establishes that, unless the parties agree otherwise on record, the arbitrator of a family law dispute has the authority to appoint an attorney, GAL or other representative for a child at the expense of the parties.

 

Passed House on 2/1/23; Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on 3/24 at 10:30am.


KS HB 2380

Abolishes pre-conviction civil forfeiture and provides RTC for indigent defendants in criminal forfeiture proceedings.

 

Referred to Committee on Corrections and Juvenile Justice on 3/1/23.


KS HB 2381

Providing children in abuse/neglect, TPR, and truancy proceedings with the right to client-directed attorney in all proceedings (including appeals), where they were previously entitled only to an attorney GAL. Makes appointment of GAL discretionary.

 

Hearing scheduled for 2/16/23 at 3:30pm.


KY HB 84

Court-appointed counsel for respondent shall represent respondent “through the end of the period in which to perfect an appeal or upon the resolution of the appeal or action,” unless the guardianship or conservatorship order state otherwise.

 

Referred to Committee on Committees on 1/4/23.


KY HB 85

Adding definitions to adult guardianship code to define the respondent's attorney as distinct from their GAL and the GAL as an attorney. Providing that court shall appoint counsel upon request for purpose of assisting protected person in filing a petitioning for modification, termination, renewal, or replacement of their plenary or temporary guardian.

 

Referred to Committee on Committees on 2/7/23 and Families & Children Committee on 2/9/23.


MA HB 1605

Providing RTC to minors who are at least 13 years old in seeking protective orders due to abuse or harassment.

 

Referred to the Joint Judiciary Committee on 2/16/23.


MA HB 1615

Providing RTC for property owners in civil assets forfeiture cases that are filed by individual persons as opposed to the state.

 

Referred to the Joint Judiciary Committee on 2/16/23.


MA HB 1980

If no beds at inpatient psych. facility and the person is sent to the ER, they must be informed of their RTC; if they request counsel, the ER shall contact the PD and counsel shall be appointed.

 

Referred to the Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use & Recovery on 2/16/23.


MA HB 1596

If decedent's home is under foreclosure or lien enforcement, and additional continuance is not granted, the court shall appoint counsel to represent the homestead in the action or proceeding.

 

Referred to the Joint Judiciary Committee on 2/16/23.


MA HB 1585

Repealing RTC for indigent sex offenders at sex offender classification hearings.

 

Referred to the Joint Judiciary Committee on 2/16/23.


MA SB 294

Providing that a student who has been suspended or expelled and appeals that decision "[has] the right to counsel" at the hearing with the superintendent; it is not clear whether this creates a RTC.

 

Referred to Joint Education Committee on 2/16/23.


MA HB 1591

In guardianship proceedings, requires the notice to advise the alleged incapacitated person of their right to legal representation.

 

Referred to Joint Judiciary Committee on 2/16/23.


MA HB 2748

Creating the "Housing First and Housing for All Fund," to be used for, among other things, supporting "the [RTC] or other legal representation in eviction cases."

 

Referred to Joint Revenue Committee on 2/16/23.


MA HB 1694/ SB 980

Creating process for petitions for "a critical community health service treatment plan" order and providing that court may appoint counsel "if necessary" for individuals subject to these petitions and petitions related to noncompliance.

 

HB 1694: Referred to Joint Judiciary Committee on 2/16/23.


SB 980: Referred to Joint Judiciary Committee on 2/16/23.


MA HB 200

Appropriating $3.5 million in general funds to "the Maryland Legal Services Corporation for the purpose of providing increased [tenant RTC] services."

 

Adopted as amended by House on 3/16/23. Adopted with amendments by Senate on 3/23/23. Conference scheduled.


MA SB 109/ HB 1485/ HB 201

For petition to revoke or suspend a surrogate decision-maker's authority on grounds of abuse, neglect, or exploitation, decision-maker has RTC if indigent.

 

SB 109: Referred to the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities on 2/16/23.


HB 1485: Referred to the Joint Judiciary Committee on 2/16.


HB 201: Referred to the Joint Committee on Children, Families & Persons with Disabilities on 2/16.


MA HB 1390

Child's guardian has RTC where noncustodial parent seeks custody or visitation, or where guardian seeks adoption. In probate cases filed by State, provides custodial parent seeking stepparent adoption w/RTC, if noncustodial parent who's opposed has court-appointed counsel.

 

Referred to Joint Judiciary Committee on 2/16/23.


MA HB 1448

A party with sufficient standing who brings a Right Of Action [for Specific Environmental Pollution] based on actual, or sufficient evidence of harm, has the RTC.

 

Referred to Joint Judiciary Committee 2/16/23.


MA HB 1731/ SB 864

Providing RTC in eviction proceedings to indigent individuals who are either (a) tenants;  or (b) owner-occupants of a 1-3 unit building.

 

HB 1731: Referred to Joint Judiciary Committee on 2/16/23.


SB 864: Referred to the Joint Housing Committee on 2/16/23.



MD HB 225/ SB 904

Providing RTC to covered individuals (at or below 50% AMI) in foreclosure actions.

 

HB 225: Hearing 2/1/23 at 2:30 pm.


SB 904: To Judiciary Committee on 3/28.


MD SB 643

Allocating funds to the Access to Counsel in Evictions Special Fund for FY 2024.

 

Passed Senate on 3/17; House Appropriations Committee hearing on 4/4 at 1pm.


MD SB 756/ HB 1050

Making permanent the requirement that Comptroller distribute certain amount of abandoned property funds to eviction RTC program and the requirement that the Governor appropriate money to eviction RTC program.

 

SB 756: Passed Senate on 3/17. House Approp. Committee hearing on 4/4 at 1pm.


HB 1050 scheduled for Housing Appropriations Hearing on 3/7/23 at 1:00pm.


MN HF 912/ SF 716

Creates African American Family Preservation Act; Requires court to appoint "qualified counsel" for parent or custodian of an African American child subject to an emergency protective care hearing, if parent meets eligibility req.

 

HF 912: referred to Children and Families Finance and Policy on 1/26/23.


SF 716: referred to Health and Human Services Committee on 1/25/23.


MN SF 98/ HF 125/ HF 917/ SF 1298

Creates RTC for public housing tenants subject to an eviction alleging breach of lease.

 

SF 98: Scheduled for hearing on 3/3/23 at 12:30pm.


HF 125: referred to Housing Finance & Policy Committee on 1/9/23. Committee report, to adopt and re-refer to Judiciary Finance and Civil Law on 1/30/23.


HF 917: Judiciary Finance and Civil Law hearing held. 2nd reading on 3/30.


SF 1298: Hearing on 3/24 at 9am. 2nd reading on 3/27.


MN SF 1629

Creates right to court-appointed counsel for tenants facing eviction who are financially unable to obtain counsel.

 

Referred to Judiciary and Public Safety ON 2/13/23.


MN SF 70

Repeals Minn. Stat. § 144.343, which requires a minor to notify parents that they are seeking an abortion and provides for a procedure to bypass parental notification during which the minor is entitled to court-appointed counsel.

 

Hearing scheduled for 2/9/23 at 8:30 am.


MO HB 1170/ SB 675

Provides children with RTC in abuse/neglect and TPR cases at all stages, incl. appeals, where child currently entitled only to a GAL. Removes request requirement for RTC in delinquency cases. In parentage actions, makes RTC mandatory where child abuse or neglect is alleged, if the child is named as a defendant, or if the court determines the child's interests conflict with those of "his or her next friend."

 

HB 1170: Judiciary Committee hearing on 3/22/23 at 4:30pm.


SB 675: First reading on 2/27/23.


MO SB 668

Similar to HB1170/SB675 in that it provides children with RTC in abuse/neglect and TPR cases at first hearing through all stages incl. appeal, where child currently entitled only to a GAL. Unlike those bills, has indigency requirement; removes request requirement for RTC in delinquency cases. Changes RTC for indigent parents in abuse/neglect cases from discretionary to mandatory.

 

First reading on 2/27/23.


MO SB 375

Provides RTC upon request to indigent parents, guardians, and custodians in protective custody hearings under section 211.032, as well as in hearings involving removal due to alleged abuse or neglect.

 

Health & Welfare Committee voted do pass on 3/29/23.


MO SB 123

Provides RTC at a preliminary and revocation hearing for a violation of parole or conditional release.

 

Referred to Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee on 1/26/23.


MS HB 1149

Expands RTC for children alleged abused and neglected to all stages (instead of just all critical stages), and removes indigency requirement. Also expands "all stages" to include shelter hearings.

 

Passed in House; Passed in Senate as amended. Returned to for concurrence but House declined to Concur on 3/14. Conference held; recommitted on 3/28.


MT SB 469

Creates statewide central registry to maintain information on individuals who are the subject of substantiated determinations of child abuse or neglect; The dep't may not add an individual to the central registry before notice and a hearing is held at which the individual has the RTC.

 

Passed in Senate on 3/2/23; Referred to House Judiciary on 3/15/23.


MT HB 603

Provides for a process through which parental rights may be reinstated, including through a petition filed by the child and for which the child is entitled to court-appointed counsel.

 

Passed in House on 3/2/23. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on 4/4/23 at 8am.


MT HB 317

Establishes the Montana Indian Child Welfare Act; providing for RTC in child custody proceedings for Indian children's parents and Indian custodians where indigent; providing discretionary RTC for Indian children pursuant to 41-3-425.

 

Public Health, Welfare and Safety Committee hearing on 3/22 at 3pm.


MT SB 318

Amends the section of the code that provides a child alleged to be abused or neglected with the right to a CASA and allows for appointment of an attorney if a CASA is not available, to indicate that the PD may be appointed as attorney GAL.

 

Passed Senate on 2/24/23. House Judiciary Committee hearing scheduled for 3/27 but canceled.


MT HB 37

Amends RTC provisions for children in abuse/neglect proceedings. Makes appointment for child mandatory even where GAL is appointed.

 

Passed House on 2/14/23; Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on 3/30 at 8am.

MT SB 148

Makes changes identical to HB 37 (above) regarding the RTC, but MT HB 37 goes much farther, making broader changes, e.g., excluding from the definition of "child abuse or neglect" substance use by a parent or guardian, disorderly living conditions, other factors closely related to economic status, or a child's obesity".

 

Passed Senate on 2/14/23; House Judiciary Committee Report--bill concurred 3/17.

MT SB 180

Removes mandatory appointment of CASA "in every judicial proceeding." Replaces with discretionary appointment of attorney "or other qualified person" to serve as GAL for any child alleged to be abused or neglected." Adds new section that permits court to appoint a CASA.

 

Passed Senate on 2/28/23. House Judiciary Committee hearing 3/24 at 8am.

NC SB 20/ HB 125

Creates procedure for safe surrender of an "infant" (a child reasonably believed to be 7 years old or younger); provides RTC to parent in subsequent TPR proceedings, but it is unclear whether RTC applies to surrendering parent, other parent, or both parents.

 

SB 20: referred to Com On Rules, Calendar, and Operations on 2/14/23.


HB 125: Passed in House on 3/7/23. Referred to Senate Rules & Operations Committee on 3/8/23.

NE LB 187

Provides RTC to residential tenants facing eviction in counties containing a city of the metropolitan class or a city of the primary class.

 

Hearing scheduled for 3/8/23 at 1:30 pm.

NE LB 338

A person charged with an "eligible offense" ("including...any misdemeanor, infraction, traffic infraction, violation of a city or village ordinance, or violation of a county resolution," but not felonies) who previously failed to appear in relation to that offense, may appear before the court during open court hours, during which the court shall ensure that "the public defender or other appointed counsel" are available to assist them.

 

Judiciary Committee hearing on 3/16/23 at 1:30pm.

NH HB 535

Provides RTC to minor children who are the subject of proceedings in the judicial branch family division; For abused/neglected children, changes definition of conflict that triggers discretionary RTC from instances where child's expressed interests conflict with "the recommendation for dispositional orders" of the GAL, to instances where the child's expressed wishes conflict with "any recommendation of the GAL."

 

Hearing held on 2/21/23. Retained in Committee on 2/24/23.

NH HB 379

Original version provided indigent tenants facing eviction with the RTC, but amended version just requires courts to notify tenants of possibility of obtaining assistance from legal services and provide contact info.

 

Committee Report: Out to Pass on 3/21/23.

NH HB 593

If a defendant is represented by a public defender or appointed counsel in a criminal matter, "the public defender or appointed counsel shall represent the defendant in the forfeiture proceeding and any other related criminal proceeding."

Hearings held on 2/17/23 and 2/24. Retained in Committee on 2/24/23.

NJ AB 1552 / SB 2177

Guarantees a right to counsel for tenants facing eviction.

 

Referred to Judiciary Committee on 1/11/22.

 

Referred to Judiciary Committee on 3/7/22.

 

 

NJ AB 2708

Creates process for involuntary civil commitment of children and requires appointment of counsel for child if indigent.

 

Referred to Women and Children Committee on 2/14/22.

 

NJ AB 4303

Specifies that counsel must be appointed in all guardianship cases involving an indigent respondent and that appointment lasts until the guardianship is terminated.

 

Referred to Human Services Committee on 6/20/22.

 

NJ AB 753 / SB 167

Requires court to appoint counsel where defendant fails to appear in civil case and no affidavit is filed stating that defendant is not in active military.

 

AB 753 and SB 167 referred to Military and Veterans' Affairs Committees on 1/11/22.

 

NJ AJR 15 / SJR 67

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

 

AJR 15 referred to Judiciary Committee on 1/11/22.

SJR 67 referred to Judiciary Committee on 3/3/22.

 

 

NJ SB 1483

Specifies that appointed counsel in guardianship cases lasts until the guardianship is terminated.

 

Referred to Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee on 2/10/22.

 

NJ SB 1301

Requires appointment of counsel for conservatorships (current law makes it discretionary).

 

Referred to Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee on 2/3/22.

 

NM HB 235

Lowering age at which children in abuse/neglect proceedings are entitled to an attorney from 14 to 6 and providing children younger than 6 with a GAL.

 

Hearing scheduled for 2/13/23 at 8:30am.

 

NV AB 148

Creates processes to determine capacity of abuse/neglect respondent and to determine appropriateness of initial/continued placement of child in residential program. Expands child's RTC and respondent's discretionary RTC to these matters; incapacitated respondents have right to GAL, but unclear whether GAL must be an atty.

 

Referred to Judiciary Committee on 2/14/23. Hearing held on 3/21 at 8am.

 

NV SB 227

Minor respondents currently have the RTC in matters related to temp. or extended OPs due to stalking, aggravated stalking, or harassment. The bill would add "intimidation" to this list.

 

Judiciary Committee hearing on 3/28/23 at 1pm.

 

NY SB 5284

Proving legal services to youth and their family where youth are ordered to participate in invol. commitment due to their mental health and are in the custody of the office of children and family services or placed or committed to a state operated juvenile detention center.

 

Referred to Mental Health Committee on 3/1/23.

 

NY AB 4323

Creates process to compel assisted outpatient treatment for substance abuse and provides RTC "at all stages of a proceeding commenced under this article."

 

Referred to Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Committee on 2/14/23.

 

NY SB 3254/ AB 4993

Amends the real property and proceedings act to require the court to grant continuances of at least 30 days (and more than once if necessary) where the party may be eligible for a free attorney under local law, for the purpose of retaining and consulting with counsel.

 

SB 3254: Referred to Housing, Construction and Community Develop. Committee on 1/30/23.

 

AB 4993: Referred to Judiciary Committee on 2/27/23.

 

NY SB 257

Creates RTC for individuals “against whom a removal proceeding may be or has been commenced.”

 

Referred to Finance Committee on 1/4/23.

 

NY AB 381

Clarifies that appointment of a GAL does not affect the protected person or proposed protected person's RTC in guardianship matter.

 

Judiciary Committee hearing on 3/31/23 at 8am.

 

NY AB 3271/ SB 4419

Providing unaccompanied minors with culturally and linguistically appropriate services and supports, including the RTC in immigration-related proceedings in state court, federal court, and any appeals arising from those matters.

 

AB 3271: referred to Social Services Committee on 2/2/23.

 

SB 4419: referred to Children & Families Committee on 2/8/23.

 

NY AB 170

Creates RTC for individuals facing removal proceedings.

 

Referred to Committee on Codes on 1/4/23.

 

NY SB 478

Expands the RTC to include respondents in guardianship proceedings and kinship caregivers in custody and guardianship proceedings.

 

Judiciary Committee hearing scheduled for 1/17/23; Referred to Finance Committee on 1/17/23.

 

NY AB 291/ SB 4689

Establishes system for discretionary appointment of counsel in a number of areas, including Labor Act violation complaints, public benefits appeals, revocation and suspension of drivers' license for traffic infractions and administrative review/appeals of such, certain eviction and foreclosure actions, and certain support proceedings under the Family Court Act.

 

AB 291: referred to Judiciary Committee on 1/4/23.

 

SB 4689: referred to Judiciary Committee on 1/4/23.

 

NY AB 663

Establishes system for discretionary appointment of counsel in a number of areas for veterans at or below 400% of FPL, including Labor Act violation complaints, public benefits appeals, revocation and suspension of drivers' license for traffic infractions and administrative review/appeals of such, certain eviction and foreclosure actions, and certain support proceedings under the Family Court Act.

 

Referred to Judiciary Committee on 1/11/23.

 

NY SB 999

Provides RTC for covered individuals in immigration proceedings.

 

Referred to Finance Committee on 1/9/23.

 

NY AB 368/ SB 3033

Provides that all "covered businesses" shall have access to legal services in bankruptcy proceedings; RTC does not extend to appeals.

 

AB 368: referred to Judiciary Committee on 1/6/23.

 

SB 3033: referred to Finance Committee on 1/26/23.

 

NY AB 1493

Provides a right to full representation in eviction proceedings for eligible individuals, defined as someone at risk of losing their housing in a "covered proceeding," including administrative proceedings, becoming eligible at which time they receive notice to terminate or if they are a party in a covered proceeding or are reasonably anticipated to become a party.

 

Referred to Judiciary Committee on 1/17/23.

 

NY AB 2526

Expanding the RTC in custody and guardianship of minor proceedings to kinship caregivers.

 

Children and Families Committee favorably referred to Ways and Means Committee on 2/7/23.

 

NY SB 2721

Establishes RTC in eviction proceedings in New York state; creates the New York state office of civil representation; requires that covered individuals be given notice of such right to counsel.

 

Referred to Housing, Construction and Community Develop. Committee on 1/24/23.

 

NY AB 3823

In an eviction action where a senior citizen (defined as 62 yrs or older) is a party, if the senior does not appear or is not represented by an attorney, the court may appoint an attorney for the senior.

 

Referred to Housing Committee on 2/8/23.

 

NY SB 2911/ AB 3398

Requires parental notice of minor's abortion; provides process for judicial bypass of parental notification & RTC for minor upon request; also creates RTC for pregnant minor who is being coerced to undergo an abortion and asks court for relief.

 

SB 2911: referred to Women's Committee on 1/25/23. Notice of Committee consideration requested on 3/16.

 

AB 3398: referred to Health Committee on 2/3/23.

 

NY AB 4236/ SB 5919

Indigent persons have a RTC in any proceeding impacting their rights under the second amendment.

 

AB 4236: Referred to Judiciary Committee on 2/13/23.

 

SB 5919: Referred to Codes Committee on 3/22/23.

 

OH HB 59

Creates eviction defense fund to provide legal representation to tenants in eviction matters who have at least one child and an annual gross household income of 250% of the FPL or less.

 

Hearing held on 2/28/23 at 1:00 pm.

 

OK HB 2259

Specifies that for fees/fines cases, person has right to hearing on ability to pay, and court can only impose incarceration if person has been represented by counsel or waived RTC.

 

Passed House as amended on 3/14/23. To Senate Judiciary Committee on 3/29.

 

OK HB 2726

RTC to defendants with an annual income of 200% of less of the FPL in eviction actions to be implemented by the Oklahoma Indigent Defense system, giving priority to counties in which most evictions occur and to tenants disproportionately at risk.

 

Referred to Appropriations and Budget Judiciary Subcommittee on 2/7/23.

 

OR HB 2429

Narrows discretionary RTC for children in dependency proceedings to situations where child was allegedly abused; Repeals mandatory RTC for Indian children in dependency proceedings; in considering whether to appoint counsel for parents, court should appoint "only if facts found in dependency proceeding may effect criminal proceeding." Repeals RTC in contested adoption proceedings.

 

Referred to Judiciary Committee on 1/16/23.

 

OR SB 528

Removes hearing requirement from the mandatory appointment of counsel provision [ORS 125.080(6)(a)] for a protected person in an adult protective proceeding.

 

Judiciary Committee hearing on 4/3 at 1pm.

 

OR SB 740

A public institution of higher education must establish adjudication procedures that include the RTC for students, faculty and staff. However, the bill is ambiguous as to whether the RTC means the right to appointed counsel.

 

Introduced and referred to Education Committee on 1/17/23.

 

PA SB 506

Providing RTC to unrepresented, alleged incapacitated persons regardless of their ability to pay in any matter related to guardianship of their person and estate, including termination and modification.

 

Referred to Judiciary Committee on 3/7/23.

 

PA HB 190

If court is considering incarcerating a defendant who has defaulted on payment of fees/fines, notice to defendant must inform them of their RTC.

 

Referred to Judiciary Committee on 3/8/23.

 

PA HB 428

Repeals judicial bypass of parental consent to abortion for which minors currently have a RTC; Allows guardian to consent to abortion on behalf of protected person; Creates process for judicial review if guardian refuses to consent or makes decision with which protected person disagrees, for which right to GAL and RTC attaches unless they appear with their own attorney or waive counsel.

 

Referred to Judiciary Committee on 3/15/23.

 

PA HB 350

Providing child with right to attorney, GAL "or similar person" in parentage proceeding.

 

Referred to Children & Youth Committee on 3/13/23.

 

RI HB 6129

Creating new division within the public defender's office to implement a tenant RTC program.

 

Introduced and referred to Judiciary Committee on 3/6/23.

 

SC HB 3844

Creating RTC for tenants in eviction matters, including administrative proceedings, where tenant's HH income is not greater than 125% of FPL.

 

Referred to Committee on Judiciary on 3/29/23.

 

SC SB 259

Amends the Structured Settlement Protection Act to allow the court to appoint counsel to advise the court about whether transfer is in the best interests of the payee. Requires the court to appoint such counsel if payee is minor or appears to "suffer from a mental or cognitive impairment."

 

Passed Senate on 2/28/23. Referred to House Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee on 3/2/23.

 

SC HB 3233/ SB 146

Provides RTC for residents committed to the Sexually Violent Predatory Treatment Program for purposes of challenging the commitment and subsequent periodic reviews based on the ineffective assistance of counsel."

 

HB 3233: Referred to Committee on Judiciary on 1/10/23.

 

SB 146: Judiciary Committee reported favorably with amendment on 3/29. Scheduled for 3rd reading on 3/31.

 

SC HB 3140

Creates RTC for tenants facing eviction in certain covered proceedings.

 

Referred to Committee on Judiciary on 1/10/23.

 

SC HB 3882

Providing that a GAL in private custody or visitation matter (which a child is entitled to upon agreement by the parties or in the court's discretion) must be an attorney, unless both parties are unrepresented and the GAL meets certain min. requirements.

 

Referred to Committee on Judiciary on 2/7/23.

 

TN SB 710

Unless parties agree otherwise in a signed writing, in a "child-related dispute," an arbitrator's powers include the power to appoint an attorney, GAL, or other representative for a child at the expense of the parties.

 

To Judiciary Committee on 3/21/23.

 

TN HB 279/ SB 904

Currently, an individual who is behind on child support payments cannot vote nor register to vote. The bill would allow those behind their payments with a provisional right to vote if they enter into a payment plan to become current on payments. If the person "willfully fails" to make payments, their provisional right to vote may be revoked, but not before the court appoints an attorney for the individual and allows them to be heard.

 

HB 279: Crim. Justice s/c hearing 4/4/23 at 10:30am.

 

SB 904: on Judiciary Committee calendar for 3/21/23.

 

TN HB 508

If individual is unrepresented in proceeding for involuntary outpatient mental health treatment, the court shall appoint counsel in the proceeding and throughout the duration of any continuing mandatory outpatient treatment.

 

Assigned to s/c Health Subcommittee on 2/8/23.

 

TN HB 1177

Establishes that, unless the parties agree otherwise in a signed writing, the arbitrator of a family law dispute has the authority to appoint an attorney, GAL or other representative for a child at the expense of the parties.

 

Children & Family Affairs s/c hearing shceduled for 3/21 at 12pm. Taken off notice for calendar on 3/21.

 

TN SB 179

Creates process for mandatory outpatient treatment; provides defendant in such a proceeding has a RTC: "If the person does not employ an attorney, then the court shall appoint an attorney to represent the person as soon as possible after the case is docketed."

 

Referred to Senate Health and Welfare Committee on 1/21/23.

 

TN HB 1285/ SB 1462

If a criminal D is represented by appointed counsel in criminal matter and is also a claimant in related forfeiture matter, then counsel shall also represent the D in the forfeiture matter.

 

HB 1285: Crim. Justice s/c hearing scheduled for 3/28, but taken off notice for calendar.

 

SB 1462: Placed on Judiciary Committee cal. for 3/28.

 

TX SB 1624

The law currently provides proposed protected person with atty ad litem, but it's unclear whether best interests or client-directed attorney. Bill would specify that the atty also represents the proposed ward's expressed wishes.

 

To Jurisprudence Committee on 3/16/23.

 

TX HB 2794/ SB 2109

Provides right to GAL for child in matters related to temp. orders for the child's HH member, incl. parent or guardian, to participate in services related to a dependency proceeding. The GAL may be an attorney serving in a dual role but may also be a non-attorney. The statute already requires appointment of an attorney for the child and the respondent.

 

HB 2794: Justice & Fam. Issues Committee hearing Hearing on 3/22 at 10:30am.

 

SB 2109: To Jurisprudence Committee on 3/21. Public hearing held on 3/29.

 

TX SB 614/ HB 730

Provides a RTC for parents where the State seeks a court order to require parents to participate in services.

 

SB 614: Scheduled for hearing on 3/15 in Health & Hum. Servs. Vote taken.

 

HB 730: Juvenile Justice & Family Issues hearing on 3/29 at 10:30am.

 

TX HB 653

Provides that for guardianships sought by parents of a child with profound intellectual disabilities who is becoming an adult, court is not required to appoint attorney ad litem. 

 

Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence Committee hearing on 3/29 at 8am.

 

TX HB 3079

Creating indigent tenant eviction representation pilot program to operate in counties with a population of 3.3 million or more; tenant eligibility is tied to income (HH income at or below 80% AMI).

 

Referred to Urban Affairs on 3/14/23.

 

TX HB 1499

Provides that, in appointing GAL and attorney ad litem for child in state-initiated TPR or conservatorship, court must appoint at least 72 hours before the full adversary hearing. Also requires attorney ad litem appointed for parents in such matters to meet with the parent at least 72 hrs before every court hearing unless good cause is shown. 

 

Referred to Juvenile Justice & Family Issues Committee on 3/3/23.

 

TX HB 1544

Currently, court must appoint an "amicus attorney" for child in private TPR case "unless [it] finds that the interests of the child will be represented adequately by a party to the suit whose interests are not in conflict with the child's interests..." The bill would provide different factors for the court to consider in determining whether to appoint amicus attorney, including the parties' ability to pay, balancing the child's interest against the cost to the parties, and allow appointment only where "necessary to ensure the determination of the child's best interests," unless otherwise required by code.

 

Referred to Juvenile Justice & Family Issues on 3/3/23.

 

TX SB 1816

A judge cannot deny counsel to someone subject to a civil commitment proceeding because the judge perceives or knows that the person is not indigent.

 

Referred to Crim. Justice Committee on 3/20/23.

 

TX SB 2277

Currently, in a private TPR matter, the court must appoint either a best interests attorney or an attorney ad litem for a child unless child's interests are adequately represented by a party to the suit with no conflict. Bill would remove best interests attorney, make attorney ad litem mandatory, and permit appointment of best interests attorney if necessary at the parties' expense.

 

Referred to Jurisprudence Committee on 3/22/23.

 

TX SB 2549

Minors with "profound intellectual disabilities" in guardianships have right to an attorney ad litem. The bill would state that the court need not appoint an attorney ad litem for such a minor where petitioner is the minor's parent and primary caregiver and meets specific criteria, unless certain exceptions apply.

 

Referred to Jurisprudence Committee on 3/23/23.

 

VA SB 1067

Providing that the court shall appoint counsel for an indigent respondent at emergency substantial risk order hearing, during which the court may order that the respondent is prohibited from purchasing, possessing, or transporting a firearm.

 

Referred to House Committee for Courts of Justice. Courts subcommittee recommends passing by indefinitely on 2/17/23

 

VA HB 1923

Currently, minors younger than 14 can be admitted to a mental health facility by their parents but those 14 or older must consent to being admitted to a mental health facility. If they object or are incapable of making an informed decision, the facility may seek judicial approval of the involuntary admission, and the court must appoint a GAL and counsel for the minor. The bill increases the age of consent from 14 to 16 and expands reasons for admission to include treatment for addiction.

 

Committee for Courts of Justice subcommittee recommends laying on the table on 1/23/23; Left in Courts of Justice on 2/7/23.

 

VA HB 2280

Currently, minors 14 or older must consent to being admitted to a mental health facility. If they object or are incapable of making an informed decision, the facility may seek judicial approval of the involuntary admission, and the court must appoint a GAL and counsel for the minor. The bill increases the age of consent from 14 to 18.

 

Assigned to subcommittee of the Committee on Health, Welfare and Institutions on 1/19/23. Left in Health, Welfare and Institutions on 2/7/23.

 

VA SB 1284

The bill would repeal the procedure for judicial bypass of parental consent to abortion (for which minors currently have a RTC), since it prohibits abortion unless (i) there is a medical emergency or (ii) the age of the fetus is 20 weeks or less and the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest in which an official police report has been filed and (iii) the abortion is performed in a hospital.

 

Passed by indefinitely in Education and Health on 1/26/23.

 

VT HB 302

Provides that public defender shall be assigned to indigent individuals in certain forfeiture proceedings.

 

Referred to Judiciary Committee on 2/21/23.

 

WA SB 5624

Providing RTC to child's parent, guardian, or custodian in any parenting plan or child custody proceeding if they are affected by substance use disorders, mental health disorders, or behavioral health concerns; court may also appoint counsel for the child if it finds appointment is in the child's best interests.

 

Scheduled for hearing in the Committee on Law & Justice on 2/9/23 at 8:00 am.

 

WA SB 5536

The court may appoint counsel for parent, guardian, or custodian in any parenting plan or child custody proceeding where the person is impacted by substance use disorders, mental health disorders, or behavioral health concerns that impact their ability to represent themselves or where there is risk of their parenting rights being restricted. Court may also appoint counsel or GAL for child.

 

Passed in Senate on 3/3/23.  To House Appropriations Committee on 3/29.

 

WA HB 1715

Original bill would have required the office of civil legal aid to propose a plan to create a RTC for indigent survivors of domestic violence, but committee substitute requires OCLA to propose plan to "standardize and expand statewide access to civil legal assistance for survivors of domestic violence."

 

Passed in House on 3/7/23. Senate Ways & Means Committee hearing held on 3/30.

 

WA HB 1088

Indicates arbitrator of family law case has authority to appoint attorney or GAL for a child at the expense of the parties.

 

Passed House on 2/27/23; To Senate Rules Committee on 3/24. Second reading scheduled on 3/28.

 

WA SB 5230

Clarifies that RTC for extended foster care children in dependency proceedings attaches only "[i]f a youth does not already have counsel"; creates "postextended foster care" program.

 

Executive Session scheduled for 2/22/23 but no action taken.

 

WA HB 1295

When there is no pending dependency proceeding and the Dep't of Children, Youth, and Families proposes a voluntary placement agreement, the child's parent, guardian or legal custodian has the right to consult with an attorney by telephone or video conference. If after the consultation, they desire to have an attorney assigned, they shall receive representation by counsel according to the implementation schedule in the bill.

 

Human Services, Youth, & Early Learning recommended 1st substitute bill be substituted, do pass on 2/3/23; referred to Appropriations Committee on 2/7/23.

 

WA HB 1808

A parent may seek to preclude establishment of parentage if the parent alleges sexual assault resulted in the pregnancy. Creates the right to court-appointed counsel for an indigent petitioner and respondent in such a proceeding.

 

Executive Session scheduled on 2/17/23 but no action was taken.

 

 

Dead bills

 

State Bill #

Description

Status

MS HB 840

Authorizes the PD to represent indigent persons in proceedings where the person has a constitutional right to appointed counsel. (It already authorizes representation of indigent parents and guardians in abuse, neglect, TPR proceedings or associated appeals).

 

Died in Committee on 2/28/23.


MS SB 2377

Both the RTC for children alleged to have been abused or neglected and the discretionary RTC for indigent parents or guardians who are parties to an abuse, neglect or TPR case extend to shelter hearings.

 

Died in Committee on 2/28/23.


MS SB 2640

Expands RTC for alleged abused and neglected children to all stages (instead of just all critical stages), and removes indigency requirement. Also expands "all stages of the proceedings" to include shelter hearings (in addition to the preexisting categories of hearings (detention, adjudicatory, and disposition hearings, as well as parole or probation revocation hearings).

 

Died in Committee on 1/31/23. 


MT SB 446

Citizen review panels review child protection cases, making findings and recommendations about which the court may schedule a hearing if the Dep't disagrees with or says it cannot implement any recommendation or finding. Changes discretionary appointment for child [upon court's or party's motion] to mandatory but replaces "attorney or other special advocate" with "mediator or other special advocate."

 

Died in Legislative Admin. Committee on 3/3/23.


RI HB 6072

Expands categories of individuals who can petition to commit an individual for an alcohol or substance use disorder to include police officers; provides RTC in such matters. Repeals separate sections of the code related to alcohol- and drug-use disorder commitments to combine them into one new section.

 

Withdrawn at sponsor's request on 3/25/23.

 

UT SB 116

Currently, the state health department and local health dep'ts have the authority to quarantine and isolate, and if the individual subject to the order does not consent, the dep't may seek judicial review, at which time the respondent has a right to counsel. The bill removes authority of local health dep'ts to quarantine, leaving such matters to the state health dep't.

 

Died in Senate on 3/3/23.