This page lists all of the most recent developments on civil right to counsel across the country. These could be newly created rights to counsel, significant publications, public events, advocacy efforts, or other things that don't fit into a neat category.
New South Carolina law requires separate counsel in guardianship proceedings
A 2017 law requires appointment of counsel and a guardian ad litem in guardianship cases, rather than counsel acting as a GAL.
Right to counsel - challenging quality of sex offender treatment
A Kansas appellate court found a due process and equal protection right to counsel for Kansas Sexual Predator Treatment Program concerns.
MA Supreme Court: indigent guardians may be appointed counsel
The MA Supreme Court held a trial court may use its equitable powers to appoint counsel for an indigent guardian in a child guardianship case.
Legislation: child counsel in conservatorships
These bills require counsel or a GAL appointed for a child in conservatorships to continue as long as the child remains in conservatorship.
NY to provide counsel for all detained immigrants facing deportation
In a groundbreaking step, New York will be providing counsel to all detained immigrants facing removal.
Legislation: civil forfeiture
These bills would permit a court to appoint counsel for a third party intervening in a civil forfeiture action.
Iowa enacts law separating GAL and attorney roles for children in custody cases
A new law separates the role of guardian ad litem and attorney for children in custody cases.
Arkansas parents entitled to counsel at emergency child welfare hearing
A bill passed in 2017 requires parents to be appointed counsel at an emergency ex parte dependency hearing.
Legislation: children in child welfare proceedings
Several bills filed clarify that children 10 and over have a right to counsel in child welfare cases, and continue counsel through permanency.
PA Supreme Court: children have right to counsel in termination proceedings
The PA Supreme Court held that children have a right to the appointment of client-directed counsel in termination proceedings.
New Utah law guarantees counsel for criminal debt collection
A 2017 law organizes all collection of criminal debt into contempt proceedings and requires the appointment of counsel.
Everything about the Philly City Council resolution for housing right to counsel hearings
The Philadelphia City Council passed a resolution authorizing hearings on solving landlord/tenant issues, including looking at right to counsel.
Alaska Supreme Court: some custody cases might require counsel
The Supreme Court of Alaska held that due process may require the appointment of counsel in a private custody proceeding.
Legislation: counsel for children in child welfare cases
This bill requires counsel to be appointed for children in dependency and termination of parental rights cases, rather than being discretionary.
Articles, studies make case for right to counsel in debt cases
Two new articles in the Harvard Law & Policy Review support the right to counsel in debt cases.
Legislation: parents in private adoptions
This bill would provide a right to counsel for parents in private adoption cases, codifying a NJ Supreme Court ruling.
Legislation: child counsel in CHIPS cases
This bill would clarify that children 10 and over have a right to counsel in child welfare cases and continue representation through permanency.
Legislation: debt collection
This bill would require appointment of counsel for contempt proceedings related to debt collection.
South Carolina Sup. Ct.: right to counsel in sex offender commitment cases
The Supreme Court of South Carolina held there is a constitutional right to appointed counsel in sex offender commitment cases.
Legislation: fees/fines cases
This bill would require appointment of counsel prior to incarcerating a person for failure to pay fines/fees or perform community service.
Legislation: child counsel in dependency cases
These bills would require counsel to be appointed for a child two years or older in a dependency proceeding.
NYC will be first in country to provide right to counsel in housing court
NYC will be the first jurisdiction in the country to establish a right to counsel in housing cases following an announcement by Mayor de Blasio.
Bipartisan call for legislative right to counsel in civil forfeiture cases continues to grow
Calls to reform civil forfeiture proceedings have come from all sides of the aisle, with legislation filed at the federal and state level.
Legislation: civil forfeiture
This bill would have required the public defender to be appointed in civil forfeiture proceedings.
Legislation: minor plaintiffs in DV proceedings
These bills would require appointment of counsel for minor plaintiffs in protection from abuse proceedings.
Legislation: minor defendants in DV proceedings
These bills would require appointment of counsel for minor defendants in protection from abuse proceedings.
This bill would eliminates civil forfeiture and requires appointment of counsel for indigent persons opposing forfeiture.
Acting on CT legislative task force suggestions, new bills would provide new rights to counsel
Newly-filed bills would implement the recommendations of the legislative Task Force to Improve Access to Counsel in Civil Matters.
Federal agency: all parents/children should be represented in child welfare cases
DHHS' Administration for Children and Families has issued a memo calling for counsel for all parents/children in child welfare cases.
Boston Mayor Walsh advances housing right to counsel bill
Boston Mayor Walsh backed a statewide bill that would guarantee counsel for indigent tenants in eviction cases.