Major developments

 

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.

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Minnesota passes bill strengthening child's right to counsel in abuse/neglect cases

06/01/2017

A 2017 bill strengthened the right to appointed counsel for Minnesota children 10 and over in abuse/neglect cases.

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Minnesota passes bill strengthening child's right to counsel in termination cases

06/01/2017

A 2017 bill strengthened the right to appointed counsel for Minnesota children 10 and over in termination of parental rights cases.

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New Nevada law guarantees counsel for children in abuse/neglect proceedings

05/31/2017

A court must appoint counsel for a child in an abuse/neglect proceeding.

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New Nevada law guarantees counsel for children in termination proceedings

05/31/2017

A court must appoint counsel for a child in a state-initiated termination proceeding, and may appoint in a private termination.

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Legislation: extended foster care

05/24/2017

These bills would have required appointed counsel for foster children who avail themselves of voluntary extended services.

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Legislation: child in conservatorship proceedings

05/21/2017

This bill would have required an attorney ad litem for a child in conservatorships to continue as long as the child remains in conservatorship.

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New South Carolina law requires separate counsel in guardianship proceedings

05/16/2017

A 2017 law requires appointment of counsel and a guardian ad litem in guardianship cases, rather than counsel acting as a GAL.

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Right to counsel - challenging quality of sex offender treatment

05/12/2017

A Kansas appellate court found a due process and equal protection right to counsel for Kansas Sexual Predator Treatment Program concerns.

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MA Supreme Court: indigent guardians may be appointed counsel

04/13/2017

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.

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Legislation: civil forfeiture

04/12/2017

A bill would provide a right to counsel for certain owners in civil forfeiture proceedings.

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Legislation: civil forfeiture

04/06/2017

These bills would permit a court to appoint counsel for a third party intervening in a civil forfeiture action.

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Iowa enacts law separating GAL and attorney roles for children in custody cases

04/05/2017

A new law separates the role of guardian ad litem and attorney for children in custody cases.

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Legislation: civil forfeiture

04/05/2017

A pending Delaware bill would have eliminated civil forfeiture and required appointment of counsel in criminal forfeiture proceedings.

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Arkansas parents entitled to counsel at emergency child welfare hearing

04/04/2017

A bill passed in 2017 requires parents to be appointed counsel at an emergency ex parte dependency hearing.

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Bipartisan call for legislative right to counsel in civil forfeiture cases continues to grow

03/31/2017

Calls to reform civil forfeiture proceedings have come from all sides of the aisle, with legislation filed at the federal and state level.

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PA Supreme Court: children have right to counsel in termination proceedings

03/28/2017

The PA Supreme Court held that children have a right to the appointment of client-directed counsel in termination proceedings.

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New Utah law guarantees counsel for criminal debt collection

03/23/2017

A 2017 law organizes all collection of criminal debt into contempt proceedings and requires the appointment of counsel.

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Legislation: civil forfeiture

03/21/2017

Several bills would have provided a right to counsel for all or certain forfeiture proceedings.

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Legislation: children in dependency cases

03/21/2017

This bill would have required appointment of counsel for a child in child protective proceedings who is living with a relative.

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Articles, studies make case for right to counsel in debt cases

03/02/2017

Two new articles in the Harvard Law & Policy Review support the right to counsel in debt cases.

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Legislation: parents in private adoptions

03/01/2017

This bill would provide a right to counsel for parents in private adoption cases, codifying a NJ Supreme Court ruling.

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Legislation: timing of appointed counsel for parents

02/21/2017

A bill would have specified that parents are entitled to appointed counsel early in the child welfare process.

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Legislation: fines/fees cases

02/21/2017

A series of bills would have required appointment of counsel prior to incarceration for failure to pay fines/fees.

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South Carolina Sup. Ct.: right to counsel in sex offender commitment cases

02/16/2017

The Supreme Court of South Carolina held there is a constitutional right to appointed counsel in sex offender commitment cases.

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Legislation: child counsel in dependency cases

02/13/2017

These bills would have required counsel to be appointed for a child two years or older in a dependency proceeding.

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Fed legislation would require immigration counsel for children, vulnerable adults

02/11/2017

A federal bill would require counsel for unaccompanied minors and vulnerable adults in immigration proceedings.

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Legislation: civil forfeiture

01/24/2017

This bill would have required the public defender to be appointed in civil forfeiture proceedings.

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Boston Mayor Walsh advances housing right to counsel bill

01/23/2017

Boston Mayor Walsh backed a statewide bill that would guarantee counsel for indigent tenants in eviction cases.

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Legislation: minor defendants in DV proceedings

01/23/2017

These bills would require appointment of counsel for minor defendants in protection from abuse proceedings.

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Legislation: forfeiture

01/23/2017

This bill would eliminates civil forfeiture and requires appointment of counsel for indigent persons opposing forfeiture.

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