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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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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Alaska Supreme Court: some custody cases might require counsel

03/17/2017

The Supreme Court of Alaska held that due process may require the appointment of counsel in a private custody proceeding.

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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: debt collection

02/22/2017

This bill would have required appointment of counsel for contempt proceedings related to debt collection.

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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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Legislation: minor plaintiffs in DV proceedings

01/23/2017

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

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Acting on CT legislative task force suggestions, new bills would provide new rights to counsel

01/20/2017

Newly-filed bills would implement the recommendations of the legislative Task Force to Improve Access to Counsel in Civil Matters.

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Federal agency: all parents/children should be represented in child welfare cases

01/17/2017

DHHS' Administration for Children and Families has issued a memo calling for counsel for all parents/children in child welfare cases.

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Legislation: adult guardianships

01/17/2017

These bills would have provided a right to counsel for prospective adult wards in guardianship proceedings.

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Everything about D.C.'s Expanding Access To Justice Act Of 2017

01/12/2017

This page has all the information about the 2017 bill to expand housing representation in the District of Columbia.

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Legislation: guardianship of minors

01/10/2017

This bill would require a court to appoint counsel for a minor ward 14 or older in guardianships prior to expenditures for medical treatments.

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Legislation: termination of parental rights

01/09/2017

This bill would have removed the indigency requirement for a parent to have a right to counsel in termination of parental rights cases.

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Legislation: civil forfeiture

01/04/2017

This bill would have abolished civil forfeiture and provided a right to counsel for criminal forfeiture proceedings.

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Legislation: civil forfeiture

01/03/2017

This bill would have required a criminal conviction prior to forfeiture, and would authorize PD's office to represent individual in forfeiture.

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Washington State mulls rule on counsel in admin proceedings for litigants with disabilities

01/01/2017

WA's Office of Administrative Hearings is considering a rule for appointing counsel for litigants with mental disabilities in admin proceedings.

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Utah high court: some parents have right to counsel in private termination cases

12/08/2016

The Supreme Court of Utah held that parents may be constitutionally entitled to counsel in private termination of rights cases.

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U.S. gets "D" on access to counsel in housing cases

12/05/2016

The latest Human Rights Report Card from NLCHP gives the United States a "D" on access to counsel in housing cases.

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NY Governor Cuomo: all immigrants will receive representation

11/22/2016

NY Governor Cuomo announced a plan to create the “first-in-the-nation immigrant legal defense fund” to provide counsel for all immigrants.

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MA Senate Committee, Trial Court reports flag right to counsel issues in fees/fines cases

11/17/2016

Reports from a MA Senate Committee and MA Trial Court Working Group call for a right to counsel in fees/fines cases.

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Housing Not Handcuffs campaign kicks off, features right to counsel

11/15/2016

A new campaign to end the criminalization of homelessness features right to counsel in housing cases as a major policy platform.

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U.S. rank on access to civil justice in Rule of Law Index drops to 94th out of 113 countries

10/27/2016

The 2016 World Justice Project's Rule of Law Index ranked the U.S. 94th in the world on access to civil justice.

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