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.
Legislation: minor plaintiffs in DV proceedings
These bills would require appointment of counsel for minor plaintiffs in protection from abuse proceedings.
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.
Legislation: adult guardianships
These bills would have provided a right to counsel for prospective adult wards in guardianship proceedings.
Legislation: guardianship of minors
This bill would require a court to appoint counsel for a minor ward 14 or older in guardianships prior to expenditures for medical treatments.
Legislation: termination of parental rights
This bill would have removed the indigency requirement for a parent to have a right to counsel in termination of parental rights cases.
Legislation: civil forfeiture
This bill would have abolished civil forfeiture and provided a right to counsel for criminal forfeiture proceedings.
Legislation: civil forfeiture
This bill would have required a criminal conviction prior to forfeiture, and would authorize PD's office to represent individual in forfeiture.
Utah high court: some parents have right to counsel in private termination cases
The Supreme Court of Utah held that parents may be constitutionally entitled to counsel in private termination of rights cases.
U.S. gets "D" on access to counsel in housing cases
The latest Human Rights Report Card from NLCHP gives the United States a "D" on access to counsel in housing cases.
NY Governor Cuomo: all immigrants will receive representation
NY Governor Cuomo announced a plan to create the “first-in-the-nation immigrant legal defense fund” to provide counsel for all immigrants.
MA Senate Committee, Trial Court reports flag right to counsel issues in fees/fines cases
Reports from a MA Senate Committee and MA Trial Court Working Group call for a right to counsel in fees/fines cases.
Housing Not Handcuffs campaign kicks off, features right to counsel
A new campaign to end the criminalization of homelessness features right to counsel in housing cases as a major policy platform.
U.S. rank on access to civil justice in Rule of Law Index drops to 94th out of 113 countries
The 2016 World Justice Project's Rule of Law Index ranked the U.S. 94th in the world on access to civil justice.
NY court: wards have constitutional right to counsel in Art. 17-A guardianship proceedings
A NY Surrogate's Court held that proposed wards have a constitutional right to counsel in Article 17-A guardianship cases.
Report: represented immigrants far more likely to be released, win case
A new report by the American Immigration Council shows that represented immigrants are far more likely to be released and win their cases.
Nevada Sup. Ct. Commission urges expansion of right to counsel for adult guardianships
A commission created by the Nevada Supreme Court released a report calling for all potential wards to be provided counsel in guardianships.
Former AG Eric Holder calls for civil right to counsel
At the 2016 NLADA Exemplar Award Dinner, Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder called for the right to counsel in civil cases.
Former NY Chief Judge calls for constitutional convention on civil right to counsel
Former NY Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman has called for New York to hold a constitutional convention on the right to counsel in civil cases.
NIJ study released on effect of counsel for DV victims
A study on the impact of providing counsel for DV victims was conducted by the University of Iowa and Iowa Legal Aid.
Delaware grants right to counsel for children in termination cases
A law passed in 2016 requires the court to appoint an attorney for a child to act as guardian ad litem in termination cases.
California Legislature calls for fed gov't to ensure counsel for children in immigration cases
SJR 28, passed by the California Assembly, urges the federal government to guarantee counsel for children in immigration cases.
Delaware grants right to counsel for children in abuse/neglect cases
A law passed in 2016 requires the court to appoint an attorney for a child to act as guardian ad litem in abuse/neglect cases.
All about the NYC Family Unity Immigration Representation Program
New York City has created an innovative project for providing counsel for detainees in immigration cases.
New Mexico court: failure to advise parent of right to appointed counsel is fundamental error
A New Mexico appellate court held that a trial court's failure to advise a parent of her statutory right to counsel was fundamental error.
Report: whether Washington kids get counsel depends on where they live
A report examines the situation in Washington State as to when children are appointed counsel in child welfare cases.
"100% Access to Justice" Initiative launched, includes civil right to counsel
A new "Justice for All Initiative" launched by national court leaders includes civil right to counsel as part of the plan.
NJ Supreme Court recognizes right to counsel for parents in adoption cases
The Supreme Court of New Jersey held there is a right to counsel for parents in adoption cases under the NJ Constitution's Due Process Clause.
All about the federal case involving the right to counsel for immigrant children
A class action filed in federal court seeks a constitutional right to counsel for all immigrant children in deportation proceedings.
Colorado expands appointment of counsel to later guardianship proceedings
A 2016 law authorizes a court to appoint counsel post-imposition of a guardianship/conservatorship if the court determines the ward needs it.