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Current Civil Right to Counsel In Pennsylvania


Currently, Pennsylvania provides a right to court-appointed counsel for indigent people in a limited number of civil proceedings, which include child dependency cases, termination of parental rights, paternity, civil commitment proceedings for sexually violent delinquent children, and involuntary commitment pursuant to the Mental Health Procedures Act. The creation of the right to counsel in these cases was achieved through litigation or legislative action. See Pennsylvania Bar Association 2007 Resolution prepared by the Legal Services to the Public Committee, Resolution in Support of Recognizing A Right to Counsel for Indigent Individuals in Certain Civil Cases,
available at www.pabar.org. A breakdown of major developments and right to counsel law for Pennsylvania, sorted by subject area, is available on the National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel’s web site.