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Authors

Rachel Kleinman

Abstract

While the legal system recognizes an indigent’s constitutional right to counsel in a criminal trial the same is not true with respect to civil cases. This Comment examines this legal reality by focusing specifically on an indigent’s inability to gain access to counsel within the confines of eviction proceedings. The author lays out the arguments for both those who favor recognizing an indigent’s right to counsel in eviction proceedings and those opposed to recognizing that right. Ultimately, absent an indigent’s access to counsel in these civil cases, their ability to have any sort of meaningful access to justice is seriously compromised. As such, notwithstanding the valid points opponents of recognizing an indigent’s right to counsel in eviction proceedings raise, the Comment argues that a strong doctrinal basis as well as a deep need – especially in the case of eviction proceedings – exists to recognize a right to counsel for indigents.

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Housing Law Commons

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