You have the right to remain silent, but in civil court, you don’t have the right to an attorney – yet.
While indigent defendants in criminal cases have a constitutional right to pro bono legal representation, parties in civil contempt cases enjoy no such guarantee. In divorces, foreclosures and all other civil matters, if you can’t afford a lawyer, you’re on your own.
A constitutional amendment appears decades away at best, but a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision originating from a South Carolina case leans toward establishing a right to counsel in civil contempt matters. If nothing else, Turner v. Rogers has refueled a longstanding debate.
Tagged with: Pro Bono
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