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States' Vital Role in Providing Civil Justice for Everyone

Monday, April 02, 2018

States' Vital Role in Providing Civil Justice for Everyone

"It's high season for state legislatures, so it's high time to highlight their essential role in ensuring justice for all, not just for the few who can afford it.

If you are trying to save your home from a wrongful foreclosure, secure veterans' benefits which you've earned but been denied, or protect your family's safety from an abusive partner, you need legal help. For people who can't afford to pay a lawyer, civil legal aid offers vital help free of charge. Strong bipartisan support in Congress is holding firm against the Trump administration's call to eliminate the Legal Services Corporation, which administers federal funding. Fortunately, the recent omnibus appropriation even includes a modest increase in funding that ensures a baseline of support for civil legal aid in every state.

But here's the problem, and here's where the states come in: Today, in state civil courts across the country, three out of four people are there alone, without legal help to navigate complicated, life-changing situations. Every year, millions of Americans entangled in state civil-justice systems are at risk of losing their families, their homes or their livelihoods because they can't afford to pay a lawyer and free legal services are unavailable..."

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