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Support Access to Justice Indigency Amendment #921

 

Please Call Your State Senator To Co-Sponsor Sen Brownberger’s Access To Justice Amendment #921 on Indigency.

Amendment 921 lifts the burden of court fees assessed on indigent people seeking access to the courts or appointment of counsel

·         Poor people filing civil cases must pay court fees of $275 or more or obtain a fee waiver. The existing fee waiver statute creates a streamlined process for some public benefit recipients to obtain a fee waiver. This is particularly important for people who do not have the help of a lawyer to access the courts. The amendment enables recipients of SNAP, SSI state supplemental benefits or refugee assistance to use the streamlined process. 

 

·         Current state law assesses a “counsel fee” of $150 against all indigent defendants exercising their constitutional rights to obtain appointed counsel and requires onerous collection procedures such as preventing the RMV from renewing a driver’s license without proof the fee has been paid. The amendment eliminates this fee and other burdens on the right to counsel.

 

·         The amendment is posted here 921. The Senate will be debating amendments to the FY 2023 budget bill next week.

 

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