The United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division published a “Dear Colleague” letter on March 14, 2016 outlining seven recommendations concerning court enforcement of fines and fees. The mission of the Working Group is to review the recommendations, and to evaluate 1) whether Massachusetts laws support each recommendation; and 2) whether the Trial Court is in compliance with each recommendation. This report further sets forth the Working Group’s proposals for adoption and implementation of the Department of Justice recommendations.
This report describes the role that racial bias plays in the practices of police and traffic courts in California. Using records collected from the Dept. of Motor Vehicles, U.S. Census, and a host of police departments, the authors offer evidence that a disproportionate number of license suspensions and arrests related to unpaid fines and fees exacerbate poverty among low-income populations. The discussion also includes true accounts of such experiences as well as recommendations for alleviating issues related to the criminal justice system’s handling of traffic infractions.
Roles Beyond Lawyers: Summary and Recommendations of an Evaluation of the New York City Court Navigators Program
This report found that tenants facing eviction in New York City were able to get significantly better results under an innovative program that uses “court navigators,” who are not lawyers. The New York City Court Navigators Program seeks to address a considerable imbalance in legal representation, since, at the time of the study, approximately 90 percent of tenants did not have a lawyer, while the vast majority of landlords did.
Report on the Survey of Judges on the Impact of the Economic Downturn on Representation in the Courts
The survey of 1,176 state court judges had significant participation from nine states. The survey found that the number of cases had increased and fewer parties had representation, which slowed the courts.
Legal Representation in the Juvenile Dependency System: Travis County, Texas’ Parent Representation Pilot Project
This study examines outcomes related to a parent representation pilot program in Travis County, Texas. Researchers collected data from 172 parents involved in the juvenile dependency system. Their independent variable was attorney representation and the dependent variables were (1) return to the parent or dismissal of the juvenile dependency petition, (2) permanent management conservatorship, (3) relative or guardianship care, and (4) aging out of the system. There were 52 pilot cases and 61 control cases.
In this article, Theo Liebman and Lauris Wren, take stock of the landscape of the intersection between immigration and family law. They present what we know about immigration and family court, what we need to know, and implications for family lawyers and judges.
This report analyzes five programs that assist pro se litigants in Maryland. It finds that the programs are cost effective and efficient at serving self-represented litigants.
The National Council for State Courts conducted a telephone study in 2017 in which they asked 1,000 respondents about their feelings towards the court system, access to equal justice, and the need for legal aid when navigating the courts.
Researchers at The Justice Lab at Georgetown Law Center surveyed the current national landscape of nonlawyer navigators. They identified and analyzed 23 programs in 15 states and the District of Columbia. The report is based on extensive outreach and interviews with more than 60 informants who created, oversee or manage nonlawyer navigator programs in court settings. The report describes program features and offers practical considerations for creating and implementing such programs.
In many child dependency cases in Nebraska, the court will appoint a guardian ad litem to advocate for the child. The researchers evaluated five counties in Nebraska. They find that there is a lack of clarity for guardian ad litems, guardians were satisfied with their caseloads, a majority believed their compensation was inadequate, and most of the guardians believed they received insufficient training.