Right to Counsel
On Monday, January 31, 2022, Connecticut became the second state in the country to launch a statewide Right to Counsel (RTC) program that will make attorneys available to eligible tenants at risk of eviction. The Connecticut Bar Foundation is administering the program and is working with the state’s legal service providers to begin RTC in fourteen neighborhoods across eight municipalities. The first locations were selected because they are eviction hot spots in Connecticut, with about 25% of eviction filings statewide brought against tenants in those neighborhoods. The program will expand service areas over the next two years, assuming funding is continued. RTC service will also be immediately available to individuals who served in the armed forces regardless of location
Chief Justice Richard A. Robinson and Justice Maria Araujo Kahn, Chair of the Access to Justice Commission jointly stated, “There is no room for second best when it comes to providing access to justice. The Connecticut Judicial Branch strives every day, to ensure that all parties have meaningful access to justice, for if only one side does and the other doesn’t, then access for everyone in the case is compromised. This is an unacceptable outcome, and we are committed to ensuring that it does not occur.”
Attorneys at Connecticut Legal Services, Connecticut Veterans Legal Center, Greater Hartford Legal Aid, and New Haven Legal Assistance Association will represent tenants as part of the program. Statewide Legal Services screeners and attorneys will staff the hotline to screen for eligibility and provide referrals.
For more information, please visit the Eviction Help CT website here.