Civil Gideon Debated In Fla. Budget

The state that produced the landmark 1963 “Gideon” cases that guaranteed public defenders for poor criminal defendants is having a discussion of “civil Gideon,” according to the Tampa, Florida newspaper. “Just as the Gideon case led to public defenders for criminal defendants, proponents say public dollars should fund access to lawyers for low-income people in civil cases.” says the Tampa Tribune.

In a story about this years’ budget, the paper offers some background: “… llawmakers passed a law in 2002 to “enhance the availability of civil legal assistance to the poor.” But for the past four years, Gov. Rick Scott has decided against funding it — bringing to $7 million the total amount in legal aid he has cut from state appropriations.”

Read the story and how legal aid agencies are responding here: Scott’s veto cuts legal aid for civil cases