In three of four civil cases, at least one side represents themselves in court because they can’t afford to pay an attorney, and a right to a lawyer only applies in criminal cases not civil cases according to the Michigan Supreme Court.
Civil legal concerns include health insurance not paying for medically needed care, disputes regarding children and custody and landlord-tenant matter. According to the Legal Services Corporation, this gap in access to legal help causes many people in Michigan who have done nothing wrong to lose their cases.
To address this gap in services the Michigan Supreme Court formed the Justice For All Taskforce. The taskforce is in charge of developing the strategy to ensure all Michiganders have access to legal help.
Michigan Chief Justice Bridget McCormack says the townhalls give the public an opportunity to provide input and help shape Michigan’s plan, the taskforce is hosting two townhall meetings, one in Detroit and one in Grand Rapids.
The townhall in Grand Rapids will take place at the Grand Rapids Center for Community Transformation next Friday from 10am to noon.
Michelle Jokisch Polo, WGVU News.