T.M. v. City of Philadelphia

Juvenile Law Center, with co-counsel ACLU of Pennsylvania, filed a federal class action lawsuit seeking appointment of counsel for all children in Philadelphia County dependency proceedings.  The suit argued that the right to counsel was guaranteed by state law and the U.S. Constitution.  At the time of filing, almost three quarters of abused and neglected children in Philadelphia were appearing in court without counsel. 

The case was settled in 1991, and provided for phasing in representation so that all Philadelphia dependent children would be represented by the mid-1990s.
 

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