A Connecticut renter facing eviction is 49% less likely to be forced to leave their home if they have a lawyer.

What is a right to counsel?

The Connecticut Right to Counsel Program (CT-RTC) provides income-eligible tenants facing eviction or the loss of a housing subsidy with free legal representation.

CT-RTC is an example of the right to counsel movement, sometimes called “Civil Gideon.” Unlike in a criminal case, a person with a civil legal issue (like a tenant facing eviction) has no constitutional right to a lawyer if they cannot afford one. This is true even if the court case has high stakes, like a family’s potential loss of their housing. Laws and court processes are complex, and people experience better outcomes overall when they have legal representation, especially if the other side has a lawyer.

The right to counsel movement aims to expand the right to free legal representation in civil cases such as evictions, domestic violence, and child custody cases for those who cannot afford it, usually through the passage of state or local legislation. As of 2021, three states provide a right to counsel for tenants, as well as twelve cities. You can find out more about the right to counsel movement at www.civilrightocounsel.org.

Our Partners

ORGANIZATIONS PROVIDING DIRECT LEGAL REPRESENTATION TO TENANTS

HOTLINE SERVICES

ADDITIONAL PARTNERS

  • Connecticut Fair Housing Center
  • CO:LAB
  • Connecticut Right to Counsel Coalition*

* The legislation that established the Connecticut Right to Counsel Program resulted from the efforts of a broad coalition of stakeholders, including a grassroots campaign backed by more than 40 community organizations during the 2021 legislative session.

CT-RTC WORKING GROUP  (Established by Public Act 21-34)

Commissioner Seila Mosquera-Bruno,
Chair
Connecticut Department of Housing
Ex-Officio

Robert W. Chesson,
Landlord Attorney
Landlord Law Firm
Appointed by Rep. Vincent Candelora

Michael H. Clinton,
Landlord Attorney
Law Offices of Michael H. Clinton
Appointed by Sen. Kevin Kelly

Kathleen Flaherty,
Executive Director
Connecticut Legal Rights Project
Appointed by Sen. Bob Duff

Claudette Kidd,
Community Health Organizer
Clifford Beers
Appointed by Sen. Martin Looney

Nancy McGann,
Deputy Director
Civil, Housing, & Small Claims
Connecticut Judicial Branch Court Operations
Appointed by CT Judicial Branch

Raphael Podolsky,
Housing Advocate
Connecticut Legal Services
Appointed by Sen. Martin Looney

David Purvis,
Corporate Counsel
Neighborworks New Horizon
Appointed by Rep. Jason Rojas

Cecil Thomas,
Tenant Attorney
Greater Hartford Legal Aid – Housing Attorney
Appointed by Speaker Matt Ritter

Natalie Wagner,
Executive Director
Connecticut Bar Foundation
Administering Entity

Sarah White,
Housing Advocate
Connecticut Fair Housing Center
Appointed by Speaker Matt Ritter

Eviction Help CT is administered by the Connecticut Bar Foundation

ctbarfdn.org  |  31 Pratt Street – Hartford, CT 06103