May 11, 2006
Supreme Court report outlines pro se and indigent litigant recommendations
The Supreme Court Task Force on Pro Se and Indigent Litigants released its report and recommendations.
The 25-member task force was appointed by Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer in May 2004 and is comprised of judges, lawyers, county commissioners, representatives from legal aid societies and a pro se litigant. The committee studies the general experience of defendants who are “pro se” (without an attorney), pro bono representation and how to better fund organizations that assist indigent clients, such as legal aid societies and public defenders offices.
Among the task force’s recommendations were that a rule be adopted that requires Ohio attorneys to report their participation in pro bono activities, rules be adopted allowing for limited representation by Ohio attorneys, standardized forms be developed for pro se litigants, the Ohio Public Defender Commission - currently part of the executive branch - be an independent entity within the judicial branch and alternative funding sources for both public defense and civil legal aid.
“I thank the members of the committee for their hard work and recommendations,” Chief Justice Moyer said. “The initiatives recommended by the task force will have a significant and tangible impact on servicing the needs of those citizens least able to afford legal representation.”
The task force’s recommendations will now be considered for adoption by the Supreme Court. The Court’s decision will be released later this year.The report is available at www.supremecourtofohio.gov/publications/prose/report_april06.pdf.