At the Roundhouse, a State Supreme Court Justice spoke before a legislative committee this week about a plan to expand access to civil legal services.
Tom Trowbridge reports:
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Supreme Court Justice C. Shannon Bacon outlined for legislators a plan for increasing the availability of services to help low- and modest-income New Mexicans with civil legal problems. The New Mexico Commission on Access to Justice developed the plan for meeting the essential legal needs of people on matters ranging from safe housing and work environments to health care and financial issues. The Supreme Court established the commission in 2004.
During her presentation before the House Judiciary Committee, Justice Bacon shared some alarming numbers.
The Justice told the panel that legal aid organizations lacked the resources to fill the gap in available legal services in civil cases. Justice Bacon promoted the “The Justice for All Plan,” that will expand resources and information available to people with civil legal needs.
Her presentation drew this response from Republican Representative Greg Nibert, who’s an attorney from Roswell:
The Administrative Office of the Courts says the increase in one self-represented party in civil cases is at 36 percent since the 2011 fiscal year.
For the New Mexico News Network, I’m Tom Trowbridge