Responding to the unmet legal needs of low- and moderate-income Floridians
The purpose of the Florida Commission on Access to Civil Justice is to study the remaining unmet civil legal needs of disadvantaged, low income, and moderate income Floridians. The Commission encompasses the viewpoints of multiple constituencies and stakeholders and is not limited to those of any one particular institution. The Commission considers Florida’s legal assistance delivery system as a whole, including but not limited to staffed legal aid programs, resources and support for self-represented litigants, limited scope representation, pro bono services, innovative technology solutions, and other models and potential innovations.
The Commission was originally established for a term to expire on June 30, 2016, and tasked, among other things, with making recommendations on the need for a permanent access to justice commission in Florida. In its June 30, 2016, report the Commission recommended that it be reappointed on a continuing basis, as a means to enhance its effectiveness in addressing the long-term and complex barriers that create difficulties for those Floridians seeking meaningful access to civil justice. The Supreme Court concurred with this recommendation and the Commission has been re-established as a permanent standing committee. Link to the administrative order: Order
“Florida needs a coordinated effort involving all of the entities with the potential to make permanent, systemic advances to ensure that access to justice in Florida is not limited to those who can afford it. I am particularly concerned about the circumstances facing low-income litigants for whom purchasing legal representation can pose an impossible challenge, but access to civil justice is also a problem for the middle class, many of whom do not qualify for legal aid and cannot afford to hire a lawyer.” Chief Justice Jorge Labarga, Florida Supreme Court
Share your experiences accessing the civil court and self-help services in Florida’s 67 counties by submitting an anonymous Self-Represented Litigant Survey.