The Michigan Supreme Court will work on implementing solutions after the release of the Justice for All Task Force report on civil legal problems. State Supreme Court Chief Justice Bridget McCormack told Michigan News Network this week these are questions like landlord-tenant issues and family law disputes.
“Unlike criminal cases where you can’t afford a lawyer, if you have a civil legal problem, you’re not entitled to a lawyer if you can’t afford one,” McCormack said. “You just have to figure it out on your own. That can be pretty devastating because civil legal problems are things like evictions and family law problems and consumer debt problems, things that really might change someone’s life.”
McCormack says about eight out of ten people in Michigan have a civil-legal problem throughout the year, including navigating the courts on their own, using legal aid resources, or just giving up. She says better access to online resources might do the trick in some cases.