GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - A state panel hopes to hear some fresh ideas this week on how to help low-income people get the justice they need from the civil courts.
The Wisconsin Access to Justice Commission has held hearings in Green Bay and Eau Claire – and a similar meeting is planned for Thursday evening in Milwaukee.
About 30 people have signed up to testify. They include judges, lawyers, government and religious leaders, service agency officials, school students, and others.
Commission member Hannah Dugan says there are people who don’t know they can use the court system to solve problems. She cited the increasing college debt issue as a growing a concern.
Also, numerous other problems face veterans, the elderly and poor. They include evictions, guardianships, child support, loss of benefits, consumer scams, and protection from domestic violence.
Private legal service agencies have seen their funding dwindle – and the Supreme Court has struck down efforts to make judges appoint lawyers to represent low-income civil defendants.
Dugan said it would be a start to raise more public awareness, so more low-income people can realize that the law might offer them solutions.