Court commission examines legal help for poor in non-criminal cases

Every day in Montana, someone faces a crisis that may need legal help – and many Montanans have no way to pay for that.

News Story (Montana)

Mike Dennison
KTVH (Helena, MT) (NBC)
March 11, 2016

Tags: Access to Justice Commissions, Justice for All

Organizations mentioned/involved: Montana Access to Justice Commission (MATJC), Montana Legal Services Association (MLSA)


But Baker and others hope to put a dent in this problem in the coming year – and say the effort could help ease Montana’s clogged court system as well.

Baker chairs the Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Commission, which is holding public forums across the state on how best to provide civil legal assistance for low-income Montanans.

There are programs to help poor Montanans get legal help on civil matters, but they fall well short of the need, Baker says.

She says the commission is assessing the need and current resources in Montana, and likely will ask the 2017 Legislature to approve some form of state funding to help.