Lawmakers seek legal aid for tenants facing eviction in Baltimore

Del. Sandy Rosenberg and Baltimore City Councilman Robert Stokes, both Democrats, hope their efforts can generate momentum for an issue that has stalled in Maryland while gaining traction across the nation.

News Story (Maryland)

Doug Donovan
Baltimore Sun
July 3, 2017

Tags: Housing: Eviction

Organizations mentioned/involved: Maryland Legal Aid, Public Justice Center (PJC), Maryland Access to Justice Commission (MDATJC)


Maryland has studied the issue, known as the “civil right to counsel,” numerous times over the past decade. Rosenberg served on a task force with other lawmakers, judges, landlords and tenant advocates that produced a 2014 report that found a “significant justice gap” in civil courts.

Some 340,000 people in Maryland cannot afford lawyers in civil court for cases that involve critical human needs such as shelter, child custody and domestic violence. Nearly 84 percent were in landlord-tenant actions, state records showed.

“Marylanders need meaningful access to civil legal representation,” the task force reported.