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Court Establishes Right to Counsel For Indigent Abuse-and-Neglect Litigants

Publisher: New Jersey Law Journal
June 21, 2019

Mike Furey is quoted in an article, “Court Establishes Right to Counsel For Indigent Abuse-and-Neglect Litigants,” published by the New Jersey Law Journal. The article reports on a New Jersey Appellate Court decision reversing a ruling against an indigent mother who was denied counsel when defending herself against accusations of abuse and neglect of her daughter during administrative proceedings. The court found that the defendant had a constitutional right to counsel, both at the administrative level and also if she chooses to appeal.

Furey, who was appointed pro bono counsel by the Supreme Court to represent the defendant, praised the appellate court’s decision. “We were pleased that the court recognized that persons that are facing serious charges of child abuse should be afforded the right to counsel even if they cannot afford one,” Furey told the New Jersey Law Journal. “More broadly, the court recognized the importance of someone being represented by counsel in situations where important rights are affected. He continued, “We were also pleased that the finding of substantiated child abuse against our client was voided, and hopefully, a court will permit her to begin to see her daughter again after more than five years of no contact.”

Furey was assisted by associate Michael Fialkoff in this case. Day Pitney will continue to represent the defendant in any future administrative hearings and before the Supreme Court if the State appeals the decision.


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