State House bill could give parents free legal help - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

State House bill could give parents free legal help

photocredit: WDAM House Bill 772 photocredit: WDAM House Bill 772
MISSISSIPPI (WDAM) -

Parents facing termination of their parental rights may soon have access to free legal help.

House bill 772 passed the Senate Tuesday. 

If it becomes a law, the bill will help parents who cannot afford to pay for a lawyer.

“We don’t want parents without the ability to defend themselves and often times our system can be incredibly expensive,” Sen. (Dist. 42-R) Chris McDaniel said. 

The youth court steps in by appointing a lawyer for the parents. Right now, parents with limited income only have access to Mississippi Legal Services but it’s not guaranteed that they will get a lawyer.

“Because of our limited resources, we can’t provide all the assistance that is needed, so there are a lot of people that qualify for our services that we cannot assist,” Executive Director at Mississippi Legal Services Sam Buchanan said. 

McDaniel said it is important to help these families, but it will take some time for the Senate to work out details on how to fund the bill.

“Taxpayers already fund public defenders and others that are used to vindicate constitutional rights this will be very similar to that but granted it won’t cost nearly as much,” McDaniel said. 

But overall, the bill is a step in the right direction, according to lawyer Chase Ford Morgan.

"Parents should have the same rights as those individuals that are afforded the right to a public defender,” Morgan said. 

McDaniel said with this bill, parents will not have to worry anymore.

“We shouldn’t have to pay a lawyer thousands and thousands of dollars to vindicate our civil liberties and rights that belongs to us as individuals,” McDaniel said.

Copyright 2016 WDAM. All rights reserved.
 

  • Local NewsLOCALMore>>

  • Condition of suspect in Hattiesburg police shooting remains unknown

    Condition of suspect in Hattiesburg police shooting remains unknown

    Tuesday, June 19 2018 11:22 PM EDT2018-06-20 03:22:20 GMT
    Victor Kirksey was taken into custody Monday night after an hours-long search that ended in a shootout with police. (Photo source: HPD)Victor Kirksey was taken into custody Monday night after an hours-long search that ended in a shootout with police. (Photo source: HPD)

    WDAM has been in contact with Victor Kirksey's family following the officer involved shooting, Monday. Kirksey's family continues to be vocal following his take down on Lexington Drive. While they do not want to be on camera, they are telling WDAM Kirksey was taken to Forrest General Hospital with injuries after the exchange of gunfire during his capture.  Since that time, hospital officials and law enforcement are tight lipped about the suspect's current condition. Family call...

    More >>

    WDAM has been in contact with Victor Kirksey's family following the officer involved shooting, Monday. Kirksey's family continues to be vocal following his take down on Lexington Drive. While they do not want to be on camera, they are telling WDAM Kirksey was taken to Forrest General Hospital with injuries after the exchange of gunfire during his capture.  Since that time, hospital officials and law enforcement are tight lipped about the suspect's current condition. Family call...

    More >>
  • Compulsive video-game playing could be mental health problem

    Compulsive video-game playing could be mental health problem

    Monday, June 18 2018 5:20 AM EDT2018-06-18 09:20:00 GMT
    Tuesday, June 19 2018 8:21 PM EDT2018-06-20 00:21:28 GMT
    In its latest revision to an international disease classification manual, the U.N. health agency said Monday that classifying "Gaming Disorder" as a separate condition will 'serve a public health purpose for countries.' (Source: Pixabay)In its latest revision to an international disease classification manual, the U.N. health agency said Monday that classifying "Gaming Disorder" as a separate condition will 'serve a public health purpose for countries.' (Source: Pixabay)

    The World Health Organization says that compulsively playing video games now qualifies as a new mental health condition, in a move that some critics warn may risk stigmatizing its young players.

    More >>

    The World Health Organization says that compulsively playing video games now qualifies as a new mental health condition, in a move that some critics warn may risk stigmatizing its young players.

    More >>
  • Snakes, as well as people, soaking up summer sun in Pine Belt

    Snakes, as well as people, soaking up summer sun in Pine Belt

    Tuesday, June 19 2018 8:16 PM EDT2018-06-20 00:16:18 GMT
    Sara Monfra, a part-time zoo keeper at the Hattiesburg Zoo, shows off "Cookie," a Sinoloan Milk Snake, to children at the Hattiesburg Zoo Tuesday. Photo credit WDAM.Sara Monfra, a part-time zoo keeper at the Hattiesburg Zoo, shows off "Cookie," a Sinoloan Milk Snake, to children at the Hattiesburg Zoo Tuesday. Photo credit WDAM.
    Sara Monfra, a part-time zoo keeper at the Hattiesburg Zoo, shows off "Cookie,Sara Monfra, a part-time zoo keeper at the Hattiesburg Zoo, shows off "Cookie,

    Summer in Mississippi is a time for sun-bathing, water sports and snakes.   

    More >>

    Summer in Mississippi is a time for sun-bathing, water sports and snakes.   

    More >>
Powered by Frankly