Court News Ohio reports that the Task Force on Access to Justice convened its first meeting on August 1, 2014 in Columbus. The task force was established by the Supreme Court of Ohio and is charged with identifying barriers faced by disadvantaged individuals in the Ohio civil justice system. It has eleven members, comprised of Justice French of the Supreme Court of Ohio, judges from the Cuyahoga Domestic Relations Court, representatives from legal aid organizations in Columbus and Toledo, private practice attorneys, an advocate from the Office of the Ohio Public Defender and a representative from the Ohio State Bar Association. The task force is chaired by former Ohio Supreme Court Justice Yvette McGee Brown.
According to Court News Ohio, Chief Justice O'Connor reported that there are currently 32 other states with these commissions. She urged the task force to review their work to evaluate whether there are any similarly-situated states from which Ohio's task force could gain information and helpful models. She encouraged the group not to limit its work to low income individuals, but to also consider people facing additional barriers to the legal system, such as language issues, when making its findings.
The next task force meeting is September 12, 2014 and will be open to the public, per the operating guidelines.