Updated: Jul 31, 2019
The United States judicial system, including the courts of Louisiana, grants all persons the privilege of receiving access to justice regardless of whether the litigant is impoverished.
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The Louisiana legislature enacted the IFP provisions of Louisiana’s Code of Civil Procedure to ensure this privilege for its citizens. At the request of the Louisiana State Bar Association’s Access to Justice Policy Committee, Louisiana Appleseed volunteer Ashley Gonzalez completed a white paper on in forma pauperis (IFP) issues. Courts can give an IFP designation to individuals who are unable to pay the normal costs associated with a civil lawsuit or criminal defense. An educational pamphlet was created as a result of Ms. Gonzalez’s white paper. It is used to educate the public, lawyers, clerks of court, and members of the judiciary about IFP issues and to help them avoid common IFP challenges. Ms. Gonzalez also educated Fellows of the Louisiana Bar Foundation on this topic in 2015 as part of the LBF’s Fellows Project.