The United States Supreme Court recently decided that a state may not, consistent with the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment, condition appeals from trial court decrees terminating parental rights on the affected parent's ability to pay record preparation fees. In M.L.B. v. S.L.J., the Supreme Court found that, just as a state may not block an indigent petty offender's access to an appeal afforded others, Mississippi may not deny M.L.B., because of her poverty, appellate review of the sufficiency of the evidence on which the trial court found her unfit to remain a parent.
Jason T. Jacoby,
MLB v. SLJ: "Equal Justice" for Indigent Parents,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/lawreview/vol32/iss2/10