Delaware to Allow Non-Lawyer Representation for Tenants in Eviction Cases

The Delaware Supreme Court adopted a new rule (Rule 57.1) that allows tenants to be represented for free by qualified tenant advocates who are trained and supervised by one of Delaware’s three legal aid agencies. By adopting the rule, Delaware has become the first state to allow non-lawyer representation for residential tenants in eviction proceedings. The new rule expands a previous rule that restricted such representation to landlords. As most landlords in Delaware are currently represented by non-attorneys, the change creates greater parity and gives tenants more options to contest evictions and remain stably housed. The new rule was adopted by the court on January 28 and takes effect on March 1, 2022.

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