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A person is referred to as indigent when they are impoverished, or unable to afford the basic necessities of life.  A defendant who is indigent has a constitutional right to court-appointed representation, according to a 1963 Supreme Court decision, Gideon v. Wainwright. Further, in some divorce and parental rights cases, an indigent person is exempted from paying court fees as well as some other fees.

[Last updated in February of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team