indigent

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indigent

1) n. a person so poor and needy that he/she cannot provide the necessities of life (food, clothing, decent shelter) for himself/herself. 2) n. one without sufficient income to afford a lawyer for defense in a criminal case. If the court finds a person is an indigent, the court must appoint a public defender or other attorney to represent him/her. This Constitutional right of counsel for the indigent was determined by Gideon v. Wainright in 1963, when a penciled letter from a prisoner came to the attention of prominent Washington attorney Abe Fortas, who carried the case to the Supreme Court for free. Fortas later became an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. 3) adj. referring to a person who is very poor and needy.

See: bankrupt, destitute, impecunious, penurious, poor
References in classic literature ?
Did our birth fall in some fit of indigence and frugality in nature, that she was so sparing of her fire and so liberal of her earth that it appears to us that we lack the affirmative principle, and though we have health and reason, yet we have no superfluity of spirit for new creation?
Compte tenu de ces indigences, le responsable regional du secteur est donc amene a faire preuve d'une capacite suffisante pour asseoir un plan d'action regional a meme d'attenuer ces carences et de nature a mettre en exergue une feuille de route, axee sur la concertation collective avec tous les operateurs du secteur dans les provinces et les prefectures, sans esprit sectaire ni reducteur.
Al Bayane: Comment concevez-vous la mission de l'hopital, a la lumiere des indigences qui frappent nombre de centres hospitaliers du royaume ?