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An impoverished person who is supported at public expense; an indigent litigant who is permitted to sue or defend without paying costs; an impoverished criminal defendant who has a right to receive legal services without charge.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

PAUPER. One so poor that he must be supported at the public expense.
    2. The statutes of the several states make ample provisions for the support of the poor. It is not within the plan of this work even to give an abstract of such extensive legislation. Vide 16 Vin. Ab. 259; Botts on the Poor Laws; Woodf. Landl. & Ten. 901.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
``Back in the '60s or '70s they would just try to pauperize you - cut off your grants, get you fired from your job.
I am unmoved by their arguments ideologically (where development has been dictated from the outside the net result has been to pauperize the majority and keep those countries even more politically and economically dependent on the developed countries) and practically, since in any case Arafat, designating himself Boss, can exercise arbitrary authority over even the most enlightened experts.
But it is middle income elderly who are most disadvantaged by the present system, which now requires them to pauperize themselves (or to fake that state) to qualify for Medicaid long-term care coverage.