Sunday, May 18, 2014

Is there a statutory right to counsel in civil cases?

Interesting question. To my amazement, there is a website for that.

The National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel

, . . and they have a nifty chart showing all the state statutes providing for a civil right to counsel.

Quite a few states have statutes that allow for court appointed counsel in a number of different civil proceedings. Who knew?

Kentucky makes one brief appearance on the list.

Kentucky: KY. REV. STAT. ANN. § 620.100(1) (West):

 In dependency, neglect, and abuse proceedings,
 “(a) The court shall appoint counsel for the child….
(b) The court shall appoint separate counsel for the parent who exercises custodial control or supervision if the parent is unable to afford counsel….
(c) The court may, in the interest of justice, appoint separate counsel for a nonparent who exercises custodial control or supervision of the child, if the person is unable to afford counsel….”

In each instance, the Finance and Administration Cabinet pays the counsel, and the fee may not exceed $500 dollars, unless there is a final disposition in the district court, in which case the fee may not exceed $250. Id.

§ 625.080(3): “The parents have the right to legal representation in involuntary termination actions. The Circuit Court shall determine if the parent is indigent and, therefore, entitled to counsel…. If the Circuit Court so finds, the Circuit Court shall inform the parent; and, upon request, if it appears reasonably necessary in the interest of justice, the Circuit Court shall appoint an attorney to represent the parent … to be provided or paid for by the Finance and Administration Cabinet a fee to be set by the court and not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500).”

Tom Fox, J. D.
Southern Specialty Law Publishing Company
Louisville, Kentucky

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This is not legal advice and I am not a lawyer.

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