Right to counsel

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Legislation, Truancy - Petition Against Child

In Colorado, truancy is treated initially as a status offense, pursuant to Col. Rev. Stat § 22-33-108.  If the school seeks the imposition of a valid court order (VCO), then § 19-1-105(3) specifies that court may appoint counsel, or a guardian ad litem (GAL), or both. 


If the child violates the VCO, the school has two options pursuant to Col. Rev. Stat § 22-33-108(7):


1) File a petition for neglect, at which point Col. Rev. Stat. §§ 19-3-203(1) requires the appointment of a GAL for the child and § 19-1-103(59) specifies that the GAL must be a licensed attorney.


2) Hold the child in contempt, at which point 28 C.F.R. 31.303(f)(3)(v)(D) requires appointment of counsel only if the court seeks to incarcerate the child.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes