Right to counsel

Key_development Question_mark

Legislation, Guardianship/Conservatorship of Adults - Protected Person


For establishment of a guardianship or conservatorship, "The court shall appoint a lawyer to represent the respondent in the proceeding if: (a) Requested by the respondent; (b) Recommended by the visitor; or (c) The court determines that the respondent needs representation."  Colo. Rev. Stat. §§ 15-14-305(2) (as to guardianships) and 15-14-406(2) (as to conservatorships).



Both sections require, "[e]xcept as otherwise ordered by the court for good cause," that the court "follow the same procedures to safeguard the rights of the protected person that apply to a petition [for guardianship or conservatorship]". See Colo. Stat. §§ 15-14-318(3) and 15-14-431(4).  Accordingly, the protected person likely has a right to appointed counsel. See also Colo Stat. §§ 15-14-319; 15-14-434 (right to counsel at expense of ward’s estate for post-guardianship or conservatorship proceedings, unless ward lacks capacity to provide informed consent to representation).

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes