Discretionary appointment of counsel

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Legislation, Custody Disputes - Birth Parents

If a third party seeks to obtain custody of a child and such a proceeding is consolidated with an abuse/neglect or termination proceeding, the birth parents have a right to appointed counsel, while the court has discretion to appoint counsel for the third party. D.C. Code § 16-831.02(c)(2), (3).

 

In any third party custody proceeding regardless of consolidation, the court has the discretion to appoint counsel for the parents if it deems it necessary "in the interests of justice", and can also appoint counsel for the third party. D.C. Code § 16-831.06(c).

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes