Discretionary appointment of counsel
While a state may have many statutes, court decisions, or court rules governing appointment of counsel for a particular subject area, a "Key Development" is a statute/decision/rule that prevails over the others (example: a state high court decision finding a categorical right to counsel in guardianships cases takes precedence over a statute saying appointment in guardianship cases is discretionary).
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).
If "yes", the established right to counsel or discretionary appointment of counsel is limited in some way, including any of: the only authority is a lower/intermediate court decision or a city council, not a high court or state legislature; there has been a subsequent case that has cast doubt; a statute is ambiguous; or the right or discretionary appointment is not for all types of individuals or proceedings within that category.
Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes