Discretionary appointment of counsel

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Litigation, All Basic Human Needs

In Steward ex rel. Schluter v. Schluter, 819 N.E.2d 1 (Ill. App. Ct. 2004), a respondent in a protection order case objected to the trial court requiring him to reimburse the county for an attorney representing the petitioner. Although the court ultimately relied on statutory interpretation of the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1985, it also commented on the fact that the trial court need not rely on the Illinois Domestic Relations Legal Funding Act in order to appoint counsel, as "[c]ourts have the authority to appoint counsel pursuant to the inherent power of the judiciary to regulate the practice of law and to conduct the orderly administration of justice."

See also City of DeKalb v. Thomas, 770 N.E.2d 730, 732 (Ill. App. Ct. 2002) ("A trial court has the inherent power to appoint counsel.... It is not error for a trial court on its own motion to appoint counsel for a defendant unless it is done over the defendant's objection and some exception is taken at the time.")

Appointment of Counsel: discretionary Qualified: no