Right to counsel

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Legislation, Abuse/Neglect/Dependency - Accused Parents

There is a right to counsel upon request for indigent parents in "child in need of care" (abuse/neglect) cases. Kan. Stat. Ann. § 38-2205(b). At the first hearing in connection with the proceedings, the court shall distribute a pamphlet advising parents of their rights. Id.  The court shall appoint counsel "at any stage of the proceedings a parent desires but is financially unable to employ an attorney". Id.  But the court need not appoint counsel if a parent who has been "properly served with process" fails or refuses to appear. Id.


The statute also requires courts to appoint counsel, regardless of indigency, for any parent who is a minor or who is mentally ill or disabled and who is an interested party in a child in need of care case. See Kan. Stat. Ann. § 38- 2205(b), (c). 

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no