Right to counsel - prisoners failing to defend
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).
Court Rule or Initiative, Prisoners
Ky. R. Civ. P. 17.04(1) states:
If for any reason the prisoner fails or is unable to defend an action, the court shall appoint a practicing attorney as guardian ad litem, and no judgment shall be rendered against the prisoner until the guardian ad litem shall have made defense or filed a report stating that after careful examination of the case he or she is unable to make defense.
The Kentucky Court of Appeals, in Davidson v. Boggs, 859 S.W.2d 662, 665 (Ky. Ct. App. 1993), emphasized that this rule means that a guardian ad litem must be appointed if an incarcerated defendant in a civil suit fails to defend the action for any reason, even if the failure is voluntary or the prisoner possessed sufficient funds to be able to hire an attorney. In Goldsmith v. Fifth Third Bank, 297 S.W.3d 898, 903 (Ky. Ct. App. 2009), the Kentucky Court of Appeals clarified its holding in Davidson to acknowledge that a prisoner may waive his right to a guardian ad litem.
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