Michigan Supreme Court dodges case on right to counsel in termination cases

03/12/2009, Litigation, Termination of Parental Rights (State) - Birth Parents

The Michigan Supreme Court declined to review a case (In re McBride) where the trial court failed to appoint counsel for a parent in a termination of parental rights case, despite a supportive amicus brief from the Michigan Attorney General. The Court of Appeals acknowledged that the denial of counsel was in error, but found that the error was harmless. The petition to the Michigan Supreme Court urged the Court to find that a) the parent had a constitutional right to counsel (as such a right affects the standard of review); and b) denial of counsel should be reversed per se without applying a "harmless error" analysis.


Docs from the case are available in the comrpehensive bibliography section on the McBride case.


Nccrc_involvement_icon NCCRC filed a supportive amicus brief in the case.