Right to counsel

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Legislation, Guardianship/Conservatorship of Adults - Ward

For guardianship proceedings, Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 18-A, § 5-306, which was revised in 2018, states:

 

1. Appointment of attorney required. The court shall appoint an attorney to represent the respondent in a proceeding on a petition under section 5-302 if:

A. Requested by the respondent;

B. Recommended by the visitor;

C. The court determines that the respondent needs representation; or

D. It comes to the court's attention that the respondent wishes to contest any aspect of the proceeding or to seek any limitation on the proposed guardian's powers.

2. Duties of attorney. An attorney representing the respondent in a proceeding on a petition under section 5-302 shall:

A. Make reasonable efforts to ascertain the respondent's wishes;

B. Advocate for the respondent's wishes to the extent reasonably ascertainable; and

C. If the respondent's wishes are not reasonably ascertainable, advocate for the result that is the least restrictive option in type, duration and scope, consistent with the respondent's interests.

 

Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 18-A, § 5-318(4), which governs a petition for removal of the guardian, specifies that “An adult subject to guardianship who seeks to remove the guardian and have a successor appointed has a right to choose an attorney to represent the adult. If the adult subject to guardianship is not represented by an attorney, the court shall appoint an attorney under the same conditions as in section 5-305. The court shall award reasonable attorney's fees to the attorney for the adult as provided in section 5-119.”

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no