Discretionary appointment of counsel

Key_development Question_mark

Legislation, Abuse/Neglect/Dependency - Accused Parents

Minn. Stat. § 260C.163, subd. 3(b), which governs the hearing procedures for child protection  cases, specifies that "Except in proceedings where the sole basis for the petition is habitual truancy, if the ... parent, guardian, or custodian desires counsel but is unable to employ it, the court shall appoint counsel to represent ... the parents or guardian in any case in which it feels that such an appointment is appropriate if the person would be financially unable to obtain counsel under the guidelines set forth in section 611.17." (emphasis added)


However, Minn. Stat. § 260C.176 subd. 3(7) provides that when a child is taken into detention, “the child and the child’s parent, guardian, or custodian have the right to be present and to be represented by counsel at the detention hearing, and [] if they cannot afford counsel, counsel will be appointed at public expense for the child, or for any party, if it is a ... neglected and in foster care ... matter.”

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes