Right to counsel

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Legislation, Civil Contempt in Family Court

"In ... civil and criminal nonsupport cases which may result in the jailing of the defendant . . . when a defendant is entitled to counsel as provided by law, the trial judge shall before arraignment ascertain from the accused, or otherwise: (1) Whether or not the defendant has arranged to be represented by counsel; (2) Whether or not the defendant desires the assistance of counsel; and (3) Whether or not the defendant is able financially or otherwise to obtain the assistance of counsel."  In Leftwich v. Vansandt, 995 So.2d 172, 174 (Ala. Civ. App. 2008), the court said in dicta that this statute establishes a right to counsel in civil contempt cases.

Cite: Ala. Code ยง 15-12-20

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes