Right to counsel
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).
Legislation, Termination of Parental Rights (State) - Birth Parents
The Revised Uniform Adoption Act provides the right to counsel for a parent who consents to the adoption of a minor during all stages of the proceeding to terminate the parent-child relationship if the minor is to be placed for adoption by a child-placing agency. N.D. Cent. Code § 14-15-19.1.
Additionally, N.D. Cent. Code § 27-20-26 of the Uniform Juvenile Court Act provides indigent parties with appointed counsel "at custodial, post-petition, and informal adjustment stages of proceedings under this chapter", although the next sentence clarifies that only indigent children are entitled to appointed counsel at the informal adjustment stage. Proceedings occurring under the Uniform Juvenile Court Act include terminations of parental rights. N.D. Cent. Code § 27-20-03.
Even if a parent consents to a termination (or initiates it themselves), they have a right to counsel. N.D. Cent. Code § 27-20-45(5).
In In re K.L., 751 N.W.2d 677 (N.D. 2008), the Supreme Court of North Dakota held that there is a right to effective assistance of counsel in termination of parental rights cases:
The statutory right to court-appointed counsel in a parental termination proceeding is much like that in a post-conviction relief proceeding. N.D.C.C. § 27-20-26(1). The reasoning for ineffective assistance of counsel claims in post-conviction relief claims is analogous and persuasive in the context of parental rights termination actions. Because of the legislative directive that respondents be afforded counsel in termination proceedings, it would be absurd and meaningless to have the right to appointed counsel, but not to require counsel to be effective in this context. Johnson, at P 16 (citations omitted). See also In re K.L., 91 S.W.3d 1, 11 (Tex. App. 2002) (adopting ineffective assistance of counsel claims in termination cases and explaining a parent whose parental rights were terminated due to counsel's deficiencies has no meaningful remedy and monetary damages derived of a professional malpractice suit are inadequate due to the nature and severity of the interests involved). Therefore, we acknowledge the need to recognize an ineffective assistance of counsel claim and apply the test announced in Strickland. 466 U.S. at 688.
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: no