Right to counsel

Key_development Question_mark

Legislation, Guardianship/Conservatorship of Adults - Ward

In guardianship proceedings, "Upon the filing of a petition, the court shall ... appoint an attorney to act as guardian ad litem ..." § 30.1-28-03(3). The statute further explains that "The duties of the attorney include: a. Personally interviewing the proposed ward; b. Explaining the guardianship proceeding to the proposed ward in the language, mode of communication, and terms that the proposed ward is most likely to understand, including the nature and possible consequences of the proceeding, the right to which the proposed ward is entitled, and the legal options that are available; and c. Representing the proposed ward as guardian ad litem. If the appointed attorney or other attorney is retained by the proposed ward to act as an advocate, the attorney shall promptly notify the court, and the court may determine whether the attorney should be discharged from the duties of guardian ad litem." § 30.1-28-03(4).


Another provision, § 30.1-28-07, says that for modification/termination of guardianship, "the court, following the same procedures to safeguard the rights of the ward as apply to a petition for appointment of a guardian, may send a visitor to the residence of the present guardian and to the place where the ward resides or is detained, to observe conditions and report in writing to the court." It is unclear whether the "same procedures" language applies only to the visitor's actions (which would not incorporate the appointment of counsel provisions) or to whole proceeding.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no