Right to counsel

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Legislation, Termination of Parental Rights (Private) - Children

10 Okla. St. Ann. § 7505–1.2(A)(1) of the Oklahoma Adoption Code states that:


In a proceeding pursuant to the Oklahoma Adoption Code, the court shall appoint an attorney for a minor in a contested proceeding pursuant to the Oklahoma Adoption Code and may appoint an attorney for a child in an uncontested proceeding or appoint an attorney for the child to examine all expenses and attorney fees presented to the court for approval.


Additionally, in In re S.A.W., 856 P.2d 286, 289 (Okla. 1993), the court extended In re T.M.H., 613 P.2d 468, 470-71 (Okla.1980) (recognizing statutory right to independent counsel for children in state-initiated terminations) to private parental termination actions, although it is unclear whether T.M.H. is still good law given that the statute now governing (Okla. Stat. tit. 10A, § 1-4-306) does not mention termination of parental rights cases.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no