Right to counsel

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Legislation, Guardianship/Conservatorship of Adults - Ward

Okla. Stat. tit. 30, § 3-107(A) provides that in a guardianship proceeding,

 

If at or prior to a hearing on a petition alleging a person to be an incapacitated or partially incapacitated person, or if at any point in the course of a proceeding pursuant to said petition, the subject of the proceeding is not represented by counsel, the court may appoint an attorney as provided in this section, and the court may at any time subsequent to the filing of said petition appoint a guardian ad litem to assist the court in making a determination as to whether or not an attorney should be appointed for the subject of the proceeding. 

 

While this sounds like a matter of discretion for the judge, § 3-107(B) specifies that

 

If the subject of the proceeding is present at the hearing on the petition and is not represented by counsel at said hearing: 1. The court shall explain on the record: a. the purpose and potential consequences of the proceeding; and b. the right to be represented by counsel upon request and that if the subject of the proceeding wishes to be represented by counsel, the court will appoint an attorney to represent the subject of the proceeding at the hearing on the petition.

 

Additionally, Okla. Stat. tit. 30, § 3-106(A) states, "In all hearings conducted pursuant to Article III of the Oklahoma Guardianship and Conservatorship Act, an individual who is alleged to be or found to be an incapacitated or partially incapacitated person shall have a right to: … 7. representation by court-appointed counsel upon request . . . " 

 

Okla. Stat. tit. 30, §4-308(F) says that for proceedings to terminate or remove a guardian, or for review proceedings, "the court may appoint an attorney to represent at such hearing a ward who is an incapacitated or partially incapacitated person, in the same manner and with the same compensation as provided in the Oklahoma Guardianship and Conservatorship Act for appointment of an attorney for the subject of the proceeding following the filing of a petition for appointment of a guardian or limited guardian of the person or property of an alleged incapacitated or partially incapacitated person.". See also Okla. Stat. tit. 30, §§ 4-307(H) (for hearings related to guardianship annual reports, court "may appoint an attorney to represent the ward who is an incapacitated or partially incapacitated person, in the same manner and with the same compensation as provided in this act for appointment of an attorney for the subject of the proceeding following the filing of a petition for appointment of a guardian or limited guardian of the person or property of an alleged incapacitated or partially incapacitated person.")

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes