Right to counsel

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Legislation, Abuse/Neglect/Dependency - Accused Parents

South Dakota grants "the child's parents, guardian, or other custodian" a statutory right to court-appointed counsel upon request if indigent in cases involving the protection of allegedly abused or neglected minors. S.D. Codified Laws § 26-7A-31 (specifying that parent must request counsel). S.D. Codified Laws § 26-7A-31 also confers on South Dakota courts the discretion to appoint an attorney for any party without request if legal representation appears necessary to protect the interests of the child. The county in which the proceeding occurs must pay for the expense of counsel in such cases, according to the manner prescribed by the court. 


Notably, S.D. Codified Laws § 26-7A-30 requires the court to notify parents and children of their "constitutional and statutory rights, including the right to 

be represented by an attorney."

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no