Right to counsel

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Legislation, Guardianship/Conservatorship of Adults - Ward

South Dakota's Guardianship and Conservatorship Act obliges a court to appoint counsel to represent a "protected person" "if requested by the person alleged to need protection, if the person expresses a desire to contest the petition, or if the court determines that an appointment is otherwise needed to protect the person's interests. In appointing an attorney, the court shall consider any known preferences of the person alleged to need protection." S.D. Codified Laws § 29A-5-309. The court can also appoint counsel for a guardianship review/termination proceeding if "necessary to protect the person's interests." S.D. Codified Laws § 29A-5-508(4). A similar provision permits a court to assign counsel to minors allegedly in need of protection. S.D. Codified Laws § 29A-5-205. Under South Dakota law, the costs of such representation should come from the estate of the protected person or protected minor. S.D. Codified Laws § 29A-5-116.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes