Tennessee legislature extends right to counsel for parents to adoption proceedings
While a state may have many statutes, court decisions, or court rules governing appointment of counsel for a particular subject area, a "Key Development" is a statute/decision/rule that prevails over the others (example: a state high court decision finding a categorical right to counsel in guardianships cases takes precedence over a statute saying appointment in guardianship cases is discretionary).
01/01/2009, Legislation, Termination of Parental Rights (Private) - Birth Parents
In 2009, an enacted bill (2009 Tennessee Laws Pub. Ch. 417) rewrote Tenn. Code Ann. § 37-1-126(a)(2)(B), and under the new provision, a parent is entitled to representation by legal counsel at all stages of any proceeding in proceedings involving termination of parental rights pursuant to § 36-1-113, which includes adoption proceedings.
Subsection (3) of § 37-1-126(a) adds:
If the person is indigent, the court shall provide counsel for the indigent person. If a person appears without counsel, the court shall ascertain whether the person knows of the right to counsel and of the right to be provided with counsel by the court if the person is indigent. The court may continue the proceeding to enable a person to obtain counsel and shall provide counsel for an unrepresented indigent person upon request.
If "yes", the established right to counsel or discretionary appointment of counsel is limited in some way, including any of: the only authority is a lower/intermediate court decision or a city council, not a high court or state legislature; there has been a subsequent case that has cast doubt; a statute is ambiguous; or the right or discretionary appointment is not for all types of individuals or proceedings within that category.
Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no