Right to counsel
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).
Legislation, Abuse/Neglect/Dependency - Children
For children in abuse/neglect and termination of parental rights proceedings, Va. Code § 16.1–266(A) states:
Prior to the hearing by the court of any case involving a child who is alleged to be abused or neglected or who is the subject of ... a petition seeking termination of residual parental rights ... the court shall appoint a discreet and competent attorney-at-law as guardian ad litem to represent the child pursuant to § 16.1–266.1.
Subsection (E) adds, "In those cases described in subsections A, B, C and D, which in the discretion of the court require counsel or a guardian ad litem to represent the child or children or the parent or guardian or other adult party in addition to the representation provided in those subsections, a discreet and competent attorney-at-law may be appointed by the court as counsel or a guardian ad litem", while subsection (F) adds:
In all other cases which in the discretion of the court require counsel or a guardian ad litem, or both, to represent the child or children or the parent or guardian, discreet and competent attorneys-at-law may be appointed by the court. However, in cases where the custody of a child or children is the subject of controversy or requires determination and each of the parents or other persons claiming a right to custody is represented by counsel, the court shall not appoint counsel or a guardian ad litem to represent the interests of the child or children unless the court finds, at any stage in the proceedings in a specific case, that the interests of the child or children are not otherwise adequately represented.
"[A]ny appointment of counsel in addition to a guardian ad litem is a matter left to the sound discretion of the circuit court." Tackett v. Arlington County Dept. of Human Services, 1519-12-4, 2013 WL 4081294 (Va. Ct. App. 2013).
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