Right to counsel

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Legislation, Guardianship/Conservatorship of Adults - Protected Person

VA Code Ann. § 64.2-2006 states that in a guardianship proceeding:


The respondent has the right to be represented by counsel of the respondent's choice. If the respondent is not represented by counsel, the court may appoint legal counsel, upon the filing of the petition or at any time prior to the entry of the order upon request of the respondent or the guardian ad litem, if the court determines that counsel is needed to protect the respondent's interest. Counsel appointed by the court shall be paid a fee that is fixed by the court to be taxed as part of the costs of the proceeding.


However, Va. Code Ann. § 64.2-2003 mandates the appointment of a guardian ad litem, and § 64.2-2000 specifies that “‘Guardian ad litem’ means an attorney appointed by the court to represent the interests of the respondent...”


For guardianship review proceedings, all that is provided for is appointment of a guardian ad litem (who, again, must be an attorney).  Va. Code Ann. § 64.2-2012.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes