Right to counsel

Key_development Question_mark

Legislation, Abuse/Neglect/Dependency - Accused Parents

Indigent parents (and children) have a right to counsel in abuse/neglect proceedings. W. Va. Code § 49-6-2(a), 29-21-2 (services are provided by public defender). Any other parties to the proceedings shall be appointed counsel upon request if they are unable to obtain their own. This statutory right does not extend to pre-petition conversations between the state and the parents. In re Timber M., 743 S.E.2d 352 (W. Va. 2013). Also, when the state is placing a child outside the home through a voluntary placement agreement with the parents, the child has a mandatory right to counsel. W. Va. Code § 49-2-16.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no