Discretionary appointment of 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).
Litigation, All Basic Human Needs
In Joni B. v. State, 549 N.W.2d 411 (Wis. 1996), the Wisconsin Supreme Court considered the constitutionality of a Wisconsin statute that barred circuit court judges from appointing counsel for the parents in certain child protection proceedings. Turning to the federal due process issue (the petitioners apparently did not raise the state due process clause), the court noted that “parents do not have a constitutionally protected right to counsel in all child protective hearings” because “[t]he precedent is clear. Both the United States Supreme Court in Lassiter and this court in Piper found that there is no absolute right to the appointment of counsel in civil cases carrying no threat of loss of physical freedom.” 549 N.W.2d at 415-17 (citing Lassiter v. Department of Social Services, 452 U.S. 18, 31-32 (1981); Piper v. Popp, 482 N.W.2d 353 (Wis. 1992). However, pursuant to Lassiter, “fundamental fairness requires that a circuit judge be given the discretion to make the determination of what due process requires on a case-by-case basis.” Joni B., 549 N.W.2d at 417 (citing Lassiter, 452 U.S. at 31-32; Piper, 482 N.W.2d at 358-59). The court concluded that “a circuit court should only appoint counsel after concluding that either the efficient administration of justice warrants it or that due process considerations outweigh the presumption against such an appointment.” The court added that when a circuit court either grants or denies a request for counsel, “it should memorialize its findings and rationale on the record to facilitate appellate review.”
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: discretionary Qualified: no