Right to counsel

Key_development Question_mark

Legislation, Abuse/Neglect/Dependency - Children

"The court shall appoint counsel to represent any child in a court proceeding in which the child is alleged to be abused or neglected. Any attorney representing a child under this section shall also serve as the child's guardian ad litem unless a guardian ad litem has been appointed by the court."  Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 14-3-211. See DB v. MM (In re Parental Rights to Child X), 617 P.2d 1078, 1079 (Wyo. 1980) (if child not appointed attorney to represent child's best interests in abuse/neglect court proceedings, then proceedings are fatally defective and substantive issues must be remanded to repair error).


When a child is taken into temporary protective custody, placed into detention, or placed into shelter care, a shelter care or informal detention hearing must be held as soon as reasonably possible. Wyo. Stat. Ann. §§ 14-3-409(a), 14-6-409(a), 14-6-209(a). In said hearings, the judge must advise the child's parents, guardian, or custodian of their right to counsel. Wyo. Stat. Ann. §§ 14-3-409(b)(ii), 14-6-409(b)(ii), 14-6-209(b)(ii).

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no