Right to counsel

Key_development Question_mark

Legislation, Abuse/Neglect/Dependency - Children

 Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 14-3-211(a) provides that "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."  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