Discretionary appointment of counsel
Litigation, All Basic Human Needs
In State ex rel. Family Support Div.-Child Support Enforcement v. Lane, 313 S.W.3d 182, 187 (Mo. Ct. App. 2010), the court held in a civil contempt case that "[T]he circuit court does not have the statutory authority to compel the public defender to represent the defendant in a civil action[.] . . . [H]owever, the circuit court has the inherent authority to appoint members of the bar to represent the defendant." (citations omitted)).
The Lane court added that
[w]hen neither the state legislature nor the subject county has provided a mechanism for the defense of civil contempt actions, . . . the court's inherent power to appoint counsel appears to be the only mechanism by which an indigent defendant, facing actual imprisonment in a civil case, can be afforded his constitutionally guaranteed right to counsel. The court must use that power when the right to due process requires it.
The court found that for a defendant faced with civil contempt, "the court should have either (1) predetermined that Lane's failure to pay child support would not result in jail time; or (2) advised Lane that he had a right to counsel and that, if he were found to be indigent, counsel would be appointed unless Lane chose to waive his right to counsel."
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: yes