Right to counsel

Key_development Question_mark

Legislation, Termination of Parental Rights (State) - Birth Parents

"In dependency and termination of parental rights cases, the respondent parent, legal guardian, or legal custodian shall be informed of his or her right to be represented by counsel and, if the juvenile court determines that he or she is indigent, counsel shall be appointed where the respondent parent, legal guardian, or legal custodian is unable for financial reasons to retain his or her own counsel."  Ala. Code § 12-15-305(b). In its most recent interpretation of former Ala. Code 12-15-63 (the dependency statute), the Court of Civil Appeals held that the right to appointed counsel where parental rights are at stake (including dependency cases) applies to every stage of the proceedings, including appeal. R.H. v. D.N., 5 So. 3d 1253, 1255 (Ala. Civ. App. 2008)

Additionally, "Upon request and a finding of indigency, the juvenile court may appoint an attorney to represent the petitioner and may order recoupment of the fees of the attorney to be paid to the State of Alabama."  Ala. Code. § 12-15-305(a).

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no