Rhode Island

This page provides a breakdown of all major developments and right to counsel law that the NCCRC knows for this state, sorted by subject area. Click on either tab below to see the aspect it describes.

Abuse/Neglect/Dependency - Accused Parents

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is a right to counsel for indigent parents in abuse/neglect cases.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Abuse/Neglect/Dependency - Children

Legislation

Legislation: extended foster care

05/24/2017

These bills would have required appointed counsel for foster children who avail themselves of voluntary extended services.

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Civil Commitment - Subject of Petition

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is a right to counsel for an indigent subject of a civil commitment proceeding.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Custody Disputes - Children

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Discretionary appointment of counsel

A court may appoint counsel for a minor in a divorce proceeding to handle issues related to custody, support, or visitation.

Appointment of Counsel: discretionary Qualified: no

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Guardianship/Conservatorship of Adults - Ward

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is a right to counsel for the subject of a guardianship proceeding, but only upon request or if the petition is contested.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

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Sexually Dangerous Persons - Commitment

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

An indigent sex offender objecting to a community notification requirement has the right to appointed counsel.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Litigation

Right to counsel

A federal court found a right to counsel for sexually dangerous person commitments. Rhode Island, however, has no such procedure at this time.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

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Sexually Dangerous Persons - Registration/Notification

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

Rhode Island provides a right to counsel for sex offenders objecting to community notification.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Litigation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

A Rhode Island court held that sex offenders have a constitutional right to counsel when objecting to community notification.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Termination of Parental Rights (State) - Birth Parents

Court Rule or Initiative

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

Indigent parents have a right to counsel in termination of parental rights cases.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Other Subject Areas

Legislation

Right to counsel - seizure of vehicles used for explosives transport

There is a right to counsel for an unknown person whose vehicle is seized on the grounds it was used to transport illegal explosives.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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