Right to counsel

Key_development Question_mark

Legislation, Termination of Parental Rights (State) - Children

The Arizona legislature established a right to counsel for children in child welfare proceedings all the way through permanency in 2021. S.B. 1391, 55th Leg., 1st Reg. Sess. (Ariz. 2021).[1]  In 2022, the statute was expanded further to provide a right to counsel through dismissal. S.B. 1073, 55th Leg., 2d Reg. Sess. (Ariz. 2022); S.B. 1069, 55th Leg., 2d Reg. Sess. (Ariz. 2022).  The right to counsel provision now reads: 

The court shall appoint an attorney for a child in all ... dependency or termination of parental rights proceedings that are conducted pursuant to this title. The court shall appoint the attorney before the first hearing. The attorney shall represent the child at all stages of the proceedings and, in a dependency proceeding, through permanency.

Ariz. Stat. § 8-221(A).

Regarding payment of the child's attorneys fees, under the former Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 8-221(E), the court could order the juvenile's parent or guardian to pay all or part of the costs of the attorney's services, if the court found that the parent or guardian had "sufficient financial resources."  However, this provision was removed in 2023 by SB 1197.


[1] Passage of SB 1391 was covered by The Imprint and The Philanthropy Roundtable

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no