Right to counsel

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Legislation, All Basic Human Needs

For all civil actions, the court cannot enter a default in a case unless a) an affidavit has been filed showing that the defendant is not in military service; or b) if no such affidavit is filed, appointing an attorney to represent the defendant.  Cal Mil & Vet Code § 402(a).  Moreover, the court is empowered to appoint counsel in any case in which a service member is a party and either does not appear or does not have counsel.  Cal Mil & Vet Code § 402(c).  

“A service member who is granted a stay of a civil action or proceeding under this section may apply for an additional stay based on continuing material effect of military duty on the service member’s ability to appear. If the court refuses to grant an additional stay of proceedings, it shall appoint counsel to represent the service member in the action or proceeding.”  Cal Mil & Vet Code § 403.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes