No such proceeding

09/11/2023, Legislation, Sterilization

Previously, sections 5701 through 5716 of Title 16 of the Delaware Code addressed involuntary sterilization proceedings in Delaware.  


Two provisions were relevant to the respondent's right to counsel in such proceedings, though it was not clear whether a right to appointed counsel was contemplated.  While Section 5710 of Title 16 of the Delaware Code stated, "Any person for whom sterilization is sought shall have the following procedural rights: (1) The right to counsel ...", section 5709(a) indicated that "[t]he Court shall appoint a guardian ad litem or attorney or both for the respondent" (emphasis added).  And because Chapter 57 did not define "guardian ad litem," it was not clear whether the GAL had to be an attorney. See 16 Del. § 5701.

Regardless, the Delaware legislature repealed sections 5701 through 5716 in 2023 through SB 153, so there is seemingly "no such proceeding" any longer.