Right to Counsel

Key_development Question_mark

Legislation, Education - Special Education

The right to counsel is listed as qualified since it may not apply to parents of disabled children who are older than 18. 


Alaska Stat. § 44.21.410(a)(9) requires the Office of Public Advocacy to provide representation to "an indigent parent of a child with a disability; in this paragraph, 'child with a disability' has the meaning given in AS 14.30.350."  Given that Alaska Stat. § 14.30.350 is located in the education code, this appointment provision seemingly would apply only to school proceedings.  However, in In re Protective Proceedings of Freddy A., No. S–13988, 2012 WL 1058856, at *4 (Alaska March 28, 2012) (unpublished), involving a parent seeking to be appointed counsel in a proceeding regarding a guardianship of her developmentally disabled adult child, the Court cited to § 14.30.350 in stating, "If Freddy were a minor, there would be little question that Mia is entitled to appointed counsel."  But the Court clarified that this provision does not provide a right to counsel for parents of disabled children that have reached the age of majority.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes