GA high court says some civil contempt cases might require counsel

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09/01/2014, Litigation, Civil Contempt in Family Court

A Georgia class action suit brought by the Southern Center for Human Rights (SCHR) raised whether there is a right to counsel for defendants in child support civil contempt cases brought by the state, attempting to answer a question left open by the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Turner v. Rogers. After the Georgia trial court granted class certification, the Georgia Court of Appeals reversed and the Supreme Court of Georgia upheld the reversal, although the high court conceded that some contempt cases might require counsel (and there might even be a presumption in favor of counsel where the state is the plaintiff). Miller v. Deal, 761 S.E.2d 274, 279 (Ga. 2014).

Appointment of Counsel: discretionary Qualified: yes



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