Discretionary appointment of counsel
Litigation, Abuse/Neglect/Dependency - Accused Parents
California courts appear to have adopted the reasoning proclaimed in Lassiter that due process generally requires the appointment of counsel where the absence of counsel made a "determinative difference" in the outcome of the proceedings, and have applied this to the dependency context. See In re Meranda P., 65 Cal. Rptr. 2d 913, 918 (1997) (citing Lassiter to hold that "[w]ith respect to a parent's assertion of a violation of the constitutional right to counsel, the parent must also show there was a 'determinative difference' in the outcome of the proceeding by reason of the parent's lack of counsel, such that the proceeding was rendered fundamentally unfair"); In re Ronald R., 37 Cal. App. 4th 1186, 1196 (Ct. App. 1995) ("In post-Lassiter dependency cases in California, it appears settled that whether a due process right to counsel existed at the lower court hearing depends on whether the presence of counsel would have made a 'determinative difference' in the outcome of the proceeding").
If "yes", the established right to counsel or discretionary appointment of counsel is limited in some way, including any of: the only authority is a lower/intermediate court decision or a city council, not a high court or state legislature; there has been a subsequent case that has cast doubt; a statute is ambiguous; or the right or discretionary appointment is not for all types of individuals or proceedings within that category.
Appointment of Counsel: discretionary Qualified: no