Right to counsel

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Legislation, Civil Contempt in Family Court

There is a right to counsel for indigent defendants in child support contempt cases if incarceration is a possibility, Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 46b-231(m)(7) (child support contempt),  and for all family court cases where incarceration is a possibility, CT. R. Super. Ct. Fam. § 25-63.

Moreover, In Kennedy v. Kennedy, 847 A.2d 1104, 1107-08 Conn. App. 2004), the court held that "a court's failure to advise a party of the right to counsel in a contempt proceeding in which he faces potential incarceration, and in the event he is indigent, to court-appointed counsel, is fatal to the finding of contempt and any order related thereto .... Moreover, a waiver of a right to counsel 'should be clearly determined by the trial court, and it would be fitting and appropriate for that determination to appear on the record."

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no