Right to counsel

Key_development Question_mark

Litigation, Child Support Establishment

Extending the Connecticut Supreme Court's decision in Lavertue v. Niman, 493 A.2d 213 (Conn. 1985) (finding due process right to counsel in paternity cases under the state and federal constitutions), a court in Wood v. Walker, 2004 WL 1664229 (Conn. Super. Ct. June 25, 2004) (unpublished), held that the right to counsel in an underlying paternity action continued after paternity was established, i.e., to the subsequent child support determination. The court brushed aside the state's argument that the right to counsel only applied to "putative" fathers, relying instead on the general language in Lavertue and the fact that a parent subject to a child-support order could be subject to criminal prosecution for failure to comply with that order.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes