Right to counsel

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Legislation, Abuse/Neglect/Dependency - Children

Children have a right to the appointment of a guardian ad litem who is an attorney in abuse/neglect proceedings. D.C. Code § 16-2304(b)(5).   The GAL's role is to represent the child's best interests. 


Under SCR Neglect and Abuse Rule 42, the court has the ability to appoint a separate attorney as well. SCR Neglect and Abuse Rule 42 ("An attorney shall be appointed to serve as guardian ad litem for a child or children alleged to be neglected and the Court may, in addition, appoint an attorney to represent such child or children.").

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes