Right to counsel

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Legislation, Guardianship/Conservatorship of Adults - Protected Person

In guardianship establishment proceedings,



(1) Unless an appearance has been entered on behalf of the respondent, the court shall appoint counsel for the respondent within one (1) week of the filing of a petition for determination of disability under KRS 387.500 to 387.770.


(2) Appointed counsel shall be entitled to compensation for services. If counsel is appointed for a poor person as defined in KRS 453.190, the court shall prescribe reasonable compensation to be paid by the county in which the proceeding is held in accordance with the complexity of the issues, the time involved, and other relevant considerations, except that appointed counsel shall not be compensated at a rate higher than sixty dollars ($60) an hour for time spent in court and no higher than forty dollars ($40) an hour for time spent out of court. If the petition is found to be frivolous or not brought in good faith, counsel fees shall be charged to the petitioner.


Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 387.560(1).

For guardianship review/termination proceedings, the statute mentions an entitlement to counsel, but does not specifically mention appointment of counsel, so it is unclear whether there is a right to appointed counsel. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 387.620(4) (stating that "Within thirty (30) days after the filing of a petition, the court shall conduct a hearing at which the ward shall be entitled to counsel", but not mentioning appointment of counsel).

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no