Right to counsel

Key_development Question_mark

Legislation, Abuse/Neglect/Dependency - Accused Parents

“The parents of a child who is the subject of a child in need of care proceeding shall be entitled to qualified, independent counsel at the continued custody hearing and at all stages of the proceedings thereafter.”  La. Child. Code Ann. art. 608(A).   Additionally, when the Department of Children and Family Services recommends that a petition for voluntary transfer is filed, the court must appoint counsel for the parent upon request, La. Ch.C. Art. 1518(B), and the court must appoint counsel even without a request and regardless of who files the petition if it is the parent or custodian of an Indian child.  La. Ch.C. Art. 1518(C).


La. Ch.C. Art. 625(A)(1)(d) provides that “At the continued custody or continued safety plan hearing, the court shall advise the parents…of (d) The right to be represented by counsel and the right of indigent parents to representation by the Indigent Parents’ Representation Program in accordance with Children’s Code Article 608.” In addition, a notice served on a parent along with the petition and summons, shall state “You have the right to hire an attorney and are encouraged to do so. When you come to court, if you cannot afford to hire an attorney, you may qualify to have the court appoint one for you at state expense.”  La. Ch.C. Art. 639.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no