Discretionary appointment of counsel
While a state may have many statutes, court decisions, or court rules governing appointment of counsel for a particular subject area, a "Key Development" is a statute/decision/rule that prevails over the others (example: a state high court decision finding a categorical right to counsel in guardianships cases takes precedence over a statute saying appointment in guardianship cases is discretionary).
Litigation, Paternity - Defendant/Respondent
In Maine v. Tarvers, 561 A.2d 1029 (Me. 1989), the Maine court cited Lassiter to find that in cases that "do not threaten the immediate loss of physical liberty," adequate due process must be determined by applying a balancing test on a case-by-case basis. Then, the court turned to the federal test for procedural due process outlined in Mathews v. Eldridge, 424 U.S. 319 (1976).
Applying this test, which weighs the private interests of the litigants, the state's interests, and the risk of erroneous deprivation of the litigant's rights, the court concluded that appointed counsel was not necessary to satisfy due process requirements in this case. The court's analysis focused on the putative father's private interest in avoiding erroneous deprivation of his rights. Although the court noted that the putative father does have a due process interest in correctly determining the child's paternity, it was not sufficient to warrant appointed counsel, especially where the petitioner has the burden of proof and the state pays for blood tests. The court concluded, "We believe that the current procedures, as applied in this case, are sufficient to protect the interests of the alleged father."
If "yes", the established right to counsel or discretionary appointment of counsel is limited in some way, including any of: the only authority is a lower/intermediate court decision or a city council, not a high court or state legislature; there has been a subsequent case that has cast doubt; a statute is ambiguous; or the right or discretionary appointment is not for all types of individuals or proceedings within that category.
Appointment of Counsel: discretionary Qualified: no