Right to counsel

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Court Rule or Initiative, Guardianship/Conservatorship of Adults - Protected Person

In guardianship proceedings, Del. Code Ann. tit. 12 § 3901(c) specifies that the person with the alleged disability is only "entitled to representation by counsel," but there is no provision for appointment of counsel. However, Del. Ch. Ct. R. 176(a) (entitled "attorney ad litem") specifies that upon petition for appointment of a guardian, "the Court shall appoint a member of the Delaware Bar to represent the adult person alleged to be disabled if such person is not otherwise represented by counsel, to receive notice on behalf of such person and to give actual notice to such person, explain his or her rights, and the nature of the proceeding."  While an "attorney ad litem" typically plays a best interests role, the rule goes on to state, "The attorney ad litem shall represent the person alleged to be disabled as if engaged by such person."

Del. Ch. Ct. R. 176(a) also states that "The Court, in its discretion, may appoint an attorney ad litem to represent a minor disabled person."

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes