Right to counsel

Key_development Question_mark

Litigation, Paternity - Defendant/Respondent

In M. v. S., 404 A.2d 653, 656 (N.J. Super. Ct. Law Div. 1979), the court held that "Bastardy proceedings are at least quasi-criminal in nature ... A paternity action can result in consequences of magnitude ...Therefore, in bastardy proceedings an indigent defendant must be assigned counsel without cost."  The court relied on Rodriguez v. Rosenblatt, 277 A.2d 216, 223 (N.J. 1971), which had held there is a right to counsel under the New Jersey Constitution whenever a litigant faces a "consequence of magnitude."

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes