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).
Legislation, Custody Disputes - Children
N.Y. Fam. Ct. Act. § 249(a) states, "In any other proceeding in which the court has jurisdiction, the court may appoint an attorney to represent the child, when, in the opinion of the family court judge, such representation will serve the purposes of this act, if independent legal counsel is not available to the child. The family court on its own motion may make such appointment." See Wilson v. Bennett, 282 A.D.2d 933, 724 N.Y.S.2d 520 (N.Y.A.D. 2001) (applying this provision to private custody dispute). In Matter of Ames v. Ames, 97 A.D.3d 914 (N.Y. App. Div. 2012), the court commented that “appointment of an attorney for the child in a contested custody matter remains the strongly preferred practice ...”
Where these proceedings take place in the New York Supreme Court or Surrogate's Court, the minor has the same rights to counsel as identified above. N.Y. Jud. Law § 35(7).
In New York, appointed counsel act as attorneys for minors, advocating the minor's position, as opposed to advocating counsel's view of what is in the best interest of the child. See N.Y. Ct. Rules § 7.2(c), (d) ("In juvenile delinquency and person in need of supervision proceedings, where the child is the respondent, the attorney for the child must zealously defend the child … In other types of proceedings, where the child is the subject, the attorney for the child must zealously advocate the child's position.").
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