Right to counsel

Key_development Question_mark

Legislation, Guardianship/Conservatorship of Adults - Protected Person

N.Y. Mental Hyg. Law §§ 81.10, 81.11(e) requires appointment of counsel in guardianship proceedings where requested, where a petition is contested, where the court thinks it would be helpful, where "the court is not satisfied that the person is capable of making an informed decision regarding the appointment of counsel", or some other scenarios specified in the statute.  See In re Turner, 730 N.Y.S.2d 188, 190 (App. Div. 2001) ("[I]ndigent defendants in the Criminal and Family Courts, and poor [allegedly incapacitated persons] and [incapacitated persons] in Article 81 proceedings have the right to appointment of effective counsel.").

Turner also suggested that counsel is provided when the guardianship is being modified. See also In Re Diurno, 182 Misc. 2d 205 (NY.Sup.Ct. 1999) (procedural safeguards for guardianship on review are "essentially the same").


Note that N.Y. Mental Hyg. Law §§ 81.10 and 81.11(e) do not apply to guardianships conducted under Article 17-A of the Surrogate's Court Procedure Act (which applies only to persons with a diagnosis of a developmental or intellectual disability).

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes