Right to counsel
Litigation, Termination of Parental Rights (State) - Children
In In re Clark, 281 S.E.2d 47 (N.C. 1981), the high court rejected the claim that due process required the appointment of counsel for all parents and children in termination of parental rights proceedings. In its decision issued the same year as Lassiter, the court examined the statute governing termination of parental rights that was in place at the time, one that did not provide a right to counsel. The court found the Lassiter ruling "persuasive" and held that "the failure of our Act (prior to the recent amendment) to require the appointment of counsel for an indigent parent or the minor child in all cases did not make the Act constitutionally defective under the Constitution of North Carolina." However, the Clark court did say that in situations where the child lacks a GAL who is an attorney, the court should address the situation on a case-by-case basis, but "whenever the respondent-parent is represented by counsel, appointed or retained, we believe that fundamental fairness requires that the minor child be represented by counsel."
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: categorical Qualified: yes