Right to counsel

Key_development Question_mark

Litigation, Termination of Parental Rights (State) - Children

In In re T.M.H., 613 P.2d 468, 470-71 (Okla.1980), the court stated that "We are convinced that in all termination proceedings there are potential conflicts between the interests of the children and those of both the state and the parents as contemplated by ss 1109 and 24 which are general statutes not necessarily covering only termination. Thus we hold under the above quoted statutes, independent counsel must be appointed to represent the children if termination of parental rights is sought."  While this appeared to be a case of pure statutory construction, the court in Matter of Adoption of K.D.K., 940 P.2d 216 (Okl. 1997) stated that "In Matter of T.M.H. … this Court held that a child has a constitutional right to counsel in a proceeding initiated by the state for the termination of parental rights."

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes