Discretionary appointment of counsel

Key_development Question_mark

Litigation, Paternity - Defendant/Respondent

In State ex rel. Adult & Family Services Division v. Stoutt, 57 Or.App. 303 (Ct. App. 1982), the litigant attempted to establish a right to appointed counsel in a paternity case and raised both the state and federal constitutions. The Oregon Court of Appeals adopted the United States Supreme Court's approach in Lassiter and questioned whether the issues and procedures therein were such that "the presence of counsel . . . could not have made a determinative difference."  The Oregon Court of Appeals explained that, while some paternity cases present complex questions of fact or law, the case-at-hand did not present such complexities and, as in Lassiter, an attorney would have had minimal effect on the outcome of the proceedings, resulting in no due process right to appointed counsel.

Appointment of Counsel: discretionary Qualified: yes