Right to counsel

Key_development Question_mark

Legislation, Termination of Parental Rights (State) - Birth Parents

South Dakota grants "the child's parents, guardian, or other custodian" a statutory right to court-appointed counsel upon request in cases involving the termination of parental rights. S.D. Codified Laws § 26-7A-31 (specifying that parent must request counsel). In addition, § 26-7A-31 confers on South Dakota courts the discretion to appoint an attorney for the child or any party without request if legal representation appears necessary to protect the interests of the child. The county in which the proceeding occurs must pay for the expense of counsel in such cases, according to the manner prescribed by the court. I


Notably, S.D. Codified Laws § 26-7A-30 requires the court to notify parents of their "constitutional and statutory rights, including the right to be represented by an attorney."

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no