Right to counsel

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Legislation, Termination of Parental Rights (State) - Children

South Dakota grants the child a statutory right to court-appointed counsel upon request in cases involving the termination of parental rights and the protection of allegedly abused or neglected minors. Notwithstanding § 26-7A-31, a court must always appoint an attorney to represent a child in an abuse/neglect proceeding. S.D. Codified Laws § 26-8A-18. Additionally, S.D. Codified Laws § 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. S.D. Codified Laws § 26-7A-31. 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.


Notably, S.D. Codified Laws § 26-7A-30 requires the court to notify children of their "constitutional and statutory rights, including the right to 

be represented by an attorney."

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no