Right to counsel

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Legislation, Abuse/Neglect/Dependency - Accused Parents

Under Tenn. Code Ann. § 37-1-126(a)(2)(B), a parent is entitled to representation by legal counsel at all stages of any proceeding in proceedings involving abuse, dependency or neglect pursuant to § 37-1-102. Subsection (a)(3) of § 37-1-126 specifies:


If the person is indigent, the court shall provide counsel for the indigent person. If a person appears without counsel, the court shall ascertain whether the person knows of the right to counsel and of the right to be provided with counsel by the court if the person is indigent. The court may continue the proceeding to enable a person to obtain counsel and shall provide counsel for an unrepresented indigent person upon request.


Additionally, whatever rights to counsel exist in juvenile proceedings extend to the appellate stage. Tenn. R. Juv. P. Rule 118(b).

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no