Right to counsel

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Legislation, Guardianship/Conservatorship of Adults - Protected Person

In guardianship proceedings, Tenn. Code Ann. § 34-1-125 dictates that "The court shall appoint an attorney ad litem to represent the respondent on the respondent's request, upon the recommendation of the guardian ad litem or if it appears to the court to be necessary to protect the rights or interests of the respondent."  Usually an attorney ad litem serves in a best interests capacity, but the statute goes on to state, "The attorney ad litem shall be an advocate for the respondent in resisting the requested relief."  The statute adds that the costs of such attorney are "charged against the assets of the respondent."  See also Tenn. Code Ann. § 34-3-106 (in guardianship proceedings, "The respondent has the right to: (5) Have an attorney ad litem appointed to advocate the interests of the respondent"); Tenn. Code Ann. § 34-3-108(c) (for review/termination of guardianship, "the disabled person has all the rights set out in § 34-3-106").

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes