Right to counsel

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Legislation, Abuse/Neglect/Dependency - Accused Parents

The Juvenile Court Act governs both abuse/neglect and termination of parental rights proceedings. Utah Code Ann. § 78A-6-1111 of the Juvenile Court Act provides:


(1)(a) The parents, guardian, custodian, and the minor, if competent, shall be informed that they have the right to be represented by counsel at every stage of the proceedings. They have the right to employ counsel of their own choice and if any of them requests an attorney and is found by the court to be indigent, counsel shall be appointed by the court, subject to the provisions of this section. The court may appoint counsel without a request if it considers representation by counsel necessary to protect the interest of the minor or of other parties.

(b) The cost of appointed counsel for an indigent minor or other indigent party, including the cost of counsel and expense of appeal, shall be paid by the county in which the trial court proceedings are held. Counties may levy and collect taxes for these purposes.

(c) The court shall take into account the income and financial ability to retain counsel of the parents or guardian of a child in determining the indigency of the child.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no