Right to counsel

Key_development Question_mark

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

N.Y. Fam. Ct. Act § 262(a)(i) and (iv) provide a right to counsel for parents, foster parents, or others with physical custody of the child in child protective hearings, child abuse hearings, or permanency hearings for foster children under Article 10 and Article 10-A of the Family Court Act, while subsection (iii) grants a right to counsel to the respondent in any custody proceeding. Between these provisions, there is a right to counsel in termination of parental rights proceedings.


See also N.Y. Surr. Ct. Proc. Act § 407(1)(a)(i) (providing counsel to respondent in any proceeding concerning guardianship and custody of destitute or dependent children, under § 384-b of the Social Services Law).

This right to counsel extends to the appeal. N.Y. Fam. Ct. Act § 1120(a).

Where these proceedings take place in the New York Supreme Court, the parties have the same rights to counsel as identified above. N.Y. Jud. Law § 35(8) (providing for fees to be paid to appoint counsel when the supreme court exercises jurisdiction over family court matter "whereby, if such proceedings were pending in family court, such court would be required by [section 262] of the family court act to appoint counsel")

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no