Kentucky

This page provides a breakdown of all major developments and right to counsel law that the NCCRC knows for this state, sorted by subject area. Click on either tab below to see the aspect it describes.

Abuse/Neglect/Dependency - Accused Parents

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

Indigent parents are entitled to counsel in dependency proceedings following the initial temporary removal hearing.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

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Abuse/Neglect/Dependency - Children

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

Children have a right to counsel in dependency proceedings.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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All Basic Human Needs

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Discretionary appointment of counsel

A court may appoint counsel for any indigent litigant in a civil case.

Appointment of Counsel: discretionary Qualified: no

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Bypass of Parental Input into Abortion - Minor

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

A minor seeking to bypass the parental consent requirement for abortion has a right to counsel upon request.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Civil Contempt in Family Court

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

A court has interpreted a Kentucky statute to require counsel for indigent defendants in civil contempt cases.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Litigation

Right to counsel

The Kentucky Supreme Court has found a Fourteenth Amendment due process right to counsel in civil contempt cases.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

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Civil Commitment - Subject of Petition

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is a right to counsel for the subject of a civil commitment proceeding.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Litigation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

The Kentucky Supreme Court found a due process and equal protection right to counsel in civil commitment cases.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Guardianship/Conservatorship of Adults - Ward

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

Counsel must be appointed for the subject of a guardianship case.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Housing - Discrimination

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Discretionary appointment of counsel

A court may appoint counsel for either side in a housing discrimination case.

Appointment of Counsel: discretionary Qualified: no

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Incarceration for Fees/Fines (incomplete)

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

A court interpreted a Kentucky statute to require counsel for indigent defendants in civil contempt cases.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

Read more about this

Litigation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

The Kentucky Supreme Court has found a Fourteenth Amendment due process right to counsel in civil contempt cases.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

Read more about this

Prisoners

Court Rule or Initiative

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel - prisoners failing to defend

A court must appoint an attorney as guardian ad litem for any prisoner that fails to defend against a civil action.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

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Termination of Parental Rights (Private) - Children

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is an arguable right to counsel for children in adoption cases.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

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Termination of Parental Rights (State) - Children

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

Children have a right to counsel in termination of parental rights cases.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Termination of Parental Rights (Private) - Birth Parents

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Kentucky court: parents have right to counsel in adoption proceedings

09/22/2017

The Kentucky Court of Appeals held that parents have a statutory right to counsel in adoption actions.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Termination of Parental Rights (State) - Birth Parents

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

Indigent parents have a right to counsel upon request in involuntary termination of parental rights proceedings.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Litigation

Right to counsel

One Kentucky Court of Appeals has suggested there is a due process right to counsel in termination of parental rights cases.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

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