Missouri

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.

Color Key Explanation
Categorical Right To Counsel There is a right to counsel without qualification for all indigent individuals in this type of case (except that the individual may be required to request counsel).
Discretionary Appointment Of Counsel Courts are permitted but not required to appoint counsel for any indigent individual in this type of case. A request may be required.
Right Or Appointment Is Qualified The established right to counsel or discretionary appointment of counsel is limited in some way, including: the only authority comes from a lower/intermediate court decision or a city government, not a high court or state legislature; a case has cast doubt on prior authority; a statute is ambiguous; or the right or discretionary appointment is not for all individuals or proceedings within that type of case.
No Such Proceeding This state has no law creating a judicial proceeding of this type.
None While this state does not provide for or require appointment of counsel with respect to the given subject area, it does have something (such as a report or bar policy) that supports the right to or appointment of counsel for this subject area.
Other Because the "Other subject areas” category can include developments from different subject areas that do not work the same way as each other, a blanket categorization of this category is not possible.

Abuse/Neglect/Dependency - Accused Parents

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Discretionary appointment of counsel

A court may appoint counsel for indigent parents in abuse/neglect proceedings.

Appointment of Counsel: discretionary Qualified: no

Read more about this

Litigation

Missouri court: parents must be informed of right to counsel

10/06/2015

A Missouri appellate court found that courts must tell parents they have a right to request appointment of counsel.

Read more about this

Abuse/Neglect/Dependency - Children

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

A child has a right to counsel in an abuse/neglect proceeding.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

Read more about this

All Basic Human Needs

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Discretionary appointment of counsel

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

Appointment of Counsel: discretionary Qualified: no

Read more about this

Litigation

Discretionary appointment of counsel

A Missouri court held that trial courts have the inherent power to appoint counsel in civil cases.

Appointment of Counsel: discretionary Qualified: yes

Read more about this

Bypass of Parental Input into Abortion - Minor

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

Indigent minors have a right to counsel in proceedings to bypass parental consent for an abortion, as do any other parties to the action.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

Read more about this

Civil Contempt in Family Court

Litigation

Missouri debtor's prison case, including right to counsel claim, moves forward

05/26/2015

A federal case alleging the City of Ferguson is jailing indigent debtors without a hearing or counsel has survived a motion to dismiss.

 

Nccrc_involvement_icon NCCRC staff are working with the plaintiffs on the right to counsel claims.

Read more about this

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

Several Missouri courts have found a federal due process right to counsel in civil contempt proceedings.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

Read more about this

Civil Commitment - Subject of Petition

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is a right to counsel for the respondent in civil commitment proceedings.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

Read more about this

Custody Disputes - Children

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

A court must appoint counsel for the child in certain custody cases and may appoint counsel in others.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

Read more about this

Guardianship/Conservatorship of Adults - Ward

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

Persons subjected to a guardianship or conservatorship have a right to counsel.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

Read more about this

Quarantine/Inoculation

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

Indigent persons subjected to quarantine have a right to counsel.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

Read more about this

Sexually Dangerous Persons - Commitment

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is a right to counsel for respondents in sexually violent predator proceedings.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

Read more about this

Termination of Parental Rights (Private) - Children

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

A combination of legislation and court rules requires appointment of an attorney for a child in an adoption case.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

Read more about this

Termination of Parental Rights (State) - Children

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

A child has a right to counsel in a termination of parental rights proceeding.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

Read more about this

Termination of Parental Rights (Private) - Birth Parents

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

Indigent birth parents have a right to counsel in adoption proceedings.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

Read more about this

Termination of Parental Rights (State) - Birth Parents

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

A court must appoint counsel for indigent parents in termination of parental rights proceedings.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

Read more about this

Truancy - Petition Against Child

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

Missouri children have a right to counsel in truancy cases, which are treated as "child in need of care or treatment" matters.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

Read more about this

Go back to Status Map