Oklahoma

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

Right to counsel

There is a right to counsel for indigent parents in abuse/neglect proceedings.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

Read more about this

Right to counsel

The Oklahoma Supreme Court found a due process right to counsel in abuse/neglect cases, although it is unclear whether it is still good law.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

Read more about this

Abuse/Neglect/Dependency - Children

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is a right to counsel for children in abuse/neglect proceedings.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

Read more about this

All Basic Human Needs

Litigation

Key_development Question_mark

Discretionary appointment of counsel

The Oklahoma Supreme Court held a trial court has the power to appoint counsel in any civil proceeding.

Appointment of Counsel: discretionary Qualified: no

Read more about this

Bypass of Parental Input into Abortion - Minor

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is a right to counsel upon request for minors seeking to bypass the parental consent and notification requirements for abortion.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

Read more about this

Civil Contempt in Family Court

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is a right to counsel for an indigent respondent in civil contempt proceedings.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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 indigent subject of a civil commitment proceeding.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

Read more about this

Custody Disputes - Children

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

A court may appoint an attorney ad litem for a child in a private custody dispute.

Appointment of Counsel: discretionary Qualified: no

Read more about this

Guardianship/Conservatorship of Adults - Ward

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is a right to counsel for the indigent subject of a guardianship proceeding, but only upon request.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

Read more about this

Incarceration for Fees/Fines (incomplete)

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is a right to counsel for an indigent respondent in civil contempt proceedings.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

Read more about this

Sexually Dangerous Persons - Commitment

Legislation

No such proceeding

There is no procedure in the state for confinement of a sexually dangerous/violent person.

Termination of Parental Rights (Private) - Children

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is a right to counsel for all children in contested private adoption proceedings.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

Read more about this

Termination of Parental Rights (State) - Children

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is an arguable right to counsel for children in termination of parental rights proceedings.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

Read more about this

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There may be a constitutional right to counsel for children in termination of parental rights cases.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

Read more about this

Termination of Parental Rights (Private) - Birth Parents

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is a right to counsel for indigent parents and putative fathers in adoption proceedings.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

Read more about this

Termination of Parental Rights (State) - Birth Parents

Legislation

Right to counsel

There is an arguable right to counsel for indigent parents in termination of parental rights proceedings.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

Read more about this

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

The Oklahoma Supreme Court found a state constitutional due process right to counsel in termination of parental rights cases.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

Read more about this

Truancy - Petition Against Child

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

Children in Oklahoma truancy proceedings (which are treated as a child in need of supervision offense) have a right to counsel.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

Read more about this

Other Subject Areas

Legislation

Right to counsel - livestock

There is a right to counsel for cases about compliance with livestock disease control measures implemented by the State Board of Agriculture.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

Read more about this

Go back to Status Map