Utah

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

Indigent parents have a right to counsel in abuse/neglect cases.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Abuse/Neglect/Dependency - Children

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

Children have a right to counsel in abuse/neglect cases.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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All Basic Human Needs

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Discretionary appointment of counsel

The Utah Supreme Court has said that trial courts can appoint counsel in any civil matter, even for a non-indigent litigant.

Appointment of Counsel: discretionary Qualified: no

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Bypass of Parental Input into Abortion - Minor

Court Rule or Initiative

Key_development Question_mark

Discretionary appointment of counsel

A court may appoint counsel for a minor seeking to bypass parental consent, but not parental notification, for an abortion.

Appointment of Counsel: discretionary Qualified: no

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Civil Commitment - Subject of Petition

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is a right to counsel for indigent respondents in civil commitment proceedings.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Custody Disputes - Children

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Discretionary appointment of counsel

The court may appoint counsel for the child in a private custody proceeding.

Appointment of Counsel: discretionary Qualified: no

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Guardianship/Conservatorship of Adults - Ward

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is a right to counsel for the subject of a contested guardianship proceeding, except in limited circumstances.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

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Incarceration for Fees/Fines (incomplete)

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

New Utah law guarantees counsel for criminal debt collection

03/23/2017

A 2017 law organizes all collection of criminal debt into contempt proceedings and requires the appointment of counsel.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Quarantine/Inoculation

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is a right to counsel for indigent subjects of a quarantine proceeding.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Sexually Dangerous Persons - Commitment

Legislation

No such proceeding

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

Sterilization

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is a right to an attorney-GAL (rather than counsel) in involuntary sterilization proceedings.

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 a right to counsel for parents in private termination cases filed under the Juvenile Court Act but not those under the Adoption Act.

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

Utah becomes 27th state to guarantee counsel for parents in private termination cases

03/20/2018

A statute enacted in 2016 and amended in 2018 requires counsel for a parent in a juvenile court private termination of parental rights case.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

 

Nccrc_involvement_icon

The NCCRC submitted supportive testimony as the bill made it through the legislative process.

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Legislation: private termination of parental rights

02/16/2018

A bill would change the law to make appointment of counsel for indigent parents in private termination of parental rights mandatory.

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Litigation

Utah high court: some parents have right to counsel in private termination cases

12/08/2016

The Supreme Court of Utah held that parents may be constitutionally entitled to counsel in private termination of rights cases.

Appointment of Counsel: discretionary 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 in termination of parental rights cases.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Truancy - Petition Against Child

Legislation

No such proceeding

As of 2018, truancy cases no longer go to juvenile court; they only can go to youth court, which lacks the power to incarcerate or impose fines.

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