Washington D.C.

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

An indigent parent has a right to counsel at all critical stages of the proceedings of an abuse/neglect case.

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 the appointment of a guardian ad litem who is an attorney in abuse/neglect proceedings.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Adult Protective Proceedings - Proposed Ward

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is a right to counsel for indigent respondents in adult protective proceedings.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Child Support Enforcement (Civil Contempt)

Litigation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

The D.C. high court said a contemnor cannot be incarcerated without first being appointed counsel.

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 in all mental health commitment proceedings and for changes from outpatient to involuntary inpatient services.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Custody Disputes - Parents

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Discretionary appointment of counsel

A court has discretion to appoint counsel for parents in certain custody proceedings.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

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Custody Disputes - Children

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Discretionary appointment of counsel

A statute allows a judge to appoint counsel for a minor in a third party custody proceeding.

Appointment of Counsel: discretionary Qualified: no

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Divorce

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Discretionary appointment of counsel - divorce

A statute allows for appointment of counsel for the parent or child in a divorce proceeding.

Appointment of Counsel: discretionary Qualified: no

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Domestic Violence - Accused Person

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Discretionary appointment of counsel

The court may appoint counsel for respondents in protection orders who are minors.

Appointment of Counsel: discretionary Qualified: yes

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Domestic Violence - Alleged Victim

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Discretionary appointment of counsel

The AG may provide assistance to a person who files a domestic violence petition, and the court may appoint counsel for a minor.

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 proposed ward in both temporary and permanent guardianships, as well as guardianship review proceedings.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Housing - Evictions

Legislation

Everything about D.C.'s Expanding Access To Justice Act Of 2017

01/12/2017

This page has all the information about the 2017 bill to expand housing representation in the District of Columbia.

 

Nccrc_involvement_icon NCCRC worked with the legal aid community and the sponsor on bill drafting.

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Pilot

D.C. pilot expands housing representation

09/26/2015

An effort funded by the D.C. Council is expanding representation for tenants in housing cases.

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Incarceration for Fees/Fines (incomplete)

Litigation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

The D.C. high court has said a contemnor cannot be incarcerated without first being appointed counsel.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

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Sexually Dangerous Persons - Confinement

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is a right to counsel in "sexual psychopath" commitments, and for any hearings a judge deems necessary for registration requirements.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Termination of Parental Rights (State) - Children

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

Children have a right to a guardian ad litem who is an attorney in termination proceedings, and the court can appoint a separate attorney.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Termination of Parental Rights (Private) - Birth Parents

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

Parents have a right to counsel in adoption consent waiver proceedings.

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

An indigent parent has a right to counsel at all critical stages of the proceedings of a termination case.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

Read more about this

Other Subject Areas

Legislation

Legislation: guardianship of minors

01/10/2017

Requires court to appoint counsel for minor ward 14 or older in guardianship prior to authorizing expenditures for certain medical treatments.

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