Right to Counsel Map

Counsel for Kids Map

Counsel for Kids Map
Washington Oregon California Alaska Nevada Idaho Montana Utah Arizona Wyoming Colorado New Mexico Hawaii North Dakota South Dakota Nebraska Kansas Oklahoma Texas Minnesota Iowa Missouri Arkansas Louisiana Wisconsin Illinois Indiana Michigan Mississippi Alabama Florida Georgia Tennessee Kentucky Ohio West Virginia South Carolina North Carolina Virginia District of Columbia Maryland Delaware Pennsylvania New Jersey New York Connecticut Rhode Island Massachusetts Vermont New Hampshire Maine Guam Northern Mariana Islands American Samoa Puerto Rico US Virgin Islands

Washington

Right to Counsel not guaranteed. Scope of representation is Limited/Discretionary.

  • Split- Lay GAL2 for children under 8; Expressed/StatedInterest age 8 and up
  • Select (0-8 when TPR filed)
  • Select (All children 6 months post-TPR)
  • Select (When youth is in extended foster care)
  • Select (When youth files a petition to reinstate parental rights)

(Updated in 2021 Legislative Session)

Relevant state statute: Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 13.34 HB1219 (2021)

Oregon

Right to Counsel guaranteed by statute. Scope of representation is mandatory.

Expressed/Stated-Interest

Relevant state statute: O.R.S. § 419B.195 

California

Right to Counsel guaranteed in practice. Scope of representation is mandatory.

Model:

  • Attorney Best Interest
  • Hybrid

Relevant state statute:

Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 317 (c)(1-2)

Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 317 (e)(1-3)

Alaska

Right to Counsel not guaranteed. Scope of representation Discretionary (Mandatory for Select Case Types)

Model:

• Lay-GAL (Non-Attorney)

• Select

See Relevant Children in Need of Aid Rules and Procedures Rule 12.1 (Effective October 2022)

Updated May 2022

Nevada

Right to Counsel guaranteed by statute. Scope of representation is mandatory.

Model: Expressed/Stated-Interest

Relevant state statute:

Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 432B.420(2);

Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 128.100(2)

Idaho

Right to Counsel not guaranteed. Scope of representation is limited.

Model: Split: Lay-GAL’s for children 11 and under; Expressed/Stated-Interest age 12 and up

Relevent state statute: Idaho Code § 16-1614 

Montana

Right to Counsel not guaranteed. Scope of representation is discretionary.

Model:

• Lay-GAL (Non-Attorney)

• Varied Access to Counsel

Relevant state statute: Mont. Code Anno., § 41-3-425(3)(b); Mont. Code Anno., § 41- 3-112 2021 Legislation HB 90 requires the appointment of legal counsel for children at the initial hearing in all dependency cases, but is not effective until July 1, 2023.

Utah

Right to Counsel guaranteed by statute. Scope of representation is mandatory.

Model: Attorney Best Interest

Relevant state statute:

Utah Code Ann. § 78A-6-902(2);

Utah Code Ann. § 78A-6-317

Arizona

Right to Counsel guaranteed by statute. Scope of representation is mandatory.

Model: Expressed/Stated-Interest (Updated 2021 Legislative Session)

Relevant state statute: Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 8-221

2021 Legislation SB 1391 required the appointment of Expressed/Stated-Interest legal counsel in all dependency cases

Wyoming

Right to Counsel guaranteed by statute. Scope of representation is mandatory.

Model: Attorney Best Interest

Relevant state statute: Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 14-3-211

Colorado

Right to Counsel guaranteed by statute. Scope of representation is mandatory.

Model: Split: Expressed/Stated-Interest for age 12 and up; Attorney Best Interest for children age 11 and under

Relevant state statutes: C.R.S.A. § 19–3-203 (Updated by HB 22-1038 (2022)

C.R.S.A. § 19–7–308 (Updated by HB 21-1094 (2021))

Updated May 2022

New Mexico

Right to Counsel guaranteed by statute. Scope of representation is mandatory.

Model: Split: Expressed/Stated-Interest for age 14 and up; Attorney Best Interest for children age 13 and under

Relevant state statute:

N. M. S. A. 1978, § 32A-1-7.1;

N. M. S. A § 32A-4-10-

Hawaii

Right to Counsel not guaranteed. Scope of representation is discretionary.

Model:

• Lay-GAL (Non-Attorney)

• Expressed/Stated-Interest

Relevant state statute: Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 587A-3.1(b) (4)

North Dakota

Right to Counsel is not guaranteed. Scope of representation limited.

Model:

• Expressed/Stated-Interest

• Lay-GAL (non-attorney) (Updated in 2021 Legislative Session)

Relevant state statute: N.D. Cent. Code, § 27-20.2-12 (2021 Legislation HB 1035 (2021) Guarantees right to counsel for children of sufficient age and competency to assist counsel

South Dakota

Right to Counsel guaranteed by statute. Scope of representation mandatory.

Model: Attorney Best Interest

Relevant state statute: S.D. Codified Laws § 26-8A-18

Nebraska

Right to Counsel guaranteed by statute. Scope of representation mandatory.

Model: Hybrid

Relevant state statute:  NE ST § 43-272

Kansas

Right to Counsel guaranteed by statute. Scope of representation mandatory.

Model: Attorney Best Interest

Relevant state statute: K.S.A. § 38-2205(a)

Oklahoma

Right to Counsel guaranteed by statute. Scope of representation mandatory.

Model:

• Expressed/Stated-Interest

• Attorney Best Interest (when client has diminished capacity)

Relevant state statute: 10A Okl. St. § 1-4-306

Texas

Right to Counsel not guaranteed. Scope of representation limited (duration of appointment).

Model:

• Expressed/Stated-Interest

• Hybrid

Relevant state statute:

Tex. Fam. Code § 107.012

Tex. Fam. Code § 107.016 (Updated by HB 1315 (2021)

Minnesota

Right to Counsel not guaranteed. Scope of representation limited.

Model: Split: Lay-GAL’s for children 9 and under; Expressed/Stated-Interest age 10 and up

Relevant state statute: Minn. Stat. § 260C.163 Subd. 3

Iowa

Right to Counsel guaranteed by statute. Scope of representation mandatory.

Model: Hybrid

Relevant state statute: Iowa Code § 232.89

Missouri

Right to Counsel guaranteed by statute. Scope of representation is mandatory.

Model: Attorney Best Interest

Relevant state statute: Mo. Ann. Stat. § 211.211

Arkansas

Right to Counsel guaranteed by statute. Scope of representation mandatory.

Model: Attorney Best Interest

Relevant state statute: Ark. Code Ann. § 9-27-316 (f)(1) and (5)

Louisiana

Right to Counsel guaranteed by statute. Scope of representation is mandatory.

Model: Expressed/Stated-Interest

Relevant state statute: LSA-Ch.C. Art. 607; LSA-Ch.C. Art. 551

Wisconsin

Right to Counsel guaranteed by statute. Scope of representation mandatory.

Model: Split: Attorney Best Interest for children under 12; Expressed/Stated-Interest age 12 and up

Relevant state statute: Wis. Stat. Ann. § 48.23 (3m)

Illinois

Right to Counsel not guaranteed. Scope of representation limited (Counsel is not required if a CASA is appointed and represented by counsel)

Model:

• Hybrid (Cook County)

• Lay-GAL (Non-Attorney)

• Varied Access to Counsel

Relevant state statute: 705 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 405/1-5 (1)

Indiana

Right to Counsel not guaranteed. Scope of representation is discretionary.

Model:

• Lay-GAL (Non-Attorney)

• Varied Access to Counsel

Relevant state statute: Ind. Code Ann. § 31-32-4 (2)(b)

Michigan

Right to Counsel guaranteed by statute. Scope of representation mandatory.

Model: Attorney Best Interest

Relevant state statutes: MCLS § 722.630; MCLS § 712A.17d

Mississippi

Right to Counsel guaranteed by statute. Scope of representation mandatory.

Model: Varied Representation

Relevant state statute: Miss. Code Ann. §43-21-121 (1) and (4)

Alabama

Right to Counsel guaranteed by statute. Scope of representation limited.

Model: Attorney Best Interest

Relevant state statute: Ala. Code §12-15-102(10); Ala. Code §12-15-304

Florida

Right to Counsel not guaranteed. Scope of representation Discretionary (Mandatory for Select Case Types)

Model:

• Lay-GAL (Non-Attorney)

• Select

Relevant state statute: Fla. Stat. § 39.01305(3), § 39.4085

Georgia

Right to Counsel guaranteed. Scope of representation mandatory.

Model:

• Hybrid

• Varied Representation

Relevant state statute: O.C.G.A. § 15-11-103; O.C.G.A § 15-11-104 (b)

Tennessee

Right to Counsel guaranteed by statute. Scope of representation mandatory.

Model: Best Interests

Relevant state statute: Tenn. Code Ann. § 37-1-126

Kentucky

Right to Counsel guaranteed by statute. Scope of representation mandatory.

Model: Attorney Best Interest

Relevant state statute: KRS § 620.100

Ohio

Right to Counsel is guaranteed by statute. Scope of representation mandatory.

Model:

• Attorney Best Interest

• Hybrid

Relevant state statute: ORC 2151.352

NOTE: In re Williams, 805 N.E.2d 1110, 1111, 1113 (Ohio 2004): The Williams Court explained that the juvenile may have a right to appointed counsel separate from that provided to his or her parents "in certain circumstances". The court presiding over the proceeding has the authority to make a case-by-case determination whether independent counsel for the juvenile is necessary, based on the maturity of the juvenile and whether the juvenile's guardian ad litem can serve as both guardian ad litem and attorney without conflict.

West Virginia

Right to Counsel guarateed by statute. Scope of representation mandatory.

Model: Hybrid

Relevant state statute: W. Va. Code § 49-4-601

South Carolina

Right to Counsel not guaranteed. Scope of representation discretionary.

Model:

• Lay-GAL (non-attorney)

• Expressed/Stated-Interest

Relevant state statute: S.C. Code Ann. § 63-7-1620

North Carolina

Right to Counsel guaranteed by statute. Scope of representation mandatory.

Model: Attorney Best Interest

Relevant state statute: N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-601

Virginia

Right to Counsel guaranteed by statute. Scope of representation mandatory.

Model: Attorney Best Interest

Relevant state statute: Va. Code Ann. § 16.1-266

District of Columbia

Right to Counsel guaranteed by statute. Scope of representation mandatory.

Model: Hybrid

Relevant statute: D.C. Code § 16-2304 (a)

Maryland

Right to Counsel guaranteed in practice. Scope of representation mandatory.

Model:

• Expressed/Stated-Interest (when client determined to have considered judgement)

• Attorney Best Interest when client lacks considered judgement)

Relevant state statute: Md. Code, Courts and Judicial Proceedings, § 3-813 (d)

Delaware

Right to Counsel guaranteed by statute. Scope of representation mandatory.

Model: Attorney Best Interest

Relevant state statute: Del. Code Ann. tit. 29, § 9007A (c )

Pennsylvania

Right to Couonsel guaranteed by statute. Scope of representation mandatory.

Model: Hybrid

Relevant state statute: 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 6337.1

New Jersey

Right to Counsel guaranteed by statute. Scope of representation mandatory.

Model: Expressed/Stated-Interest

Relevant state statute: N.J. Stat. § 9:6-8.23; NJ Stat. §9:6-8.21(d))

New York

Right to Counsel guaranteed by statute. Scope of representation mandatory.

Model: Expressed/Stated-Interest

Relevant state statute: NY CLS Family Ct Act § 241

Connecticut

Right to Counsel guaranteed by statute. Scope of representation mandatory.

Model: Expressed/Stated-Interest

Relevant state statute: Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46b-129a (2)(c) and § 46b-135

Rhode Island

Right to Counsel guaranteed in practice. Scope of representation is mandatory.

Model: Attorney Best Interest

Relevant state statute: Gen.Laws 1956, § 40-11-14

Massachusetts

Right to Counsel guaranteed by statute. Scope of representation mandatory.

Model: Expressed/Stated-Interest

Relevant state statute: M.G.L.A 119 § 29

Vermont

Right to Counsel guaranteed by statute. Scope of representation mandatory.

Model: Expressed/Stated-Interest

Relevant state statute: 33 V.S.A. § 5112

New Hampshire

Right to Counsel not guaranteed. Scope of representation discretionary.

Model:

• Attorney Best Interest

• Lay-GAL (non-attorney)

Relevant state statute: N.H. Rev. Stat. § 169-C:10

Maine

Right to Counsel not guaranteed. Scope of representation discretionary.

Model: Attorney Best Interest

• Lay-GAL (non-Attorney)

• Expressed/Stated-Interest

Relevant state statute: 22 M.R.S. § 4005(b)

Guam

Right to Counsel not guaranteed. Scope of representation discretionary.

Model: Lay-GAL (non-attorney)

Relevant statute: GU ST T. 19, § 13308

Northern Mariana Islands

Right to Counsel not guaranteed. Scope of representation discretionary.

Model: Lay-GAL (non-attorney)

Relevant statute: Commonwealth Code Tit. 8, §§ 1982; 1983

American Samoa

Info not available.

Puerto Rico

Right to Counsel guaranteed by statute. Scope of representation mandatory.

Model: Children appointed a Family Advocate (Individual represents the child and the Commonwealth in the pertinent actions ensuing from investigations conducted on alleged child abuse pursuant to the effective legislation on that matter)

Relevant statute: PR ST T. 8 § 447a

US Virgin Islands

Right to Counsel guaranteed by statute. Scope of representation mandatory.

Model: Attorney Best Interest

Relevant statute: VI ST T. 5 § 2542

14 states do not guarantee right to counsel for children in child welfare cases:

Alaska, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Carolina, Texas, Washington