Glenn Campbell: Home Facebook Photos YouTube Twitter
He said...


FamilyCourtChronicles.com Web
She said...

Random photo from GC
THE FAMILY COURT PROJECT HAS COME TO A CLOSE. Effective 6/1/08, Family Court Chronicles has become inactive (announcement), and no new information will be added. The page below is retained for archive purposes, but it could be out of date. Upon request, the webmaster will continue to correct significant errors and will consider removing information that is destructively obsolete. (Email: FamilyCourtGuy (at) gmail.com) See Glenn Campbell's home page for his still-active websites.
Kilroy Cafe: Philosophy for the Modern Age
KillroyCafe.com

Home Contents MediaStream
↑News+Blog↑
Entities Newsletters Book Philosophy Photos Glenn Campbell

California Law Concerning Appointment of Attorneys in Dependency Cases

This California code (WIC 317) is copied here for its relevance to policy in Nevada. (Also see full code, section 300, for dependency proceedings.) Any emphasis and comments in green are those of the webmaster.

317. (a) When it appears to the court that a parent or guardian of the child desires counsel but is presently financially unable to afford and cannot for that reason employ counsel, the court may appoint counsel as provided in this section.

(b) When it appears to the court that a parent or guardian of the child is presently financially unable to afford and cannot for that reason employ counsel, and the child has been placed in out-of-home care, or the petitioning agency is recommending that the child be placed in out-of-home care, the court shall appoint counsel, unless the court finds that the parent or guardian has made a knowing and intelligent waiver of counsel as provided in this section.

(c) Where a child is not represented by counsel, the court shall appoint counsel for the child unless the court finds that the child would not benefit from the appointment of counsel. The court shall state on the record its reasons for that finding. A primary responsibility of any counsel appointed to represent a child pursuant to this section shall be to advocate for the protection, safety, and physical and emotional well-being of the child. Counsel for the child may be a district attorney, public defender, or other member of the bar, provided that the counsel does not represent another party or county agency whose interests conflict with the child's. The fact that the district attorney represents the child in a proceeding pursuant to Section 300 as well as conducts a criminal investigation or files a criminal complaint or information arising from the same or reasonably related set of facts as the proceeding pursuant to Section 300 is not in and of itself a conflict of interest. The court may fix the compensation for the services of appointed counsel. The appointed counsel shall have a caseload and training that assures adequate representation of the child. The Judicial Council shall promulgate rules of court that establish caseload standards, training requirements, and guidelines for appointed counsel for children and shall adopt rules as required by Section 326.5 no later than July 1, 2001.

(d) The counsel appointed by the court shall represent the parent, guardian, or child at the detention hearing and at all subsequent proceedings before the juvenile court. Counsel shall continue to represent the parent or child unless relieved by the court upon the substitution of other counsel or for cause. The representation shall include representing the parent or the child in termination proceedings and in those proceedings relating to the institution or setting aside of a legal guardianship.

(e) The counsel for the child shall be charged in general with the representation of the child's interests. To that end, the counsel shall make or cause to have made any further investigations that he or she deems in good faith to be reasonably necessary to ascertain the facts, including the interviewing of witnesses, and he or she shall examine and cross-examine witnesses in both the adjudicatory and dispositional hearings. He or she may also introduce and examine his or her own witnesses, make recommendations to the court concerning the child's welfare, and participate further in the proceedings to the degree necessary to adequately represent the child. In any case in which the child is four years of age or older, counsel shall interview the child to determine the child's wishes and to assess the child's well-being, and shall advise the court of the child's wishes. Counsel for the child shall not advocate for the return of the child if, to the best of his or her knowledge, that return conflicts with the protection and safety of the child. In addition counsel shall investigate the interests of the child beyond the scope of the juvenile proceeding and report to the court other interests of the child that may need to be protected by the institution of other administrative or judicial proceedings. The attorney representing a child in a dependency proceeding is not required to assume the responsibilities of a social worker and is not expected to provide nonlegal services to the child. The court shall take whatever appropriate action is necessary to fully protect the interests of the child.

(f) Either the child or the counsel for the child, with the informed consent of the child if the child is found by the court to be of sufficient age and maturity to so consent, may invoke the psychotherapist-client privilege, physician-patient privilege, and clergyman-penitent privilege; and if the child invokes the privilege, counsel may not waive it, but if counsel invokes the privilege, the child may waive it. Counsel shall be holder of these privileges if the child is found by the court not to be of sufficient age and maturity to so consent. For the sole purpose of fulfilling his or her obligation to provide legal representation of the child, counsel for a child shall have access to all records with regard to the child maintained by a health care facility, as defined in Section 1545 of the Penal Code, health care providers, as defined in Section 6146 of the Business and Professions Code, a physician and surgeon or other health practitioner as defined in Section 11165.8 of the Penal Code or a child care custodian, as defined in Section 11165.7 of the Penal Code. Notwithstanding any other law, counsel shall be given access to all records relevant to the case which are maintained by state or local public agencies. All information requested from a child protective agency regarding a child who is in protective custody, or from a child's guardian ad litem, shall be provided to the child's counsel within 30 days of the request.

(g) In a county of the third class, if counsel is to be provided to a child at county expense other than by counsel for the agency, the court shall first utilize the services of the public defender prior to appointing private counsel, to provide legal counsel. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to require the appointment of the public defender in any case in which the public defender has a conflict of interest. In the interest of justice, a court may depart from that portion of the procedure requiring appointment of the public defender after making a finding of good cause and stating the reasons therefor on the record.

(h) In a county of the third class, if counsel is to be appointed for a parent or guardian at county expense, the court shall first utilize the services of the alternate public defender, prior to appointing private counsel, to provide legal counsel. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to require the appointment of the alternate public defender in any case in which the public defender has a conflict of interest. In the interest of justice, a court may depart from that portion of the procedure requiring appointment of the alternate public defender after making a finding of good cause and stating the reasons therefor on the record.

317.5. (a) All parties who are represented by counsel at dependency proceedings shall be entitled to competent counsel.

(b) Each minor who is the subject of a dependency proceeding is a party to that proceeding.

317.6. (a) On or before January 1, 1996, the Judicial Council shall, after consulting with representatives from the State Bar of California, county counsels, district attorneys, public defenders, county welfare directors, and children's advocacy groups, adopt rules of court regarding the appointment of competent counsel in dependency proceedings, including, but not limited to, the following:

(1) The screening and appointment of competent counsel.

(2) Establishing minimum standards of experience and education necessary to qualify as competent counsel to represent a party in dependency proceedings.

(3) Procedures for handling client complaints regarding attorney performance, including measures to inform clients of the complaint process.

(4) Procedures for informing the court of any interests of the minor that may need to be protected in other proceedings.

(b) On or before July 1, 1996, each superior court shall, after consulting with representatives from the State Bar of California and the local offices of the county counsel, district attorney, public defender, county welfare department, and children's advocacy groups, adopt local rules of court regarding the conduct of dependency proceedings that address items such as procedures and timeframes for the presentation of contested issues and witness lists to eliminate unnecessary delays in dependency hearings.

Return to A Visit to Los Angeles Children's Court


Because this website has been frozen, reader comments can no longer be added to this page (effective 8/3/09). If you feel that an existing comment is damaging or inappropriate, feel free to contact the webmaster regarding its removal: familycourtguy (at) gmail.com

Top of This Page | Home | News | Entities | Philosophy | Flyers | Photos | Other
Visit Glenn's other websites: Glenn-Campbell.com, RoamingPhotos.com, KilroyCafe.com and GlennsDrivingService.com


©2005-07, Glenn Campbell
This is an independent and unofficial website.
All opinions expressed are those of the webmaster or the person quoted.
Information conveyed here is accurate to the best of our knowledge but is not guaranteed.
You should seek your own independent verification of critical information.

As of Aug. 2008, this site is no longer active or maintained.

Total page hits at FamilyCourtChronicles.com:

Page Created: 5/4/06