David R. Hartwig, ESQ.
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Termination of custody / parental rights require effective assistance of counsel?

In two decisions, the Utah Supreme Court has opened this discussion on a wider basis. The two cases are In re K.A.S. and, In re E.K.S

K.A.S. involved claims of ineffective assistance of counsel, and violations of Constitutional rights created by a denial of counsel. It involved whether an indigent party whose parental rights were to be terminated in District Court by way of an adoption was entitled to appointed counsel.

E.K.S. involved claims that the statutory scheme to provide counsel for indigent parties whose parental rights were to be terminate by the State was unconstitutional as it did not provide the same rights in a private action to terminate parental rights.

Interesting reads, particularly when compared to the lack of such rights in custody cases.

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