State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_7B > GS_7B-1101_1

§ 7B‑1101.1.  Parent'sright to counsel; guardian ad litem.

(a)        The parent has theright to counsel, and to appointed counsel in cases of indigency, unless theparent waives the right. The fees of appointed counsel shall be borne by theOffice of Indigent Defense Services. When a petition is filed, unless theparent is already represented by counsel, the clerk shall appoint provisionalcounsel for each respondent parent named in the petition and indicate theappointment on the juvenile summons. At the first hearing after service uponthe respondent parent, the court shall dismiss the provisional counsel if therespondent parent:

(1)        Does not appear atthe hearing;

(2)        Does not qualify forcourt‑appointed counsel;

(3)        Has retainedcounsel; or

(4)        Waives the right tocounsel.

The court shall confirm theappointment of counsel if subdivisions (1) through (4) of this subsection arenot applicable to the respondent parent. The court may reconsider a parent'seligibility and desire for appointed counsel at any stage of the proceeding.

(b)        In addition to theright to appointed counsel under subsection (a) of this section, a guardian adlitem shall be appointed in accordance with G.S. 1A‑1, Rule 17, torepresent any parent who is under the age of 18 years and who is not married orotherwise emancipated.

(c)        On motion of anyparty or on the court's own motion, the court may appoint a guardian ad litemfor a parent in accordance with G.S. 1A‑1, Rule 17 if the courtdetermines that there is a reasonable basis to believe that the parent isincompetent or has diminished capacity and cannot adequately act in his or herown interest. The parent's counsel shall not be appointed to serve as theguardian ad litem.

(d)        Communicationsbetween the guardian ad litem appointed under this section and the parent andbetween the guardian ad litem and the parent's counsel shall be privileged andconfidential to the same extent that communications between the parent and theparent's counsel are privileged and confidential.

(e)        Guardians ad litemappointed under this section may engage in all of the following practices:

(1)        Helping the parentto enter consent orders, if appropriate.

(2)        Facilitating serviceof process on the parent.

(3)        Assuring thatnecessary pleadings are filed.

(4)        Assisting the parentand the parent's counsel, if requested by the parent's counsel, to ensure thatthe parent's procedural due process requirements are met.

(f)         The fees of aguardian ad litem appointed pursuant to this section shall be borne by theOffice of Indigent Defense Services when the court finds that the respondent isindigent. In other cases, the fees of the court‑appointed guardian adlitem shall be a proper charge against the respondent if the respondent doesnot secure private legal counsel.  (2005‑398, s. 15; 2009‑311, s. 9.)