State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_7B > GS_7B-602

§ 7B‑602.  Parent'sright to counsel; guardian ad litem.

(a)        In cases where thejuvenile petition alleges that a juvenile is abused, neglected, or dependent,the parent has the right to counsel and to appointed counsel in cases ofindigency unless that person waives the right. When a petition is filedalleging that a juvenile is abused, neglected, or dependent, the clerk shallappoint provisional counsel for each parent named in the petition and indicatethe appointment on the juvenile summons or attached notice. At the firsthearing, the court shall dismiss the provisional counsel if the respondentparent:

(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 aparent's eligibility and desire for appointed counsel at any stage of theproceeding.

(b)        In addition to theright to appointed counsel set forth above, a guardian ad litem shall beappointed in accordance with the provisions of G.S. 1A‑1, Rule 17, torepresent a parent who is under the age of 18 years and who is not married orotherwise emancipated. The appointment of a guardian ad litem under thissubsection shall not affect the minor parent's entitlement to a guardian adlitem pursuant to G.S. 7B‑601 in the event that the minor parent is thesubject of a separate juvenile petition.

(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. (1979, c. 815, s. 1; 1981, c.469, s. 14; 1998‑202, s. 6; 1999‑456, s. 60; 2000‑144, s. 16;2001‑208, s. 2; 2001‑487, s. 101; 2005‑398, s. 2.)