S 261. Legislative findings and purpose. Persons involved in certain family court proceedings may face the infringements of fundamental interests and rights, including the loss of a child's society and the possibility of criminal charges, and therefore have a constitutional right to counsel in such proceedings. Counsel is often indispensable to a practical realization of due process of law and may be helpful to the court in making reasoned determinations of fact and proper orders of disposition. The purpose of this part is to provide a means for implementing the right to assigned counsel for indigent persons in proceedings under this act. S 262. Assignment of counsel for indigent persons. (a) Each of the persons described below in this subdivision has the right to the assistance of counsel. When such person first appears in court, the judge shall advise such person before proceeding that he or she has the right to be represented by counsel of his or her own choosing, of the right to have an adjournment to confer with counsel, and of the right to have counsel assigned by the court in any case where he or she is financially unable to obtain the same: (i) the respondent in any proceeding under article ten or ten-A of this act and the petitioner in any proceeding under part eight of article ten of this act; (ii) the petitioner and the respondent in any proceeding under article eight of this act; (iii) the respondent in any proceeding under part three of article six of this act; (iv) the parent or person legally responsible, foster parent, or other person having physical or legal custody of the child in any proceeding under article ten or ten-A of this act or section three hundred fifty-eight-a, three hundred eighty-four or three hundred eighty-four-b of the social services law, and a non-custodial parent or grandparent served with notice pursuant to paragraph (e) of subdivision two of section three hundred eighty-four-a of the social services law; (v) the parent of any child seeking custody or contesting the substantial infringement of his or her right to custody of such child, in any proceeding before the court in which the court has jurisdiction to determine such custody; (vi) any person in any proceeding before the court in which an order or other determination is being sought to hold such person in contempt of the court or in willful violation of a previous order of the court, except for a contempt which may be punished summarily under section seven hundred fifty-five of the judiciary law; (vii) the parent of a child in any adoption proceeding who opposes the adoption of such child. (viii) the respondent in any proceeding under article five of this act in relation to the establishment of paternity. (ix) in a proceeding under article ten-C of this act: (1) a parent or caretaker as such terms are defined in section one thousand ninety-two of this act; (2) an interested adult as such term is defined in section one thousand ninety-two of this act provided that: (A) the child alleged to be destitute in the proceeding held pursuant to article ten-C of this act was removed from the care of such interested adult; (B) the child alleged to be destitute in the proceeding held pursuant to article ten-C of this act resides with the interested adult; or (C) the child alleged to be destitute in the proceeding held pursuant to article ten-C of this act resided with such interested adult immediately prior to the filing of the petition under article ten-C of this act; (3) any interested adult as such term is defined in section one thousand ninety-two of this act or any person made a party to the article ten-C proceeding pursuant to subdivision (c) of section one thousand ninety-four of this act for whom the court orders counsel appointed pursuant to subdivision (d) of section one thousand ninety-four of this act. (b) Assignment of counsel in other cases. In addition to the cases listed in subdivision (a) of this section, a judge may assign counsel to represent any adult in a proceeding under this act if he determines that such assignment of counsel is mandated by the constitution of the state of New York or of the United States, and includes such determination in the order assigning counsel; (c) Implementation. Any order for the assignment of counsel issued under this part shall be implemented as provided in article eighteen-B of the county law. Top of Page
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