Do I Need a Lawyer?

  1. Guardians Ad Litem
  2. Waiving Representation
  3. Obtaining a Lawyer
  4. Self-Represented Litigants

Guardians ad litem

The court appoints a guardian ad litem (a lawyer who represents the juvenile’s best interests) to represent all juveniles alleged to be

  • Abandoned, neglected, or abused,
  • The subject of either an entrustment agreement (in which the parents give up their parental rights and transfer care and custody of the juvenile to an agency)
  • The subject of a court proceeding to terminate residual parental rights (for all rights and responsibilities to the juvenile), or whose parents desire to be relieved of care and custody

The court also appoints a guardian ad litem for adults who are

  • Incarcerated
  • Mentally ill
  • Intellectually disabled

The right to be represented by a lawyer in this court extends to:

  • Juveniles involved in delinquency cases
  • Juveniles alleged to need services
  • Juveniles alleged to need supervision
  • Abused and neglected juveniles
  • A juvenile who is the subject of
    • an entrustment agreement
    • a request for relief of custody
    • a parentage controversy
  • Adults before the court on criminal charges
  • Adults faced with loss of their parental rights or charged with child abuse or neglect
  • All other persons the court decides require a lawyer’s services, based on certain legal requirements