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Family Court Law

Consolidated Laws of NY's FCA code

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Part 6 - Article 2 - Family Court

COUNSEL FOR INDIGENT ADULTS IN FAMILY COURT PROCEEDINGS

Section Description
261 Legislative findings and purpose.
262 Assignment of counsel for indigent persons.
  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.

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