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      CHC 608     

  

Art. 608.  Parents' right to counsel; payment

A.  The parents of a child who is the subject of a child in need of care proceeding shall be entitled to qualified, independent counsel at the continued custody hearing and at all stages of the proceedings thereafter.  This right may be waived by a parent if the court determines that the parent choosing to waive his right to representation has been instructed by the court about his rights and the possible consequences of waiver.  Before accepting a waiver of counsel, the court shall ensure each of the following:

(1)  The parent has been informed by the court that the Department of Children and Family Services cannot provide legal advice to the parent or represent the parent's interest.

(2)  The parent has been informed by the court that the child's attorney cannot provide legal advice to the parent and does not represent the parent's interest.

(3)  The parent has been informed by the court that a proceeding brought under this Title may ultimately result in a termination of parental rights and a complete and permanent separation of the parent from the child.

(4)  The parent has been informed by the court that if he is unable to afford an attorney, one will be provided by the Indigent Parents' Representation Program.

(5)  That the parent is eighteen years of age or older.

B.  If a parent of a child is financially unable to afford counsel, the court shall refer the parent for representation by the Indigent Parents' Representation Program administered by the Louisiana Public Defender Board.

C.  If a parent of the child is entitled to representation by the Indigent Parents' Representation Program, the unavailability of counsel to represent the parent shall be good cause for a continuance of the continued custody hearing for up to three days and the hearing shall not proceed until a qualified, independent attorney is provided to the parent.

Acts 1991, No. 235, §6, eff. Jan. 1, 1992; Acts 1992, No. 705, §1, eff. July 6, 1992; Acts 2007, No. 307, §9; Acts 2014, No. 354, §1.



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