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      CHC 809     


Art. 809.  Right to counsel

A.  At every stage of proceedings under this Title, the accused child shall be entitled to the assistance of counsel at state expense.  The court shall appoint counsel or refer the child for representation by the district public defender.

B.  If a parent secures the services of retained counsel, the court-appointed counsel or public defender shall continue to represent the child until retained counsel has enrolled as counsel of record.

C.  No child shall be admitted in accordance with this Title to a public or private mental institution or institution for persons with mental illness nor shall proceedings in accordance with Chapter 7 of this Title or Article 869 go forward unless he has been represented by retained private counsel who represents only the child's interest or by an attorney from the Mental Health Advocacy Service, unless its executive director has determined that its attorneys are unavailable.  Any attorney from the Mental Health Advocacy Service so appointed shall continue to represent the child in any proceeding relating to admission, change of status, or discharge from the mental hospital or psychiatric unit.  Upon modification of the disposition to placement other than a mental hospital or psychiatric unit, the Mental Health Advocacy Service's attorney shall be relieved of representation of the child upon request of the Mental Health Advocacy Service or the child.

D.  If the court finds that the interests of the child and his parent or caretaker conflict, or if required in the interests of justice, the court shall appoint an attorney to represent the child or refer him for representation by the district public defender.

E.  The clerk of court shall promptly send notice of appointment to any attorney appointed in accordance with this Article.

Acts 1991, No. 235, §8, eff. Jan. 1, 1992; Acts 1992, No. 705, §1, eff. July 6, 1992; Acts 2004, No. 776, §1; Acts 2006, No. 266, §1; Acts 2007, No. 307, §9; Acts 2010, No. 593, §1; Acts 2014, No. 811, §33, eff. June 23, 2014.

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