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Volume16
Year2007
TitleThe Indigent Parent's Right to Counsel in Termination of Parental Rights Proceedings
Author(s)Nadine Vasser
First Page329
AbstractParents have a fundamental constitutionally protected liberty interest in the custody of their kids that states cannot lightly take away. States must establish grounds for termination of parental rights under a standard equivalent to or greater than "clear and convincing proof," even though the proceeding to do so is civil not criminal in nature. The parent-defendant in TPR proceedings is guaranteed many of the rights afforded to defendants in criminal proceedings. The right to effective counsel lies at the center of these constitutionally protected entitlements. Without competent counsel, parents in TPR proceedings will be unlikely to mount an effective defense.