TO: Joint Procedure Committee
FROM: Mike Hagburg
DATE: May 1, 2009
RE: Rule 8.12, N.D.R.Ct., Right to Counsel Termination of Parental Rights
The Chief Justice has requested the Committee to consider adoption of a new rule setting out counsel rights in termination of parental rights cases. The North Dakota Supreme Court recently issued an opinion in Adoption of J.D.F., in which it reversed a termination of parental rights order because it was not clear from the record that an indigent parent had been advised of the right to counsel. A copy of the case is attached.
Counsel rights in termination of parental rights cases are spelled out in N.D.C.C.
14-15-19.1. Staff has prepared a rule proposal based on this statute. The proposal is attached.