Right to Counsel for Juvenile Defendants In Arizona Delinquency Cases

In JV-132324 v. Superior Court, 181 Ariz. 337, 890 P.2d 632 (App. 1995), the juvenile court had issued an administrative order making a blanket appointment of the public defender as attorney for all juveniles who were alleged to be delinquent. Id. at 340, 890 P.2d at 635. Because the juvenile court considered counsel as having been appointed the day the state filed a delinquency petition, the court deemed untimely the notices of change of commissioner the juveniles filed at their advisory hearings. Id. Division One of this court held the administrative order was void, the juveniles had thus not been represented by counsel until the advisory hearings began, and the notices had been timely. Id. The court based its holdings on A.R.S. 8-225(C) and Rule 6(c), Ariz. R. P. Juv. Ct., 17B A.R.S., concluding that, unless juveniles have waived the right to counsel, they cannot represent themselves and personally file a notice of change of judge or commissioner. 181 Ariz. at 343, 890 P.2d at 638. The state asserts the case is not applicable to these juveniles because "both of these laws have been repealed, and there is no new corresponding law." Former 8-225 has not been repealed; it was simply renumbered--without any change in the language--as A.R.S. 8-221. 1999 Ariz. Sess. Laws, ch. 36, 6. And the language of former Rule 6(c) is now found in Rule 10(D), Ariz. R. P. Juv. Ct., 17B A.R.S. Compare version of Ariz. R. P. Juv. Ct. 6(c) as amended effective July 21, 1997, 189 Ariz. CXXXIII, CXXVII (1997), with current Ariz. R. P. Juv. Ct. 10(D), effective Jan. 1, 2001, 198 Ariz. CXLV-CXLVI, CXLII (2000). Therefore, the right to counsel in juvenile delinquency cases remains unchanged.