Do All Indigent Participants In Juvenile Dependency Proceedings Have a Fundamental Right to Have Counsel Supplied by the State ?

In In re D.B., 385 So. 2d 83 (Fla. 1980) the court said: We reject the holdings of both the state circuit court and the United States District Court that all indigent participants in juvenile dependency proceedings are entitled, as a fundamental right, to have counsel supplied to them by the state. The court found that a constitutional right to counsel necessarily arises where the proceedings can result in permanent loss of parental custody. In all other circumstances the constitutional right to counsel is not conclusive: rather, a right to counsel will depend upon a case-by-case application of the test adopted in Potvin v. Keller, 313 So. 2d 703 (Fla. 1975). The court recognized that in all instances the trial court must ensure that proper notice and an opportunity to be heard be provided to the participants. 385 So. 2d at 87. In Potvin v. Keller, 313 So. 2d 703 (Fla. 1975), the court said that the right to counsel in dependency proceedings would depend on the potential length of the parent-child separation, the degree of parental restrictions on visitation, the presence or absence of parental consent, the presence or absence of disputed facts, and the complexity of the proceeding. Of course, the Legislature has since enacted section 39.013 which gives indigent parents the right to counsel in dependency proceedings.