During judicial proceedings in cases of abuse, institutional abuse, neglect, and/or institutional neglect of a minor, the respondent may appear accompanied by his or her attorney. If the respondent does not have legal representation and lacks the means to defray the cost of such representation, the court may appoint a lawyer to represent him or her after certifying his/her condition of indigence. Defendants may waive their right to an attorney at any time, including waiving custody. However, the father or the mother may waive patria potestas over their children if represented by an attorney, pursuant to the provisions of § 447v(a) of this title.
The interests of a minor who has been declared to be the alleged victim of abuse, institutional abuse, neglect, and/or institutional neglect in court shall be represented by a family advocate.
History —Aug. 1, 2003, No. 177, § 32; Sept. 16, 2004, No. 353, § 3.