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Right to Counsel – Judicial Appointment, Discretion to Continue on Appeal

Juneau County DHS v. James B., 2000 WI App 86, 234 Wis. 2d 406, 610 N.W.2d 144
For Appellant; James L. Boardman; Chris R. Velnetske

Issue: Whether judicial appointment of counsel in a CHIPS case necessarily terminates after disposition, or may be continued for appeal.

Holding: Judicial appointment of counsel in a CHIPS case doesn’t automatically terminate upon disposition, the circuit court retaining authority to continue the appointment for purposes of appeal. Whether the appointment should be continued is a matter of discretion, implicating the factors in Joni B. v. State, 202 Wis. 2d 1, 549 N.W.2d 411 (1996). Because the trial court failed to apply this test, the matter is remanded so that it can do so. ¶¶8-10

§ 809.85, which continues on appeal a trial-level judicial appointment of counsel until the court of appeals relieves counsel, isn’t applicable here, “because no appeal has yet been commenced,” ¶5.

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