In an apparent effort to protect the rights and interests of children in NJ, the Assembly Judiciary Committee is proposing to require children in parental termination cases be provided with their own attorney.
BILL WOULD GIVE CHILDREN COUNSEL IN PARENTAL TERMINATION CASES
The Assembly Judiciary Committee on Thursday recommended passage of bills that would expand juveniles’ representation in parental termination cases, increase privacy rights for domestic violence victims and broaden the universe of potential jurors called for voir dire. Under current law, any minor whose parent is the subject of parental rights termination proceedings is represented by a law guardian. A-700 would require the Office of the Public Defender to provide counsel who would have to ensure the child’s wishes are expressed to the court and that the child’s interests are protected through final placement. Lawyers assigned to such cases would be trained in post-termination review processes.