Do indigent parents have a constitutional right to a lawyer when the state charges that parent with abuse or neglect of their child?
That’s the question put to the state’s top court.
Last year, lawmakers passed a historic budget – making cuts to General Fund spending for the first time since World War II.
One of the casualties....the $1.2 million dollars provided to indigent parents for legal representation in child abuse and neglect proceedings.
Over the past several years, 350-400 parents a year are charged, typically for neglect.