It is essential that parents have quality legal representation when the state becomes involved in their lives – including court-ordered services cases and legal removal cases. Anytime a parent or child’s constitutional rights are in jeopardy and they are at risk of being deprived of the pursuit of life, liberty, or happiness – it is imperative that they be made aware of their rights and are provided access to an attorney if they cannot afford one (see Full Disclosure Policy).
This falls under the Due Process clause of the constitution. It is not a fair fight. The state has unlimited resources to prosecute while parents are forced to go bankrupt if they technically could “afford” an attorney in the beginning of their case or are at the mercy of resources given to over-worked assigned attorneys. And in cases where experts might need to be utilized, such as medical cases, parents’ assigned attorneys are often denied the use of these experts. Parents who can initially afford attorneys often run out of money and sometimes even go bankrupt during the case, especially if criminal charges are brought against them simultaneously and they are forced to hire a separate criminal attorney. The state uses our tax dollars to prosecute its own citizens. In medical cases, the state has an entire network dedicated to testifying against parents (see Medical and/or Mental Health Cases Policy).