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Massachusetts Uniform Rules for Permanency Hearings Rule 4: Counsel

[Disclaimer]

A. All parties have the right to the presence of counsel.

B. If a party was represented by counsel at the trial, that counsel shall continue to represent the party until the court permits him/her to withdraw his/her appearance or until an appearance is filed by successor counsel. If trial counsel wishes to withdraw his/her appearance, and if the party has been determined to be indigent, a motion for withdrawal requesting appointment of successor counsel shall be filed. Any motion under this paragraph shall be scheduled for hearing no later than seven days after filing. Counsel wishing to withdraw shall ensure that a motion to withdraw and appoint successor counsel is scheduled for hearing no less than thirty (30) days prior to the date of the scheduled permanency hearing. A permanency hearing shall not be taken off a court calendar to accommodate a motion to withdraw.

C. If there is no attorney for the child, the court shall appoint counsel for the child. If the attorney of record for the child is no longer available to represent the child, the court shall remove the attorney of record and appoint successor counsel. The clerk's office shall send notice as provided in Rule 3C to such newly appointed counsel.

D. If there is no attorney of record for the parent or attorney of record for the parent is no longer available and the parent's rights have not been dispensed with or the parents have not signed a voluntary surrender, the parent, if indigent, may request the court to appoint counsel to represent him or her. If counsel is appointed, the clerk's office shall send notice as provided in Rule 3C to such newly appointed counsel.

As amended, effective September 5, 2000.