My ex husband has filed a contempt motion claiming I violated a child custody court order. Do I have a right to counsel?

Asked over 1 year ago - Los Angeles, CA

The papers I received state the contempt proceeding is “criminal in nature.” If it is criminal in nature can I have a court appointed attorney? I know there is no right to a court appointed attorney in a normal divorce proceeding. However, if I am found in contempt I could go to jail, so that seems to change things quite a bit. I don't have the funds to employ a private attorney as I make just a bit over the minimum wage.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Howard M Lewis

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

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    Lawyer agrees

    10

    Answered . Please contact the court, if you face the possibility of jail time then in most cases you may be appointed counsel, however if it is a civil action in probate, it may be particular to california law. take care and please contact a local ca attny.

    Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to... more
  2. Cathleen Elisabeth Norton

    Pro

    Contributor Level 17

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Yes, you may be entitled to court appointed counsel for the Contempt action if you meet certain criteria and should ask the clerk about having a Public Defender. Good luck.

    If you found this answer helpful, let me know by clicking the "Mark as Helpful" button or "Best Answer" at the... more
  3. Christine C McCall

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Yes, you have the right to counsel for a contempt proceeding that carries the risk of jail. If you do not have counsel, the court will either refer you for an evaluation of your eligibility for court-appointed counsel, or will take jail time off the table.

    My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice.... more

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