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What does appointed counsel do for you?

Sacramento, CA |

Recently I took my ex to court on contempt of our custody order; there were 7 counts. She asked for appointed counsel. What will that do for her in our case? Most of the counts are for her not letting me see our child like the order states.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Best answer

    Many Court Appointed Attorneys do a good job for their clients, but that is not always the case. The big problem is that selecting a criminal defense attorney is a personal decision and the appointment process takes that away from the criminal defendant client.


  2. A: There's usually no court "appointed counsel" in family law matters. Lawyers are generally only appointed in criminal cases, some civil infractions and in cases were parents face the loss of their parental rights. Appointed counsel or assigned counsel work for the client to whom they are appointed to represent at no upfront or direct cost to the client. Sometimes courts seek reimbursement later. The taxpayers basically foot the bill. It is doubtful that the court to which you are referring will appoint your ex-wife legal counsel on contempt charges, but she will be facing jail time (however, brief) to basically teach her a lesson to obey court orders.

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  3. Contempt is quasi criminal in nature. A court appointed attorney will defend your ex against the charges.