In re A.R.Annotate this Case
The Supreme Court held that when the court-appointed attorneys of parents in termination proceedings have failed to timely file a notice of appeal of an order terminating parental rights, parents whose rights have been terminated may seek relief based on the attorney's failure to provide competent representation.
After M.B.'s parental rights to her child were terminated, M.B. timely asked her new court-appointed counsel to file an appeal. The attorney, however, did not file an appeal until after the sixty-day filing deadline had passed. The court of appeal dismissed the appeal as untimely. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) every parent facing the termination of parental rights is entitled to the assistance of competent counsel; and (2) when an attorney fails to file a timely appeal in accordance with his or her client's instructions, the parent may seek relief based on the denial of the statutory right to the assurance of competent counsel.