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2024 California Rules of Court

Rule 5.663. Responsibilities of children's counsel in delinquency proceedings (§§ 202, 265, 633, 634, 634.3 634.6, 679, 700)

(a) Purpose

This rule is designed to ensure public safety and the protection of the child's best interest at every stage of the delinquency proceedings by clarifying the role of the child's counsel in delinquency proceedings. This rule is not intended to affect any substantive duty imposed on counsel by existing civil standards or professional discipline standards.

(b) Responsibilities of counsel

A child's counsel is charged with providing effective, competent, diligent, and conscientious advocacy and making rational and informed decisions founded on adequate investigation and preparation. Counsel must maintain a confidential relationship with the child and provide legal representation based on the child's expressed interests.

(Subd (b) amended effective July 1, 2023.)

(c) Right to representation

A child is entitled to have their interests represented by counsel at every stage of the proceedings, including in the postdispositional phase. Counsel must continue to represent the child unless relieved by the court upon the substitution of other counsel, or for cause.

(Subd (c) amended effective July 1, 2023; previously amended effective January 1, 2007.)

(d) Limits to responsibilities

A child's counsel is not required:

(1)  To assume the responsibilities of a probation officer, social worker, parent, or guardian;

(2)  To provide nonlegal services to the child; or

(3)  To represent the child in any proceedings outside of the delinquency proceedings.

(Subd (d) amended effective January 1, 2007.)

Rule 5.663 amended effective July 1, 2023; adopted as rule 1479 effective July 1, 2004; amended and renumbered effective January 1, 2007.

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