Appellant indigent parent sought review from the Court of Appeal of California, Second Appellate District, Division Three, which determined that appellant was not entitled to counsel for an appeal from a judgment, obtained by respondent department of children's services, adversely affecting the custody of his child. Appellant asserted various procedural and constitutional arguments.
Appellant indigent parent, a criminal and drug user, had a child who was thereafter declared dependent. Appellant's parental rights were terminated. Appellant was appointed counsel to represent him on appeal. After that appeal was unsuccessful, appellant again sought review and the question of whether the case of Anders, revolving around a right to counsel on appeal, applied to an indigent parent's appeal from a judgment, obtained by respondent department of children's services, adversely affecting custody of a child. On review, the court noted that generally, Anders was confined to apply to criminal appeals. The court explored the history behind the right to appointed counsel and noted that those convicted in criminal cases were afforded more protections than parents involved in parental right/juvenile court proceedings. The court held that an indigent parent adversely affected by a state-obtained decision on child custody or parental status was simply not a criminal defendant and was not afforded the same protections and considerations as under Anders. The court held that there was no reversible error or other defect to require a reversal. The judgment was affirmed accordingly.
The court affirmed the decision against appellant indigent parent because appellant was not entitled, under Anders or otherwise, to counsel for an appeal from the judgment in favor of respondent department of children's services, which terminated his custody rights. The court held that, as no claim of error or other defect was raised, the appeal was properly dismissed.
Juvenile Dependency and