The 2018 legislature passed SB203 “Termination of Parental Rights Amendments.” Effective May 8, 2018, it amended several laws that, in summary:
- Require courts to appoint counsel for indigent birth/legal parents who oppose the termination of their parental rights in cases brought by private parties.
- Require courts to appoint counsel in both District and Juvenile Court.
- Require counties to compensate appointed attorneys; and
- Allow counties to seek reimbursement for the costs incurred through the Utah Indigent Defense Commission (IDC).
The IDC is creating a roster of competent attorneys for court-appointment. Counties will be able to receive quarterly reimbursement for attorney fees and related defense resources. The IDC will send out reimbursement forms after July 1, 2018.