News Item
Minnesota Judicial Branch Releases New Forms for Appointing Attorneys to Parents, Guardians, and Custodians in Juvenile Protection Cases

Posted: Wednesday, February 16, 2022

The Minnesota Judicial Branch recently published instructions and an application for parents, guardians, and custodians to use when applying for a court-appointed attorney in juvenile protection cases, including Child in Need of Protection or Services (CHIPS) cases. 
A change in state law, effective January 1, 2023, will require the appointment of attorneys to parents, guardians, and custodians who request and financially qualify for an attorney before the first hearing on the petition and at all stages of the proceedings. 
The new instruction and application forms are available on the Minnesota Judicial Branch website in English, Spanish, and Somali and are referred to as CHP1001 Instructions – Applying for Court-Appointed Attorney (CHIPS) and CHP1002 Affidavit for Court-Appointed Attorney (CHIPS). The Judicial Branch has also published an internal order template judicial officers can use to review and decide on the application. 
The new forms and order template are designed to reduce disparate treatment for families across the state by applying a consistent, statewide approach in the application process to ensure district courts receive requests with the information needed to determine financial eligibility and issue timely appointment orders.
Parents, guardians, and custodians experiencing a low income have a right to a court-appointed attorney and need access to legal representation regardless of where they live. Legal representation can help parents navigate the legal system, understand complex court processes, and know their rights and responsibilities under the law, and can also lead to better outcomes for children and their families.
See Fast Facts – Court-Appointed Attorneys in Juvenile Protection Cases for more information.