Youth Law T.E.A.M. of Indiana, Inc.
a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization

Influencing positive systemic change in youth's legal issues in the juvenile justice, education and child welfare systems within Indiana.
Appointment of Counsel Rule Amendment: Indiana Criminal Procedure Rule 25
1800 N. Meridian Street, Suite 410   Indianapolis, Indiana  46202
Phone: (317) 916-0786   Fax: (317) 916-5369
Both the Constitution and state law require counsel be appointed for Indiana children, but many children never receive counsel.  Many children give up their right to be represented by an attorney and other constitutional rights without understanding these rights and without understanding the consequences of a juvenile delinquency case. In Indiana, adjudications for a vast array of behavior from truancy to major criminal felonies can have a lasting, detrimental effect on a young person. See   Some youth who proceed without counsel end up in the  "deep end" of the juvenile justice system.  Summaries of interviews with several pro se teenagers who were committed to the department of correction may be viewed here:  Interviews

A new rule amendment, will guarantee that a person with legal expertise, who has an ethical obligation to provide adequate legal advice, will be appointed to assist the child at the earliest stage of the proceedings. It will also help ensure the young person understands the consequences of waiving their right to counsel if they choose to do so after having been appointed an attorney to advise them.

Kaarin Lueck, JD, the Central Juvenile Defender Center, and Children's Law Center developed an implementation guide for the new rule:

                                     Implementation Guide

Rule 25. Right to Counsel in Juvenile Delinquency Proceedings

(A) Right to Counsel. A child charged with a delinquent act is entitled to be represented by counsel in accordance with Ind. Code Section 31-32-4-1.

(B) Mandatory Appointment of Counsel in Certain Juvenile Delinquency Proceedings.

    However, counsel for the child must be appointed:
    (1) when there is a request to waive the child to a court having criminal jurisdiction; or
    (2) when a parent, guardian, or custodian of the child has an interest adverse to the child; or
    (3) before convening any hearing any proceeding in which the court may find facts (or the child may admit to facts)
    on the basis of which the court may impose the following:
        (a) wardship of the child to the Department of Correction:;
        (b) placement of the child in a community based correctional facility for children;
        (c) confinement or continued confinement of the child in a juvenile detention center following the earlier of an initial
        or detention hearing;
        (d) placement or continued placement of the child in a secure private facility following the earlier of an initial
        or detention hearing;
        (e) placement or continued placement of the child in a shelter care facility following the earlier of an initial
        or detention hearing; or
        (f) placement or continued placement of the child in any other non-relative out of home placement following
         the earlier of an initial or detention hearing; or
    (4) when a child is taken into custody and detained pursuant to Ind. Code Section 31-37-4-1, or 2, or 5.

    Unless or until a valid waiver has been or is made under subsection (C) below.
(C) Waiver. Following the appointment of counsel under subsection (B), any waiver of the right to counsel shall be made in open
court, on the record and confirmed in writing, and in the presence of the child's attorney.

(D) Withdrawing Waiver. Waiver of the right to counsel may be withdrawn at any stage of a proceeding, in which event the
court shall appoint counsel for the child.

(E) Effective Date. This rule shall become effective January 1, 2015.