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Children's Rights Litigation

Bellevue School Dist. v. E.S., No. 83024-0 (Wash., filed June 9, 2011)


The Washington Supreme Court has issued a decision in Bellevue School Dist. v. E.S. [PDF], which involved the right to counsel in truancy proceedings. The court reversed the Washington Court of Appeals and found no right to counsel under either the state or federal constitution.

The concurrence [PDF], written by Chief Justice Barbara Madsen, agreed with the majority but urged the legislature to provide a right to counsel in truancy proceedings and cited to ABA Resolution 109A, which calls for a right to counsel in all stages of juvenile status offense proceedings, in support.

The dissent [PDF], written by Justice Tom Chambers and joined by Justice Pro Tem. Richard Sanders, would have found a right to counsel under the state constitution.

— Catherine Krebs, committee director, ABA Section of Litigation, Children’s Rights Committee, Washington, D.C., and Marlene Sallo, web editor, Children’s Rights Litigation Committee

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