Right to Counsel

Key_development Question_mark

Legislation, Quarantine/Isolation

NOTE: this is a very complex area of law, especially as it relates to stay-at-home orders issued by the states.  Please read our primer on quarantine/isolation law before reading this specific state law.





The Department of Public Health and Environment has the authority to "...establish, maintain, and enforce isolation and quarantine, and, in pursuance thereof and for this purpose only, to exercise such physical control over property and the persons of the people within this state as the department may find necessary for the protection of the public health."  Colo. Rev. Stat. § 25-1.5-102(1)(c); see also Colo. Rev. Stat. § 25-1-506(3)(b)(vi) (County Public Health Agency authority).  There is no statutory provision directing how a person affected by this kind order of isolation or quarantine would contest it.  As the order is issued by an administrative agency, administrative remedies might apply.  In any case, there is no right to counsel mentioned that applies to these orders.

For tuberculosis control, a health officer may determine "...that isolation of a person in a particular tuberculosis case is necessary for the preservation and protection of the public health."  Colo. Rev. Stat. § 25-4-507(1).  If the person requests release, they shall be released or the health officer shall apply for a court order authorizing continued detention.  Colo. Rev. Stat. § 25-4-507(3)(a).“Any person who is subject to an isolation order has the right to be represented by counsel and, upon request, counsel shall be provided to the person.”  Colo. Rev. Stat. § 25-4-507(3)(b). 


For a person with a sexually transmitted infection, the executive director of the state department or local director may petition the district court to order compliance with an agency order or restrictive measure, including one to cease and desist specific conduct.  Colo. Rev. Stat. § 25-4-412(4)(a)(II).  "If a respondent to any such action cannot afford an attorney, one shall be appointed for him or her at the commencement of the court process."  Colo. Rev. Stat. § 25-4-412(4)(a)(I).

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes