Right to counsel

Key_development Question_mark

Legislation, Civil Commitment - Subject of Petition

California provides a right to counsel for indigent respondents in various types of civil commitment proceedings. See Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 4801(a) (addressing a party committed as a developmentally disabled patient, and requiring patient to pay attorney fees if able); Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 6500(6)(4) (in proceedings for commitment of persons dangerous to self or others, "the person alleged to have a developmental disability shall be informed of his or her right to counsel by the court, and if the person does not have an attorney for the proceedings, the court shall immediately appoint the public defender or other attorney to represent him or her. The person shall pay the cost for the legal services if he or she is able to do so");  Cal. Penal Code § 1240.1(a) (“In any ... civil commitment case wherein the defendant would be entitled to the appointment of counsel on appeal if indigent, it shall be the duty of the attorney who represented the person at trial to provide counsel and advice as to whether arguably meritorious grounds exist for reversal or modification of the judgment on appeal”); Cal. Penal Code § 2972 (requiring appointment of county public defender for indigent person in hearing to commit civilly prisoner to facility after completion of sentence due to mental disorder); 

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no