Right to counsel

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Legislation, Civil Commitment - Subject of Petition

Ind. Code § 12-26-2-2(b)(4) broadly states that in certain mental health proceedings enumerated in the statute (90-day involuntary commitment, "regular commitment", discharge, and review of commitment) individuals have a right to be "represented by counsel".  One court construed the predecessor statute to § 12- 26-2-2(b)(4) (which apparently contained similar language about the right to be "represented by counsel") to imply a right to appointed counsel. F.J. v. State, 411 N.E.2d 372, 384 (Ind. Ct. App. 1980) ("“F.J. was at no time told she could have an attorney appointed for her, despite the language of [the statute] giving her the right to be represented by counsel.”)

 

Additionally, Ind. Code § 12-26-2-5(c) provides judges with discretion to appoint counsel for involuntary treatment commitment and § 12-26-8-3 covers discretionary appointment for commitments of children.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes