Right to counsel

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Legislation, Civil Commitment - Subject of Petition

Persons seeking to commit another person for mental illness, and the person against whom the petition has been filed, have the right to representation (the former by the county or district attorney, the latter by an attorney) at a hearing on any request for a temporary custody order pending trial on the petition for involuntary commitment, Kan. Stat. Ann. § 59-2959(b) and (c), and at trial upon the petition for involuntary commitment, Kan. Stat. Ann. § 59-2965(e). Persons seeking to commit another for alcohol or drug dependency and the person against whom such a petition is filed both have a right to counsel, Kan. Stat. Ann. §§ 59-29b59(c) (temporary custody order) and 59-29b65 (trial on the petition for involuntary commitment).


For both of these commitment procedures, if the petitioner is not represented by counsel, it is the county or district attorney who represents the petitioner. Kan. Stat. Ann. §§ 59-2959(c), 59-29b59(c).


Additionally, persons subject to commitment to a state security hospital pursuant to Kan. Stat. Ann. § 22-3428 or commitment for treatment of a mental illness pursuant to Kan. Stat. Ann. § 59-2965 are entitled to the assistance of counsel at every stage of a habeas corpus proceeding brought by such person, subject to all of the provisions of § 22-4503. If a court determines that the defendant or other person subject to § 22-4503(a) is unable to employ counsel, the court must appoint counsel to represent the defendant, § 22-4503(c).

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no