Right to counsel - quarantine

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Litigation, 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.





In Greene v. Edwards, 263 S.E.2d 661 (W. Va. 1980), a person confined due to TB brought a writ of habeas corpus because he had not been appointed counsel prior to the start of his hearing (at that time, there was no statutory right). The court noted its holding in State ex rel. Hawks v. Lazaro, 202 S.E.2d 109 (W. Va. 1974) (finding right counsel in civil commitment proceedings), then concluded:


Because the Tuberculosis Control Act and the Act for the Involuntary Hospitalization of the Mentally Ill have like rationales, and because involuntary commitment for having communicable tuberculosis impinges upon the right to "liberty, full and complete liberty" no less than involuntary commitment for being mentally ill, we conclude that the procedural safeguards set forth in State ex rel. Hawks v. Lazaro, supra, must, and do, extend to persons charged under W.Va. Code, 26-5A-5. Specifically, persons charged under the act must be afforded: … the right to counsel and, if indigent, the right to appointed counsel.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes