Right to counsel

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Legislation, Involuntary Medical Treatment

There is a right to counsel for developmentally disabled individuals subject to certain kinds of treatment at a facility, such as shock therapy or administration of medicine. N.J. Stat. § 30:6D-5 (“In the event that a person cannot afford counsel, the court shall appoint an attorney not less than 10 days before the hearing. An attorney so appointed shall be entitled to a reasonable fee to be determined by the court and paid by the county from which the person was admitted.”)


Additionally, patients have a right to counsel at any proceeding relating to subjecting the patient to "experimental research, shock treatment, [or] psychosurgery ..." N. J. Stat. Ann. § 30:4-24.2(d)(2). The statute adds that if a patient cannot afford counsel, the court shall appoint an attorney not less than 10 days before the hearing, and the appointed attorney shall be entitled to a reasonable fee to be determined by the court and paid by the county from which the patient was admitted.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no