Right to counsel

Key_development Question_mark

Court Rule or Initiative, Quarantine/Isolation

Each local department of health has powers and duties regarding contagious diseases. R.R.S. Neb. § 71-501.  Nebraska’s Administrative Code sets out the rules and regulations pertaining to quarantine and isolation orders, including procedures for a contested hearing. There is no right to appointed counsel mentioned, but “the parties may be represented by counsel at their own expense.” Nebraska Admin. Code Title 173, Ch. 6 (6-008.03). “Any person violating any of the provisions of sections 71-501 to 71-505, 71-507 to 71-513, or 71-514.01 to 71-514.05 or section 71-531 shall be guilty of a Class V misdemeanor for each offense,” R.R.S. Neb. § 71-506.


For tuberculosis specifically, if a person with communicable tuberculosis refuses to comply with directed health measures, the state or local health officer “shall institute proceedings for commitment…” R.R.S. Neb. § 71-3602.  Where the court schedules a hearing on the petition, “…the person named in the order shall have a right to be represented by counsel, to confront and cross-examine witnesses against him or her, and to have compulsory process for the securing of witnesses and evidence in his or her own behalf.” R.R.S. Neb. § 71-3604. Appointment of counsel is not mentioned.


However, the Nebraska Pandemic Bench Book, which lists Chief Justice Michael Heavican on the cover, states that "In order to comply with due process requirements, individuals subjected to isolation or quarantine should be provided the right to counsel."

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes