Right to Counsel

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Legislation, Involuntary Medical Treatment (incomplete)

Immediately upon arriving at an emergency receiving facility, a proposed mental health patient is informed of their right to appointed counsel if indigent. Ga. Code. Ann. § 37-3-44.  Within five days after the filing of a petition for a court ordered evaluation under Ga. Code. Ann. § 37-3-61, the court shall provide the patient with notice of the hearing which informs them of their right to counsel. Ga. Code. Ann. § 37-3-62.


Under Ga. Code. Ann. § 37-3-81.1, the court may order inpatient or outpatient mental health-related treatment on an involuntary basis.  Outpatient treatment may be ordered for any period not to exceed one year. Ga. Code. Ann. § 37-3-93(a).  If treatment is needed beyond the initial period authorized, a hearing is held at which the patient is also afforded counsel if indigent. Ga. Code. Ann. § 37-3-93(b).


There is also a right to counsel in involuntary outpatient treatment matters due to chemical dependency. See Ga. Code. Ann. §§ 37-7-44 (upon arrival at emergency receiving facility); 37-7-62 (hearings on petitions for court-ordered evaluations); 37-7-92 (outpatient treatment hearings); 37-7-93 (hearings on continued involuntary treatment beyond initial period authorized).

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no