Right to counsel

Key_development Question_mark

Legislation, Guardianship/Conservatorship of Adults - Ward

Cal. Health & Safety Code § 416.95 requires appointment of counsel for an adult developmentally disabled person from whom guardianship or conservatorship is sought.


For other guardianships, Cal. Prob. Code § 1471(a) requires appointment of counsel only upon request for those "unable to retain legal counsel". If not requested, appointment is discretionary with the judge and appropriate where "appointment would be helpful to the resolution of the matter or is necessary to protect the [person's] interests." Cal. Prob. Code § 1470.


See also Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code §§ 5350.5 (if court refers conservatee for assessment “to determine if the conservatee has a treatable mental illness, including whether the conservatee is gravely disabled as a result of a mental disorder or impairment by chronic alcoholism, and is unwilling to accept, or is incapable of accepting, treatment voluntarily”, then court must appoint counsel for conservatee if indigent); 5365 (for conservatorships of gravely disabled persons, “A hearing shall be held on all petitions under this chapter within 30 days of the date of the petition. The court shall appoint the public defender or other attorney for the conservatee or proposed conservatee within five days after the date of the petition.”)

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes