Right to counsel

Key_development Question_mark

Legislation, Civil Commitment

There is a right to counsel for respondents in dentention, civil commitment proceedings, and appeals related to these matters. See Ga. Code Ann. §§ 37-3-44(a) (notice of right to counsel immediately upon arrival at the emergency receiving facility); 37-3-81(a)(2) (related to detention of mental health patient beyond evaluation period); 37-3-83 (related to continued involuntary hospitalization); 37-3-92(a) (related to hearings regarding noncompliance with outpatient treatment plan, which may result in custody, hospitalization, or detention for evaluation and treatment); 37-3-150 (appeal rights of mental health patients); 37-4-110 (appeal rights of developmentally disabled persons). 


The only distinction for juveniles is that their proceedings take place in Juvenile Court. See Ga. Code Ann. § 15-11-451(d) (incorporating the mental health procedures for involuntary treatment from Chapter 3 of Title 37). The Juvenile Code requires that "[t]he court shall appoint an attorney for a child alleged to be a child in need of services." Ga. Code Ann. § 15-11-402(a).


There is also a right to counsel in civil commitment matters related to substance abuse under Ga. Code Ann. § 37-7-81.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no