Right to counsel

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Legislation, Guardianship/Conservatorship of Adults - Protected Person

Under Idaho's Uniform Probate Code section titled "Protection of Persons Under Disability and Their Property – Guardians of Incapacitated Persons," once a petition for a hearing on incapacity is filed and a date for hearing is set, and "unless the allegedly incapacitated person has counsel of his own choice, [the court] shall appoint an attorney to represent him in the proceeding, who shall have the powers and duties of a guardian ad litem." Idaho Code Ann. § 15-5-303(b).


For persons who lack the capacity to make informed decisions about treatment for themselves due to mental illness, the Idaho Code gives the right to indigent respondents to an attorney once a petition is filed to appoint a guardian who will handle treatment decisions. Idaho Code Ann. § 66-322(e). The statute also establishes that "[a]n opportunity to be represented by counsel shall be afforded to every proposed patient, and if neither the proposed patient nor others provide counsel, the court shall appoint counsel in accordance with chapter 8, title 19, Idaho Code." Idaho Code Ann. § 66-322(f).  See also Idaho Code Ann. § 66-404(3) (requiring appointment of counsel upon filing of petition for guardianship of developmentally disabled person).

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes