Right to counsel

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Legislation, Civil Commitment - Subject of Petition

All persons alleged to be subject to “involuntary admission” to a mental health facility must be represented by counsel, and if such a person “is indigent or an appearance has not been entered on his behalf at the time the matter is set for hearing, the court shall appoint counsel for him.”  405 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 5/3-805 (West).  The court will make such appointments first from the Guardianship and Advocacy Commission.  If no attorney from the Guardianship and Advocacy Commission is available, then the public defender shall be appointed.  Finally, if no public defender is available the court will appoint an attorney licensed to practice law in the State.  Private attorneys so appointed will be paid a fee in an amount determined to be reasonable by the court upon the filing of a verified statement of legal services.  The county will pay all or any portion of this fee that the client is unable to pay.  See also Matter of Walters, 539 N.E.2d 454 (Ill. App. 1989) (reversing commitment order because counsel must be appointed at time hearing is set, not at hearing itself). 

 

Similarly, any person who meets the standard for “judicial admission” to a mental health facility must also be represented by counsel, and if such person “is indigent or an appearance has not been entered on his behalf at the time the matter is set for hearing, the court shall appoint counsel for him.”  5/4-605.  Under Section 405, persons seeking to appeal a final order who are “unable to obtain counsel” are entitled to court-appointed counsel “pursuant to Section 3-805.”  5/3-816(b).

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no