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Legislation, Quarantine/Isolation

NOTE: this is a very complex area of law, especially as it relates to stay-at-home orders issued by the states.  Please read our primer on quarantine/isolation law before reading this specific state law.





In general, the State Department of Health, "...may establish quarantine and may do what is reasonable and necessary for the prevention and suppression of disease.”  Ind. Code § 16-19-3-9.  To prevent the spread of communicable disease specifically, a public health authority may impose, or petition the court to impose, a quarantine.  Ind. Code § 16-41-9-1.6.  A communicable disease is "...an illness due to a specific infectious agent or its toxic products that arises through transmission of that agent or its toxic products from an infected person, animal, vector, plant, or inanimate environment to a susceptible host, either directly or indirectly."  410 IAC 1-2.5-14.  "Quarantine" is the “…physical separation, including confinement or restriction of movement, of an individual or a group of individuals who have been exposed to a dangerous communicable disease…during the disease’s period of communicability, in order to prevent or limit the transmission of the disease to an uninfected individual. Ind. Code § 16-18-2-302.6; 410 IAC 1-2.5-60.  "Isolation "is the “… physical separation, including confinement or restriction, of an individual or a group of individuals from the general public if the individual or group is infected with a dangerous communicable disease…in order to prevent or limit the transmission of the disease to an uninfected individual. Ind. Code § 16-18-2-194.5; 410 IAC 1-2.5-47.


The public health authority may file a petition for quarantine or isolation where they have determined that a person is infected with or has exposed to a communicable disease and the “individual is likely to cause the infection of an uninfected individual if the individual is not restricted in the individual’s ability to come into contact with an uninfected individual.” Ind. Code § 16-41-9-1.5(a). The procedures set forth in § 16-41-9-1.5, should apply to quarantine orders applied to numerous individuals or an entire area.  See Ind. Code § 16-41-9-1.5(n)(1) [venue shall be in “the county or counties (if the area of isolation or quarantine includes more than one (1) county) where the individual, premises, or location to be isolated or quarantined is located”]; and, Ind. Code § 16-41-9-1.5(o)(1) [consolidation where “number of individuals who may be subject to isolation or quarantine, or who are subject to isolation or quarantine, is so large as to render individual participation impractical.”]. Where an action has been brought under § 16-41-9-1.5 or § 16-41-6 [Mandatory Testing of Individuals with Communicable or Dangerous Diseases], "the court shall appoint an attorney to represent an indigent individual…If funds to pay for the court appointed attorney are not available from any other source, the state department may use the proceeds of a grant or loan to reimburse the county, state, or attorney for the costs of representation."  Ind. Code § 16-41-9-1.5(s).  Further, "a court may appoint an attorney to represent a group of similarly situated individuals if the individuals can be adequately represented.  An individual may retain his or her own counsel or proceed pro se."  Ind. Code § 16-41-9-1.5(o). 

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no