Right to counsel

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Legislation, Civil Commitment

There is a right to counsel for indigent persons subject to short or long-term civil commitment. N.J. Stat. Ann. §§ 30:4-27.14(a), 30:4-27.11(c). The short-term confinement statute specifies that the appointed attorney shall be "paid for by the appropriate government agency."  


N.J. R. 4:74-7(g)(1) specifies that the patient has the right to appointed counsel when seeking to convert from involuntary to voluntary status (with previously appointed counsel serving in this role), while N.J. R. 4:74-7(g)(2) requires the appointment of counsel for a patient admitted voluntarily absent a court order in order to determine if the patient gave informed consent to the voluntary treatment.  The patient also has the "right to counsel" (it does not specifically say appointed counsel) in all placement review proceedings. N.J. R. 4:74-7(h)(2).

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no