Right to counsel

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Litigation, Civil Commitment - Subject of Petition

 in Rashid v. J.B., 410 N.W.2d 530 (N.D. 1987), the court held that indigent litigants in civil commitment proceedings were entitled to counsel. Recognizing the commitment as a "massive curtailment of liberty" (a cite to Vitek v. Jones, 445 U.S. 480, 491 (1980)), the court noted that "the constitutional safeguards afforded criminal defendants are generally extended to those involved in civil commitment proceedings ... One such procedural safeguard provided in mental health proceedings is the right to counsel."  The court then found that the statutory right to counsel had been created "[i]n accord with the fourteenth amendment of the federal Constitution ..."

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no