Right to counsel

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Legislation, Civil Commitment

In proceedings regarding involuntary commitment of a person alleged to have a mental illness, that person has a right to appointed counsel if indigent. Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 426.100(3)(b). The Oregon courts have clarified that under Or. Rev. Stat. § 426.100, the trial court does not have to advise an allegedly mentally ill person of his or her right to retain private counsel provided that the court has already made the determination that counsel had been appointed for the individual and he or she lacked the resources to retain private counsel. State v. J.C., 172 Or.App. 745, 749 (Ct. App. 2001). The judge is responsible for issuing a citation to the allegedly mentally ill individual, informing the person of their right to have legal counsel appointed if they cannot afford it. Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 426.090; see also Or. Admin. R. 309-033-0250(2) (whoever takes allegedly mentally individual into custody is responsible for informing of rights regarding appointment of counsel pursuant to Or. Rev. Stat § 426.100).  If an individual decides to appeal a determination that he or she is mentally ill under Or. Rev. Stat. § 426.130, that individual has a right to counsel for the appeal if indigent. Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 426.135.  See also Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 426.701(2)(c) (court must appointed counsel in proceedings to commit someone as “extremely dangerous’).

A person alleged to have an intellectual disability and to be in need of commitment for residential care, treatment, and training is also entitled to a court-appointed attorney if they cannot afford one and even if they do not make a request for counsel. Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 427.265.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no