Right to counsel - quarantine
While a state may have many statutes, court decisions, or court rules governing appointment of counsel for a particular subject area, a "Key Development" is a statute/decision/rule that prevails over the others (example: a state high court decision finding a categorical right to counsel in guardianships cases takes precedence over a statute saying appointment in guardianship cases is discretionary).
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.
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is empowered to issue orders of isolation and quarantine generally and during a public health emergency. S.C. Code Ann. § 44-1-140(10); S.C. Code Ann. § 44-4-510(A)(2). Although quarantine of an entire area is not specifically mentioned, any order of isolation or quarantine must adhere to the procedures set out in § 44-4-540. S.C. Code Ann. § 44-4-540(H).
Although a temporary order of quarantine or isolation may be issued by the Department without court order, if the quarantine or isolation is to last longer than ten days, the Department must seek a court order authorizing the continuation. S.C. Code Ann. § 44-4-540(B)(1)&(4). Otherwise, the Department may seek a court order prior to imposing the quarantine or isolation on an individual or group. S.C. Code Ann. § 44-4-540(C)(1). A hearing must be held within five days. S.C. Code Ann. § 44-4-540(C)(4).
An individual or a group facing an order of isolation or quarantine has a right to counsel. S.C. Code Ann. § 44-4-540(F) ("The court must appoint counsel to represent individuals or groups of individuals who are or who are about to be isolated or quarantined pursuant to the provisions of this act and who are not otherwise represented by counsel. Payment for these appointments must be made in accordance with other appointments for legal representation in actions arising outside of matters in this act...."). If multiple individual claims have been brought before the court, the court may consolidate those claims if several factors are met, including whether "...the entire group will be adequately represented in the consolidation.” S.C. Code Ann. § 44-4-540(G)(4).
In addition, individuals who are imprisoned or confined must also be appointed counsel if they face isolation due to venereal or sexually transmitted disease. S.C. Code Ann. § 44-29-115 ("The person for whom isolation is sought must be represented by counsel at all proceedings and, if he cannot afford to hire an attorney, the court shall appoint an attorney to represent him. The attorney for the person isolated must have access to any documents regarding the isolation.")
If "yes", the established right to counsel or discretionary appointment of counsel is limited in some way, including any of: the only authority is a lower/intermediate court decision or a city council, not a high court or state legislature; there has been a subsequent case that has cast doubt; a statute is ambiguous; or the right or discretionary appointment is not for all types of individuals or proceedings within that category.
Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no