Right to counsel

Key_development Question_mark

Legislation, Civil Commitment

A right to counsel exists when a defendant is involuntarily admitted to inpatient treatment, as Tenn. Code Ann. § 33-6-416 states, "If the court orders the admission of the defendant for diagnosis, evaluation and treatment under § 33-6-413, the chief officer shall give notice of the order to the defendant and by mail or telephone to the parent, legal guardian, legal custodian, conservator, spouse, or adult next of kin of the defendant. The notice shall state specifically the basis for the defendant's detention and the standards for possible future commitment. The notice shall also inform the defendant of the defendant's right to counsel during the course of proceedings for involuntary care and treatment."  Under Tenn. Code Ann. § 33-6-419, if a person facing involuntary admission does not employ an attorney, the court is instructed to appoint an attorney to represent the defendant.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no