Right to counsel

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Legislation, Adult Protective Proceedings - Proposed Ward

"The individual sought to be protected has the right to counsel" for a hearing on a petition for protective services or protective placement under Wis. Stat. Ann. § 55.10. These protection proceedings are only available for "an individual who is adjudicated incompetent in this state or for a minor who is alleged to have a developmental disability."  Wis. Stat. Ann. § 55.06.


The court must require "full legal counsel" if the petition states that the individual 1) is not competent to refuse psychotropic medicine, 2) the individual requested counsel 72 hours before the hearing, 3) if anyone states that the individual is opposed to the petition, 4) or the court determines the interest of justice require it. Wis. Stat. Ann. § 55.10(4)(a). If the individual does not have full legal counsel, a guardian ad litem must be present at all hearings. Wis. Stat. Ann. § 55.10(4)(b).


If there is a petition for transfer of an individual in protective placement and if anyone on the individual's behalf requests counsel for the hearing on the petition, the court shall refer the individual to counsel. Wis. Stat. Ann. § 55.105.


During the annual review of a protective placement, the guardian ad litem must notify the individual and their guardian of their right to counsel, Wis. Stat. Ann. § 55.18(2)(b)(2) , and report to the court whether individual counsel is recommended. Wis. Stat. Ann. § 55.18(2)(f)(3). The court must refer the individual to legal counsel if the court determines that legal counsel is necessary or if the guardian ad litem requests it. Wis. Stat. Ann. § 55.18(3)(c).

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no