Right to counsel

Key_development Question_mark

Legislation, Quarantine/Inoculation of Individual

In Alaska, The Department of Health and Social Services "...may isolate or quarantine an individual or group of individuals if isolation or quarantine is the least restrictive alternative necessary to prevent the spread of a contagious or possibly contagious disease to others in accordance with regulations adopted by the department consistent with the provisions of this section and other law.” Alaska Stat. §§ 18.15.385(a), and 18.05.070(3).  Unless the person consents to the quarantine or isolation, the department "...shall obtain a written order from the superior court authorizing the isolation or quarantine..."  Alaska Stat. § 18.15.385(d).  The department can also issue an emergency agency order for temporary quarantine or isolation, but must follow this with a petition to the court within 24 hours.  Alaska Stat. § 18.15.385(e).  Further, if a person objects to a state medical officer's order for testing, screening or examination for disease, the department must obtain an ex parte order from the court. Alaska Stat. § 18.15.375(c)(3). The person may request a hearing to vacate the ex parte order. Alaska Stat. § 18.15.375(e).  In each of these court proceedings, the person has a right to counsel. 

There is a right to counsel for a person who is isolated, quarantined, or required to be tested under a public health order (Alaska Stat. §§ 18.15.355-18.15.395).  Alaska Stat. § 18.85.100(a); Alaska Stat. § 18.15.392.  The attorney shall be provided at the public’s expense if paying for the attorney services and facilities and court costs would cause undue hardship to the indigent person.  Alaska Stat. § 18.85.100(b).  




The court may consolidate individual claims concerning quarantine or isolation into group claims, "...if the number of individuals affected is so large as to render individual participation impractical, there are questions of law or fact common to the individual claims or rights to be determined, the group claims or rights are typical of the affected individuals’ claims or rights, and the entire group can be adequately represented.” Alaska Stat. § 18.15.385(f).

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no