Right to counsel

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Legislation, Quarantine/Isolation

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.





When the governor has declared a state of emergency, the Department of Health Services or local health authority may establish and maintain places of quarantine if, after investigation, the agency has "...reasonable cause to believe that a highly contagious and fatal disease exists within its jurisdiction."  Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 36-788(A)&(B).  If there is no state of emergency but the county health department or local health district determines that there is an infectious or contagious disease in its jurisdiction, it can "adopt quarantine and sanitary measures consistent with department rules and sections 36-788 and 36-789."  Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §36-624. Procedures for implementing isolation and quarantine are the same whether done in a state of emergency, or not. 

To isolate or quarantine an individual or group, the department or local health authority will issue a written directive and, within ten days, file a petition for continued isolation or quarantine.  Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 36-789(B).  Alternatively, the "...person or group of persons isolated or quarantined pursuant to this section may apply to the court for an order to show cause why the person or group of persons should not be released."  Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 36-789(I).  

A person, or group, subject to an order of isolation or quarantine has a right to counsel. "The court shall appoint counsel at state expense to represent a person or group of persons who is subject to isolation or quarantine pursuant to (Article 9, Chapter 6 of Title 36) and who is not otherwise represented by counsel.  Representation by counsel continues throughout the duration of the isolation or quarantine of the person or group of persons."  Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 36-789(M). If there are numerous individual claims, the court may consolidate individual claims into group claims if several factors are met, including whether the "entire group will be adequately represented."  Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 36-789(N)(4). 

Tuberculosis is discussed separately.  When a person with tuberculosis "presents a substantial danger to another person or to the community and...has failed to comply with a voluntary treatment plan or a written order to cooperate," the tuberculosis control officer, local health officer, or designated legal representative may file a petition for "court ordered examination, monitoring, treatment, isolation or quarantine."  Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 36-726(A).  "The court shall appoint an attorney for the afflicted person if one has not been appointed."  Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 36-726(H).

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no