Right to counsel

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Legislation, Involuntary Medical Treatment (incomplete)


Counsel must be appointed for those subjected to involuntary outpatient placement. There is no mention of an indigency requirement.  Fla. Stat. § 394.4655(5) states:

Within 1 court working day after the filing of a petition for involuntary outpatient services, the court shall appoint the public defender to represent the person who is the subject of the petition, unless the person is otherwise represented by counsel. The clerk of the court shall immediately notify the public defender of the appointment. The public defender shall represent the person until the petition is dismissed, the court order expires, or the patient is discharged from involuntary outpatient services. An attorney who represents the patient must be provided access to the patient, witnesses, and records relevant to the presentation of the patient's case and shall represent the interests of the patient, regardless of the source of payment to the attorney.

As to substance dependency

There is a right to counsel for involuntary substance abuse treatment. Fla. Stat. §§ 397.681(2); 397.6975(3) (where service provider seeks to extend treatment); 394.4598(1) (court must appoint counsel for patient where facility administrator seeks to appoint guardian advocate to consent to treatment on patient’s behalf); 397.501(8).

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no