Oregon Statutes - Chapter 426 - Persons With Mental Illness; Sexually Dangerous Persons - Section 426.100 - Advice of court; appointment of legal counsel; costs; representation of state’s interest.

(1) At the time the allegedly mentally ill person is brought before the court, the court shall advise the person of the following:

(a) The reason for being brought before the court;

(b) The nature of the proceedings;

(c) The possible results of the proceedings;

(d) The right to subpoena witnesses; and

(e) The person’s rights regarding representation by or appointment of counsel.

(2) Subsection (3) of this section establishes the rights of allegedly mentally ill persons in each of the following circumstances:

(a) When the person is held by warrant of detention issued under ORS 426.070.

(b) In commitment hearings under ORS 426.095.

(c) When the person is detained as provided under ORS 426.228, 426.232 or 426.233.

(d) In recommitment hearings under ORS 426.307.

(3) When provided under subsection (2) of this section, an allegedly mentally ill person has the following rights relating to representation by or appointment of counsel:

(a) The right to obtain suitable legal counsel possessing skills and experience commensurate with the nature of the allegations and complexity of the case during the proceedings.

(b) If the person is determined to be financially eligible for appointed counsel at state expense, the court will appoint legal counsel to represent the person. If a person is appointed counsel at state expense, payment of expenses and compensation relating to legal counsel shall be made as provided under ORS 426.250.

(c) If the allegedly mentally ill person does not request legal counsel, the legal guardian, relative or friend may request the assistance of suitable legal counsel on behalf of the person.

(d) If no request for legal counsel is made, the court shall appoint suitable legal counsel unless counsel is expressly, knowingly and intelligently refused by the person.

(e) If the person is being involuntarily detained before a hearing on the issue of commitment, the right under paragraph (a) of this subsection to contact an attorney or under paragraph (b) of this subsection to have an attorney appointed may be exercised as soon as reasonably possible.

(f) In all cases suitable legal counsel shall be present at the hearing and may be present at examination and may examine all witnesses offering testimony, and otherwise represent the person.

(4) The responsibility for representing the state’s interest in commitment proceedings, including, but not limited to, preparation of the state’s case and appearances at commitment hearings is as follows:

(a) The Attorney General’s office shall have the responsibility relating to proceedings initiated by state hospital staff that are any of the following:

(A) Recommitment proceedings under ORS 426.307; or

(B) Proceedings under ORS 426.228, 426.232 or 426.233.

(b) The district attorney if requested to do so by the governing body of the county.

(c) In lieu of the district attorney under paragraph (b) of this subsection, a counsel designated by the governing body of a county shall take the responsibility. A county governing body may designate counsel to take responsibility under this paragraph either for single proceedings or for all such proceedings the county will be obligated to pay for under ORS 426.250. If a county governing body elects to proceed under this paragraph, the county governing body shall so notify the district attorney. The expenses of an attorney appointed under this paragraph shall be paid as provided under ORS 426.250. [Amended by 1967 c.458 §1; 1971 c.368 §2; 1973 c.838 §6; 1975 c.690 §6; 1977 c.259 §1; 1979 c.574 §§1,2; 1979 c.867 §10; 1981 s.s. c.3 §133; 1987 c.903 §14; 1993 c.484 §17; 2001 c.962 §57]

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Last modified: August 7, 2008