Section 397.681, Florida Statutes 2003
397.681 Involuntary petitions; general provisions; court jurisdiction and right to counsel.--
(1) JURISDICTION.--The courts have jurisdiction of involuntary assessment and stabilization petitions and involuntary treatment petitions for substance abuse impaired persons, and such petitions must be filed with the clerk of the court in the county where the person is located. The chief judge may appoint a general or special master to preside over all or part of the proceedings. The alleged impaired person is named as the respondent.
(2) RIGHT TO COUNSEL.--A respondent has the right to counsel at every stage of a proceeding relating to a petition for his or her involuntary assessment and a petition for his or her involuntary treatment for substance abuse impairment. A respondent who desires counsel and is unable to afford private counsel has the right to court-appointed counsel and to the benefits of s. 57.081. If the court believes that the respondent needs the assistance of counsel, the court shall appoint such counsel for the respondent without regard to the respondent's wishes. If the respondent is a minor not otherwise represented in the proceeding, the court shall immediately appoint a guardian ad litem to act on the minor's behalf.
History.--s. 6, ch. 93-39; s. 745, ch. 95-148.