(a) At all stages of the commitment process, commencing with the second certificate of medical need for commitment and until ultimate release from commitment, the person about whom the court is considering commitment shall be represented by legal counsel, either of his own choosing at his own cost, or counsel appointed by the court. The court shall make the appointment at the time of calendaring the commitment hearing, and may appoint either private counsel or the public defender’s office. Private counsel if appointed shall be reimbursed by the court in a reasonable amount. Counsel shall have access to any and all records pertaining to the hearing before the court and to the medical history of his client. In the event counsel deems it necessary, he shall have the right to continue the commitment hearing in the interest of his client, and shall have the right to introduce the testimony and exhibits on his client’s behalf anew.
(b) The person to be committed shall have the right to be present at all times during the hearing process; provided, however, that he may be excused if the court is satisfied from preliminary testimony of a psychiatrist that the defendant would be harmed by hearing some of the testimony, or if the defendant is so violent that he cannot be restrained during the hearing.
(c) He shall have the right to subpoena witnesses of his own choice.
(d) He shall have the right of cross examination.
(e) The burden of proof lies with the persons seeking commitment, and no commitment shall issue without clear and convincing proof of the need therefor.History: 1980, PL 16-73 § 5.