Poor legal representation for mental health clients


Dear Editor:

There must be something that can be done for our public requiring court-appointed attorneys. I am aware of two cases where the court-appointed attorney is poorly representing their clients.

One person is a young man with mental health and developmental challenges. He has a guardian, but the courts don’t let her speak and explain things that are going on. The attorney does not communicate with the guardian, but only with his client. This man has been deemed “incompetent and unrestoreable”, but police keep arresting him and courts keep jailing him. In jail he’s mentally and physically abused by other inmates due to his disabilities, which lead to his dealing with his frustrations with anger and acting out. He’s put on probation, but is noncompliant with the rules (isn’t to leave his home).

Also, our local mental health services have been asked to interview him multiple times, but they have not responded. This young man is apparently supposed to have a case manager through our mental health system, but they dismissed him because he was non-compliant with the system. His guardian has little control over his actions due to his being an adult. She tells him what he can do and cannot do, but he doesn’t listen and verbally abuses her (his mother).

He’s now also become addicted to gambling and spending every dollar he receives in the local slot machines. His guardian has tried to control this, but his money is in his name and with no case manager, there’s no one she can appeal to, to stop this.

Another weakness of his mental health care is that these mental health issues started when he was a pre-teen, but his mother has never been given any counsel on how to deal with him.

I’m wondering what experiences others have in these subjects and ask for responses to my letter by those people. 

Donna Miller ~ Luray, Va.


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  1. Good grief, what more do you expect attorneys and society to do?
    This person is resistant to every level of support.
    He ignores his mother and guardian, refuses to comply with taxpayer paid mental health plans and he violates the rules put in place by the court to protect him and others.
    He apparently keeps committing fresh offenses against others sufficient to keep being arrested.
    If this adult person is legally competent he is responsible for his actions.
    If incompetent, long term commitment to a mental facility is the only solution for him and society.

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