Commitment Division

Involuntary Hospital Commitment Procedures

Care and Treatment for Persons with Mental Illness and/or Substance Abuse

The following information is provided to answer common questions concerning mental illness and substance abuse cases. It is not intended to serve as legal advice.

A mental illness or substance abuse commitment is not intended to lock someone up for long periods of time, nor can it insure a cure to the illness from which the person suffers. Court action can only briefly intervene in what is likely to be a long-term treatment problem. You should expect someone who has been the subject of mental illness commitment proceedings to shortly return to the community where outpatient follow-up treatment may continue for many months.

Before a petition for Care and Treatment is filed, the person needing treatment must have been admitted to a treatment facility for inpatient treatment and meet the following NECESSARY ELEMENTS FOR PETITIONING:

Mental Illness:

  • The proposed patient is likely mentally ill, and;
  • the proposed patient is likely a danger to self or others, and;
  • the proposed patient lacks the capacity to make an informed decision concerning the need for care and treatment.

Substance Abuse:

  • The proposed patient lacks self control as to the use of alcohol and/or drugs, and;
  • the proposed patient is incapacitated by substance abuse, and;
  • the proposed patient may cause substantial harm to self, others, or property, if not detained.

For other commitment queries: