Commitment Division

Involuntary Hospital Commitment Procedures

Care and Treatment for Persons with Mental Illness

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

A mental illness commitment is not intended to lock someone up for long periods of time, nor can it ensure 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.

The process of filing an involuntary commitment case begins once the individual is at a medical/treatment facility and the individual has been assessed by a qualified licensed physician, psychologist, or mental health professional, who has determined that the individual is in need of inpatient treatment on an involuntary basis.  If it is determined that there is need for an involuntary commitment to be filed, the following criteria must be met: 

  • 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.

For other commitment queries: