1. Fill out your forms
Fill out the following documents:
- Petition for Involuntary/Judicial Admission
- Inpatient Certificate (Psychiatrist)
- Inpatient Certificate (Another Clinician)
The petitioner may be anyone 18 years of age or older. You do not need to be related to the respondent to file a petition on their behalf. You must disclose any other legal cases that involve both you and the respondent.
The petition should have a detailed statement including signs and symptoms of mental illness and a description of any act, threats, or behavior (including the time and place of the occurrence). The petition must also list the name and addresses of individuals who might have information related the allegations (e.g., spouse, parent, or guardian) as well as the names, addresses, and phone numbers of any witnesses to the claims.
You must file two certificates with your petition. Each document must be from a clinician who has worked with the respondent. This can include a doctor, psychiatrist, clinical psychologist, or licensed clinical social worker. At least one of the certificates must be from a psychiatrist.
The petition may be filed with or without the certificates, but no hearing will be set until the two certificates are completed. The clinician completing the certificate must have examined the respondent no more than 72 hours before completing the certificate.
3. Go to the hearing
Hearing on petitions for involuntary inpatient admission are set within 5 business days. Petitions for involuntary treatment are set for hearing within 7 business days.
The respondent may request a jury trial on the issue of whether he or she is subject to involuntary admission on an inpatient or outpatient basis. Jury trials are not permitted in involuntary treatment cases.
A mental health professional who has examined the respondent must testify at the hearing unless the respondent waives this requirement.
The respondent can choose not to appear at the hearing. The respondent can also be examined by an expert of their own choice.
4. The judge makes a decision
The judge can order the administration of psychotropic medication or electroconvulsive therapy for a period of up to 90 days. Or they can order involuntary inpatient admission to a mental health facility for a period of up to 90 days.
Either order can be extended another 90 days. After that, additional 180 day periods may be added.
If a new petition and two certificates are filed, the judge may enter an additional 90 day period of involuntary inpatient commitment after a hearing.
Updated: February 2018