If you have a loved one with a mental health issue, you can get a court order to force them to be examined by a mental health professional. This is called an Order for Detention and Examination.
The person will be brought to a hospital and examined within 24 hours.
How do I request an Order for Detention and Examination?
For assistance in filing a petition in Cook County, contact the State's Attorney's Office, Special Prosecutions Bureau, Seniors and Persons with Disabilities Unit. The phone number is (312) 603-8600, and its office is located at 69 W. Washington St., Suite 3130, Chicago, IL 60602. (Call first as this location may change.) Office hours are from 8:30 a.m. through 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and same day walk-ins are accepted until 1:30 p.m.
You may also hire a private attorney on your own.
Do I have to appear in court?
Yes. If you file the petition, you will have to appear in court and testify under oath. You will be called the "petitioner" and the person with the mental health issue will be called the "respondent."
What happens if the court grants the order?
You must give the order to the police in the area where the respondent is located. They will transport them to a hospital for an examination.
How long does the order remain in effect?
The order remains in effect for 72 hours from the time it is signed by the judge. If the 72 hours expire without the respondent being transported to the hospital, you may need to file another petition
What happens at the hospital?
The respondent must be examined by a qualified mental health professional. They will decide whether the respondent will be released or admitted to the facility.
If they believe the respondent should be admitted, they will sign a certificate saying so. The respondent will then be involuntarily admitted to the hospital.
If they believe the respondent should be released, they will release them. The respondent can't be held for more than 24 hours unless a certificate is filed.
Updated: February 2018