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S.B. 135 Enrolled

             1     

INVOLUNTARY COMMITMENT AMENDMENTS

             2     
2013 GENERAL SESSION

             3     
STATE OF UTAH

             4     
Chief Sponsor: Todd Weiler

             5     
House Sponsor: V. Lowry Snow

             6     
             7      LONG TITLE
             8      General Description:
             9          This bill modifies Title 62A, Chapter 15, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Act, by
             10      amending procedures for involuntary commitment.
             11      Highlighted Provisions:
             12          This bill:
             13          .    requires an applicant for an involuntary commitment order to consult with the
             14      appropriate local mental health authority before the court may issue a judicial order
             15      if the local mental health authority appears at the commitment hearing;
             16          .    states that notice of involuntary commitment proceedings shall be sent to the local
             17      mental health authority or its designee; and
             18          .    makes technical changes.
             19      Money Appropriated in this Bill:
             20          None
             21      Other Special Clauses:
             22          None
             23      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             24      AMENDS:
             25          62A-15-631, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2012, Chapter 248
             26     
             27      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             28          Section 1. Section 62A-15-631 is amended to read:
             29           62A-15-631. Involuntary commitment under court order -- Examination --


             30      Hearing -- Power of court -- Findings required -- Costs.
             31          (1) Proceedings for involuntary commitment of an individual who is 18 years of age or
             32      older may be commenced by filing a written application with the district court of the county in
             33      which the proposed patient resides or is found, by a responsible person who has reason to know
             34      of the condition or circumstances of the proposed patient which lead to the belief that the
             35      individual has a mental illness and should be involuntarily committed. That application shall
             36      be accompanied by:
             37          (a) a certificate of a licensed physician or a designated examiner stating that within a
             38      seven-day period immediately preceding the certification the physician or designated examiner
             39      has examined the individual, and that the physician or designated examiner is of the opinion
             40      that the individual is mentally ill and should be involuntarily committed; or
             41          (b) a written statement by the applicant that:
             42          (i) the individual has been requested to, but has refused to, submit to an examination of
             43      mental condition by a licensed physician or designated examiner;
             44          (ii) is sworn to under oath; and
             45          (iii) states the facts upon which the application is based.
             46          (2) [Before] (a) Subject to Subsection (2)(b), before issuing a judicial order, the court
             47      may require the applicant to consult with the appropriate local mental health authority, [or] and
             48      may direct a mental health professional from that local mental health authority to interview the
             49      applicant and the proposed patient to determine the existing facts and report them to the court.
             50          (b) The consultation described in Subsection (2)(a):
             51          (i) may take place at or before the hearing; and
             52          (ii) is required if the local mental health authority appears at the hearing.
             53          (3) If the court finds from the application, from any other statements under oath, or
             54      from any reports from a mental health professional that there is a reasonable basis to believe
             55      that the proposed patient has a mental illness [which] that poses a substantial danger, as
             56      defined in Section 62A-15-602 , to self or others requiring involuntary commitment pending
             57      examination and hearing; or, if the proposed patient has refused to submit to an interview with


             58      a mental health professional as directed by the court or to go to a treatment facility voluntarily,
             59      the court may issue an order, directed to a mental health officer or peace officer, to
             60      immediately place the proposed patient in the custody of a local mental health authority or in a
             61      temporary emergency facility as provided in Section 62A-15-634 to be detained for the purpose
             62      of examination. Within 24 hours of the issuance of the order for examination, a local mental
             63      health authority or its designee shall report to the court, orally or in writing, whether the patient
             64      is, in the opinion of the examiners, mentally ill, whether the patient has agreed to become a
             65      voluntary patient under Section 62A-15-625 , and whether treatment programs are available and
             66      acceptable without court proceedings. Based on that information, the court may, without
             67      taking any further action, terminate the proceedings and dismiss the application. In any event,
             68      if the examiner reports orally, the examiner shall immediately send the report in writing to the
             69      clerk of the court.
             70          (4) Notice of commencement of proceedings for involuntary commitment, setting forth
             71      the allegations of the application and any reported facts, together with a copy of any official
             72      order of detention, shall be provided by the court to a proposed patient before, or upon,
             73      placement in the custody of a local mental health authority or, with respect to any individual
             74      presently in the custody of a local mental health authority whose status is being changed from
             75      voluntary to involuntary, upon the filing of an application for that purpose with the court. A
             76      copy of that order of detention shall be maintained at the place of detention.
             77          (5) Notice of commencement of those proceedings shall be provided by the court as
             78      soon as practicable to the applicant, any legal guardian, any immediate adult family members,
             79      legal counsel for the parties involved, the local mental health authority or its designee, and any
             80      other persons whom the proposed patient or the court shall designate. That notice shall advise
             81      those persons that a hearing may be held within the time provided by law. If the patient has
             82      refused to permit release of information necessary for provisions of notice under this
             83      subsection, the extent of notice shall be determined by the court.
             84          (6) Proceedings for commitment of an individual under the age of 18 years to the
             85      division may be commenced by filing a written application with the juvenile court in


             86      accordance with the provisions of Part 7, Commitment of Persons Under Age 18 to Division of
             87      Substance Abuse and Mental Health.
             88          (7) The district court may, in its discretion, transfer the case to any other district court
             89      within this state, provided that the transfer will not be adverse to the interest of the proposed
             90      patient.
             91          (8) (a) Within 24 hours, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays, of the
             92      issuance of a judicial order, or after commitment of a proposed patient to a local mental health
             93      authority under court order for detention or examination, the court shall appoint two designated
             94      examiners to examine the proposed patient. If requested by the proposed patient's counsel, the
             95      court shall appoint, as one of the examiners, a reasonably available qualified person designated
             96      by counsel. The examinations, to be conducted separately, shall be held at the home of the
             97      proposed patient, a hospital or other medical facility, or at any other suitable place that is not
             98      likely to have a harmful effect on the patient's health.
             99          (b) The examiner shall inform the patient if not represented by an attorney that, if
             100      desired, the patient does not have to say anything, the nature and reasons for the examination,
             101      that it was ordered by the court, that any information volunteered could form part of the basis
             102      for [his or her] the patient's involuntary commitment, and that findings resulting from the
             103      examination will be made available to the court.
             104          (c) A time shall be set for a hearing to be held within 10 calendar days of the
             105      appointment of the designated examiners, unless those examiners or a local mental health
             106      authority or its designee informs the court prior to that hearing date that the patient is not
             107      mentally ill, that the patient has agreed to become a voluntary patient under Section
             108      62A-15-625 , or that treatment programs are available and acceptable without court
             109      proceedings, in which event the court may, without taking any further action, terminate the
             110      proceedings and dismiss the application.
             111          (9) (a) Before the hearing, an opportunity to be represented by counsel shall be
             112      afforded to every proposed patient, and if neither the patient nor others provide counsel, the
             113      court shall appoint counsel and allow counsel sufficient time to consult with the patient before


             114      the hearing. In the case of an indigent patient, the payment of reasonable attorney fees for
             115      counsel, as determined by the court, shall be made by the county in which the patient resides or
             116      was found.
             117          (b) The proposed patient, the applicant, and all other persons to whom notice is
             118      required to be given shall be afforded an opportunity to appear at the hearing, to testify, and to
             119      present and cross-examine witnesses. The court may, in its discretion, receive the testimony of
             120      any other person. The court may allow a waiver of the patient's right to appear only for good
             121      cause shown, and that cause shall be made a matter of court record.
             122          (c) The court is authorized to exclude all persons not necessary for the conduct of the
             123      proceedings and may, upon motion of counsel, require the testimony of each examiner to be
             124      given out of the presence of any other examiners.
             125          (d) The hearing shall be conducted in as informal a manner as may be consistent with
             126      orderly procedure, and in a physical setting that is not likely to have a harmful effect on the
             127      mental health of the proposed patient.
             128          (e) The court shall consider all relevant historical and material information [which] that
             129      is offered, subject to the rules of evidence, including reliable hearsay under Rule 1102, Utah
             130      Rules of Evidence.
             131          (f) (i) A local mental health authority or its designee, or the physician in charge of the
             132      patient's care shall, at the time of the hearing, provide the court with the following information:
             133          (A) the detention order;
             134          (B) admission notes;
             135          (C) the diagnosis;
             136          (D) any doctors' orders;
             137          (E) progress notes;
             138          (F) nursing notes; and
             139          (G) medication records pertaining to the current commitment.
             140          (ii) That information shall also be supplied to the patient's counsel at the time of the
             141      hearing, and at any time prior to the hearing upon request.


             142          (10) The court shall order commitment of an individual who is 18 years of age or older
             143      to a local mental health authority if, upon completion of the hearing and consideration of the
             144      information presented in accordance with Subsection (9)(e), the court finds by clear and
             145      convincing evidence that:
             146          (a) the proposed patient has a mental illness;
             147          (b) because of the proposed patient's mental illness the proposed patient poses a
             148      substantial danger, as defined in Section 62A-15-602 , to self or others, which may include the
             149      inability to provide the basic necessities of life such as food, clothing, and shelter, if allowed to
             150      remain at liberty;
             151          (c) the patient lacks the ability to engage in a rational decision-making process
             152      regarding the acceptance of mental treatment as demonstrated by evidence of inability to weigh
             153      the possible risks of accepting or rejecting treatment;
             154          (d) there is no appropriate less-restrictive alternative to a court order of commitment;
             155      and
             156          (e) the local mental health authority can provide the individual with treatment that is
             157      adequate and appropriate to the individual's conditions and needs. In the absence of the
             158      required findings of the court after the hearing, the court shall forthwith dismiss the
             159      proceedings.
             160          (11) (a) The order of commitment shall designate the period for which the individual
             161      shall be treated. When the individual is not under an order of commitment at the time of the
             162      hearing, that period may not exceed six months without benefit of a review hearing. Upon
             163      such a review hearing, to be commenced prior to the expiration of the previous order, an order
             164      for commitment may be for an indeterminate period, if the court finds by clear and convincing
             165      evidence that the required conditions in Subsection (10) will last for an indeterminate period.
             166          (b) The court shall maintain a current list of all patients under its order of commitment.
             167      That list shall be reviewed to determine those patients who have been under an order of
             168      commitment for the designated period. At least two weeks prior to the expiration of the
             169      designated period of any order of commitment still in effect, the court that entered the original


             170      order shall inform the appropriate local mental health authority or its designee. The local
             171      mental health authority or its designee shall immediately reexamine the reasons upon which the
             172      order of commitment was based. If the local mental health authority or its designee determines
             173      that the conditions justifying that commitment no longer exist, it shall discharge the patient
             174      from involuntary commitment and immediately report that to the court. Otherwise, the court
             175      shall immediately appoint two designated examiners and proceed under Subsections (8)
             176      through (10).
             177          (c) The local mental health authority or its designee responsible for the care of a patient
             178      under an order of commitment for an indeterminate period, shall at six-month intervals
             179      reexamine the reasons upon which the order of indeterminate commitment was based. If the
             180      local mental health authority or its designee determines that the conditions justifying that
             181      commitment no longer exist, that local mental health authority or its designee shall discharge
             182      the patient from its custody and immediately report the discharge to the court. If the local
             183      mental health authority or its designee determines that the conditions justifying that
             184      commitment continue to exist, the local mental health authority or its designee shall send a
             185      written report of those findings to the court. The patient and [his] the patient's counsel of
             186      record shall be notified in writing that the involuntary commitment will be continued, the
             187      reasons for that decision, and that the patient has the right to a review hearing by making a
             188      request to the court. Upon receiving the request, the court shall immediately appoint two
             189      designated examiners and proceed under Subsections (8) through (10).
             190          (12) In the event that the designated examiners are unable, because a proposed patient
             191      refuses to submit to an examination, to complete that examination on the first attempt, the
             192      court shall fix a reasonable compensation to be paid to those designated examiners for their
             193      services.
             194          (13) Any person committed as a result of an original hearing or a person's legally
             195      designated representative who is aggrieved by the findings, conclusions, and order of the court
             196      entered in the original hearing has the right to a new hearing upon a petition filed with the court
             197      within 30 days of the entry of the court order. The petition must allege error or mistake in the


             198      findings, in which case the court shall appoint three impartial designated examiners previously
             199      unrelated to the case to conduct an additional examination of the patient. The new hearing
             200      shall, in all other respects, be conducted in the manner otherwise permitted.
             201          (14) Costs of all proceedings under this section shall be paid by the county in which the
             202      proposed patient resides or is found.


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