7 LONG TITLE
8 General Description:
9 This bill addresses civil commitment.
10 Highlighted Provisions:
11 This bill:
12 ▸ modifies the definition of "substantial danger" for purposes of civil commitment;
13 ▸ clarifies that certain processes for release of a patient from voluntary civil
14 commitment apply to adult patients;
15 ▸ subject to certain requirements, extends the maximum period for adult temporary
16 civil commitment;
17 ▸ requires a local mental health authority to inform an adult who is temporarily civilly
18 committed of the reason for commitment;
19 ▸ describes certain rights of an adult who is temporarily civilly committed;
20 ▸ requires a court to order an applicant to consult with the appropriate local mental
21 health authority before the court issues an order of civil commitment;
22 ▸ clarifies that a party may be transferred or substituted in accordance with the Utah
23 Rules of Civil Procedure if a civil commitment case is transferred to another court;
24 ▸ subject to certain requirements, allows a designated examiner to conduct an
25 evaluation of an individual for civil commitment through telehealth;
26 ▸ provides that at a hearing for civil commitment, the court may order assisted
27 outpatient treatment if the individual does not meet the conditions for civil
29 ▸ requires a court to dismiss commitment proceedings if the individual does not meet
30 the conditions for civil commitment or assisted outpatient treatment; and
31 ▸ makes technical and conforming changes.
32 Money Appropriated in this Bill:
34 Other Special Clauses:
36 Utah Code Sections Affected:
38 62A-15-602, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2021, Chapter 122
39 62A-15-627, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2018, Chapter 322
40 62A-15-629, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2020, Chapter 225
41 62A-15-631, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2021, Chapter 122
43 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
44 Section 1. Section 62A-15-602 is amended to read:
45 62A-15-602. Definitions.
46 As used in this part, Part 7, Commitment of Persons Under Age 18 to Division of
47 Substance Abuse and Mental Health, Part 8, Interstate Compact on Mental Health, Part 9, Utah
48 Forensic Mental Health Facility, Part 10, Declaration for Mental Health Treatment, and Part
49 12, Essential Treatment and Intervention Act:
50 (1) "Adult" means an individual 18 years [
51 (2) "Approved treatment facility or program" means a treatment provider that meets the
52 standards described in Subsection 62A-15-103(2)(a)(v).
53 (3) "Assisted outpatient treatment" means involuntary outpatient mental health
54 treatment ordered under Section 62A-15-630.5.
55 (4) "Commitment to the custody of a local mental health authority" means that an adult
56 is committed to the custody of the local mental health authority that governs the mental health
57 catchment area where the adult resides or is found.
58 (5) "Community mental health center" means an entity that provides treatment and
59 services to a resident of a designated geographical area, that operates by or under contract with
60 a local mental health authority, and that complies with state standards for community mental
61 health centers.
62 (6) "Designated examiner" means:
63 (a) a licensed physician, preferably a psychiatrist, who is designated by the division as
64 specially qualified by training or experience in the diagnosis of mental or related illness; or
65 (b) a licensed mental health professional designated by the division as specially
66 qualified by training and who has at least five years' continual experience in the treatment of
67 mental illness.
68 (7) "Designee" means a physician who has responsibility for medical functions
69 including admission and discharge, an employee of a local mental health authority, or an
70 employee of a person that has contracted with a local mental health authority to provide mental
71 health services under Section 17-43-304.
72 (8) "Essential treatment" and "essential treatment and intervention" mean court-ordered
73 treatment at a local substance abuse authority or an approved treatment facility or program for
74 the treatment of an adult's substance use disorder.
75 (9) "Harmful sexual conduct" means the following conduct upon an individual without
76 the individual's consent, including the nonconsensual circumstances described in Subsections
77 76-5-406(2)(a) through (l):
78 (a) sexual intercourse;
79 (b) penetration, however slight, of the genital or anal opening of the individual;
80 (c) any sexual act involving the genitals or anus of the actor or the individual and the
81 mouth or anus of either individual, regardless of the gender of either participant; or
82 (d) any sexual act causing substantial emotional injury or bodily pain.
83 (10) "Informed waiver" means the patient was informed of a right and, after being
84 informed of that right and the patient's right to waive the right, expressly communicated his or
85 her intention to waive that right.
86 (11) "Institution" means a hospital or a health facility licensed under Section 26-21-8.
87 (12) "Local substance abuse authority" means the same as that term is defined in
88 Section 62A-15-102 and described in Section 17-43-201.
89 (13) "Mental health facility" means the Utah State Hospital or other facility that
90 provides mental health services under contract with the division, a local mental health
91 authority, a person that contracts with a local mental health authority, or a person that provides
92 acute inpatient psychiatric services to a patient.
93 (14) "Mental health officer" means an individual who is designated by a local mental
94 health authority as qualified by training and experience in the recognition and identification of
95 mental illness, to:
96 (a) apply for and provide certification for a temporary commitment; or
97 (b) assist in the arrangement of transportation to a designated mental health facility.
98 (15) "Mental illness" means:
99 (a) a psychiatric disorder that substantially impairs an individual's mental, emotional,
100 behavioral, or related functioning; or
101 (b) the same as that term is defined in:
102 (i) the current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
103 published by the American Psychiatric Association; or
104 (ii) the current edition of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and
105 Related Health Problems.
106 (16) "Patient" means an individual who is:
107 (a) under commitment to the custody or to the treatment services of a local mental
108 health authority; or
109 (b) undergoing essential treatment and intervention.
110 (17) "Physician" means an individual who is:
111 (a) licensed as a physician under Title 58, Chapter 67, Utah Medical Practice Act; or
112 (b) licensed as a physician under Title 58, Chapter 68, Utah Osteopathic Medical
113 Practice Act.
114 (18) "Serious bodily injury" means bodily injury that involves a substantial risk of
115 death, unconsciousness, extreme physical pain, protracted and obvious disfigurement, or
116 protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ, or mental faculty.
117 (19) "Substantial danger" means that due to mental illness, an individual is at serious
118 risk of:
119 (a) suicide;
120 (b) serious bodily self-injury;
121 (c) serious bodily injury because the individual is incapable of providing the basic
122 necessities of life, including food, clothing, or shelter;
123 (d) causing or attempting to cause serious bodily injury to another individual; [
124 (e) engaging in harmful sexual conduct[
125 (f) if not treated, suffering severe and abnormal mental, emotional, or physical distress
127 (i) is associated with significant impairment of judgment, reason, or behavior; and
128 (ii) causes a substantial deterioration of the individual's previous ability to function
130 (20) "Treatment" means psychotherapy, medication, including the administration of
131 psychotropic medication, or other medical treatments that are generally accepted medical or
132 psychosocial interventions for the purpose of restoring the patient to an optimal level of
133 functioning in the least restrictive environment.
134 Section 2. Section 62A-15-627 is amended to read:
135 62A-15-627. Release of voluntary adult -- Exceptions.
136 (1) [
137 release an adult patient:
138 (a) who is voluntarily admitted, as described in Section 62A-15-625, and who requests
139 release, verbally or in writing[
140 (b) whose release is requested in writing by the patient's legal guardian, parent, spouse,
141 or adult next of kin[
142 (2) (a) An adult patient's release under Subsection (1) may be conditioned upon the
143 agreement of the patient, if:
144 (i) the request for release is made by an individual other than the patient; or
146 mental health authority, or [
147 release of the patient would be unsafe for the patient or others[
148 (b) (i) An adult patient's release [
149 excluding weekends and holidays, [
150 authority, the designee of the local mental health authority, or the admitting mental health
151 facility [
152 commenced with the district court within the specified time period.
154 health authority, or the admitting mental health facility shall provide written notice of the
155 postponement and the reasons for the postponement to the patient without undue delay.
156 (3) [
157 not be commenced with respect to a voluntary patient unless the patient [
158 requests release.
159 Section 3. Section 62A-15-629 is amended to read:
160 62A-15-629. Temporary commitment -- Requirements and procedures -- Rights.
161 (1) An adult shall be temporarily, involuntarily committed to a local mental health
162 authority upon:
163 (a) a written application that:
164 (i) is completed by a responsible individual who has reason to know, stating a belief
165 that the adult, due to mental illness, is likely to pose substantial danger to self or others if not
166 restrained and stating the personal knowledge of the adult's condition or circumstances that
167 lead to the individual's belief; and
168 (ii) includes a certification by a licensed physician or designated examiner stating that
169 the physician or designated examiner has examined the adult within a three-day period
170 immediately preceding [
171 of the opinion that, due to mental illness, the adult poses a substantial danger to self or others;
173 (b) a peace officer or a mental health officer:
174 (i) observing an adult's conduct that gives the peace officer or mental health officer
175 probable cause to believe that:
176 (A) the adult has a mental illness; and
177 (B) because of the adult's mental illness and conduct, the adult poses a substantial
178 danger to self or others; and
179 (ii) completing a temporary commitment application that:
180 (A) is on a form prescribed by the division;
181 (B) states the peace officer's or mental health officer's belief that the adult poses a
182 substantial danger to self or others;
183 (C) states the specific nature of the danger;
184 (D) provides a summary of the observations upon which the statement of danger is
185 based; and
186 (E) provides a statement of the facts that called the adult to the peace officer's or
187 mental health officer's attention.
188 (2) If at any time a patient committed under this section no longer meets the
189 commitment criteria described in Subsection (1), the local mental health authority or the local
190 mental health authority's designee shall document the change and release the patient.
191 (3) (a) A patient committed under this section may be held for a maximum of 24 hours
192 after commitment, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays, unless:
194 commitment is commenced, which may be accompanied by an order of detention described in
195 Subsection 62A-15-631(4); [
197 (iii) before expiration of the 24 hour period, a licensed physician, licensed physician
198 assistant, licensed nurse practitioner, or designated examiner examines the patient and certifies
199 in writing that:
200 (A) the patient, due to mental illness, poses a substantial danger to self or others;
201 (B) additional time is necessary for evaluation and treatment of the patient's mental
202 illness; and
203 (C) there is no appropriate less-restrictive alternative to commitment to evaluate and
204 treat the patient's mental illness.
205 (b) A patient described in Subsection (3)(a)(iii) may be held for a maximum of 48
206 hours after the 24 hour period described in Subsection (3)(a) expires, excluding Saturdays,
207 Sundays, and legal holidays.
208 (c) Subsection (3)(a)(iii) applies to an adult patient.
209 (4) Upon a written application described in Subsection (1)(a) or the observation and
210 belief described in Subsection (1)(b)(i), the adult shall be:
211 (a) taken into a peace officer's protective custody, by reasonable means, if necessary for
212 public safety; and
213 (b) transported for temporary commitment to a facility designated by the local mental
214 health authority, by means of:
215 (i) an ambulance, if the adult meets any of the criteria described in Section 26-8a-305;
216 (ii) an ambulance, if a peace officer is not necessary for public safety, and
217 transportation arrangements are made by a physician, designated examiner, or mental health
219 (iii) the city, town, or municipal law enforcement authority with jurisdiction over the
220 location where the [
221 transported by ambulance;
222 (iv) the county sheriff, if the designated facility is outside of the jurisdiction of the law
223 enforcement authority described in Subsection (4)(b)(iii) and the [
224 transported by ambulance; or
225 (v) nonemergency secured behavioral health transport as that term is defined in Section
227 (5) Notwithstanding Subsection (4):
228 (a) an individual shall be transported by ambulance to an appropriate medical facility
229 for treatment if the individual requires physical medical attention;
230 (b) if an officer has probable cause to believe, based on the officer's experience and
231 de-escalation training that taking an individual into protective custody or transporting an
232 individual for temporary commitment would increase the risk of substantial danger to the
233 individual or others, a peace officer may exercise discretion to not take the individual into
234 custody or transport the individual, as permitted by policies and procedures established by the
235 officer's law enforcement agency and any applicable federal or state statute, or case law; and
236 (c) if an officer exercises discretion under Subsection (4)(b) to not take an individual
237 into protective custody or transport an individual, the officer shall document in the officer's
238 report the details and circumstances that led to the officer's decision.
239 (6) (a) The local mental health authority shall inform an adult patient committed under
240 this section of the reason for commitment.
241 (b) An adult patient committed under this section has the right to:
242 (i) within three hours after arrival at the local mental health authority, make a
243 telephone call, at the expense of the local mental health authority, to an individual of the
244 patient's choice; and
245 (ii) see and communicate with an attorney.
248 (b) This section does not create a special duty of care.
249 Section 4. Section 62A-15-631 is amended to read:
250 62A-15-631. Involuntary commitment under court order -- Examination --
251 Hearing -- Power of court -- Findings required -- Costs.
252 (1) A responsible individual who has credible knowledge of an adult's mental illness
253 and the condition or circumstances that have led to the adult's need to be involuntarily
254 committed may initiate an involuntary commitment court proceeding by filing, in the district
255 court in the county where the proposed patient resides or is found, a written application that
257 (a) unless the court finds that the information is not reasonably available, the proposed
259 (i) name;
260 (ii) date of birth; and
261 (iii) social security number;
262 (b) (i) a certificate of a licensed physician or a designated examiner stating that within
263 the seven-day period immediately preceding the certification, the physician or designated
264 examiner examined the proposed patient and is of the opinion that the proposed patient has a
265 mental illness and should be involuntarily committed; or
266 (ii) a written statement by the applicant that:
267 (A) the proposed patient has been requested to, but has refused to, submit to an
268 examination of mental condition by a licensed physician or designated examiner;
269 (B) is sworn to under oath; and
270 (C) states the facts upon which the application is based; and
271 (c) a statement whether the proposed patient has previously been under an assisted
272 outpatient treatment order, if known by the applicant.
273 (2) [
275 (a) shall require the applicant to consult with the appropriate local mental health
277 (b) may direct a mental health professional from [
278 to interview the applicant and the proposed patient to determine the existing facts and report
289 (3) The court may issue an order, directed to a mental health officer or peace officer, to
290 immediately place [
291 in a temporary emergency facility, as [
292 detained for the purpose of examination[
293 (a) the court finds from the application, any other statements under oath, or any reports
294 from a mental health professional that there is a reasonable basis to believe that the proposed
295 patient has a mental illness that poses a danger to self or others and requires involuntary
296 commitment pending examination and hearing; or
297 (b) the proposed patient refuses to submit to an interview with a mental health
298 professional as directed by the court or to go to a treatment facility voluntarily.
299 (4) (a) [
300 involuntary commitment, setting forth the allegations of the application and any reported facts,
301 together with a copy of any official order of detention, [
302 proposed patient before, or upon, placement of the proposed patient in the custody of a local
303 mental health authority or, with respect to any proposed patient presently in the custody of a
304 local mental health authority whose status is being changed from voluntary to involuntary,
305 upon the filing of an application for that purpose with the court.
306 (b) [
308 (5) (a) [
309 court shall provide notice of commencement of proceedings for involuntary commitment as
310 soon as practicable to the applicant, any legal guardian, any immediate adult family members,
311 legal counsel for the parties involved, the local mental health authority or [
312 health designee, and any other persons whom the proposed patient or the court [
314 (b) Except as provided in Subsection (5)(c), the notice under Subsection (5)(a) shall
315 advise [
316 (c) If the proposed patient [
317 necessary for provisions of notice under this subsection, the court shall determine the extent of
318 notice [
319 (6) Proceedings for commitment of an individual under [
320 local mental health authority may be commenced in accordance with Part 7, Commitment of
321 Persons Under Age 18 to Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health.
322 (7) (a) The district court may, in [
323 any other district court within this state, [
324 interest of the proposed patient.
325 (b) If a case is transferred under Subsection (7)(a), the parties to the case may be
326 transferred and the local mental health authority may be substituted in accordance with Utah
327 Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 25.
328 (8) Within 24 hours, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays, of the issuance
329 of a judicial order, or after commitment of a proposed patient to a local mental health authority
330 or [
331 examination, the court shall appoint two designated examiners:
332 (a) who did not sign the civil commitment application nor the civil commitment
333 certification under Subsection (1);
334 (b) one of whom is a licensed physician; and
335 (c) one of whom may be designated by the proposed patient or the proposed patient's
336 counsel, if that designated examiner is reasonably available.
337 (9) The court shall schedule a hearing to be held within 10 calendar days [
338 day on which the designated examiners are appointed.
339 (10) (a) The designated examiners shall:
342 other medical facility, or at any other suitable place, including through telehealth, that is not
343 likely to have a harmful effect on the proposed patient's health;
349 proposed patient's involuntary commitment;
351 court; and
353 patient's mental health records; and
355 or in writing, whether the proposed patient is mentally ill, has agreed to voluntary commitment,
356 as described in Section 62A-15-625, or has acceptable programs available to the proposed
357 patient without court proceedings.
358 (b) If [
359 designated examiner shall immediately send a written report to the clerk of the court.
360 (11) If a designated examiner is unable to complete an examination on the first attempt
361 because the proposed patient refuses to submit to the examination, the court shall fix a
362 reasonable compensation to be paid to the examiner.
363 (12) If the local mental health authority, [
364 designee, or a medical examiner determines before the court hearing that the conditions
365 justifying the findings leading to a commitment hearing no longer exist, the local mental health
366 authority, [
367 immediately report [
368 (13) The court may terminate the proceedings and dismiss the application at any time,
369 including [
370 authority or [
371 proposed patient:
372 (a) does not meet the criteria in Subsection (16);
373 (b) has agreed to voluntary commitment, as described in Section 62A-15-625; [
374 (c) has acceptable options for treatment programs that are available without court
376 (d) meets the criteria for assisted outpatient treatment described in Section
378 (14) (a) Before the hearing, the court shall provide the proposed patient an opportunity
379 to be represented by counsel [
380 proposed patient nor others provide counsel, the court shall appoint counsel and allow counsel
381 sufficient time to consult with the proposed patient before the hearing.
382 (b) In the case of an indigent proposed patient, the county in which the proposed
383 patient resides or is found shall make payment of reasonable attorney fees for counsel, as
384 determined by the court[
386 (15) (a) (i) The court shall afford the proposed patient, the applicant, and [
388 opportunity to appear at the hearing, to testify, and to present and cross-examine witnesses.
389 (ii) The court may, in [
391 (iii) The court may allow a waiver of the proposed patient's right to appear for good
392 cause, which cause shall be set forth in the record, or an informed waiver by the patient, which
393 shall be included in the record.
394 (b) The court is authorized to exclude [
395 conduct of the proceedings and may, upon motion of counsel, require the testimony of each
396 designated examiner to be given out of the presence of any other designated examiners.
397 (c) The [
398 manner as may be consistent with orderly procedure, and in a physical setting that is not likely
399 to have a harmful effect on the mental health of the proposed patient, while preserving the due
400 process rights of the proposed patient.
401 (d) The court shall consider [
402 offered, subject to the rules of evidence, including reliable hearsay under Rule 1102, Utah
403 Rules of Evidence.
404 (e) (i) A local mental health authority or [
405 designee or the physician in charge of the proposed patient's care shall, at the time of the
406 hearing, provide the court with the following information:
407 (A) the detention order;
408 (B) admission notes;
409 (C) the diagnosis;
410 (D) any doctors' orders;
411 (E) progress notes;
412 (F) nursing notes;
413 (G) medication records pertaining to the current commitment; and
414 (H) whether the proposed patient has previously been civilly committed or under an
415 order for assisted outpatient treatment.
416 (ii) [
417 the proposed patient's counsel at the time of the hearing, and at any time prior to the hearing
418 upon request.
419 (16) (a) The court shall order commitment of [
421 consideration of the information presented, the court finds by clear and convincing evidence
425 substantial danger to self or others;
427 process regarding the acceptance of mental treatment as demonstrated by evidence of inability
428 to weigh the possible risks of accepting or rejecting treatment;
430 commitment; and
432 treatment that is adequate and appropriate to the proposed patient's conditions and needs. [
435 (b) (i) If, at the hearing, the court determines that the proposed patient has a mental
436 illness but does not meet the other criteria described in Subsection (16)(a), the court may
437 consider whether the proposed patient meets the criteria for assisted outpatient treatment under
438 Section 62A-15-630.5.
439 (ii) The court may order the proposed patient to receive assisted outpatient treatment in
440 accordance with Section 62A-15-630.5 if, at the hearing, the court finds the proposed patient
441 meets the criteria for assisted outpatient treatment under Section 62A-15-630.5.
442 (iii) If the court determines that neither the criteria for commitment under Subsection
443 (16)(a), nor the criteria for assisted outpatient treatment under Section 62A-15-630.5 are met,
444 the court shall dismiss the proceedings after the hearing.
445 (17) (a) (i) The order of commitment shall designate the period for which the patient
446 shall be treated.
447 (ii) [
448 hearing, [
449 review hearing.
450 (iii) Upon [
451 the previous order of commitment, an order for commitment may be for an indeterminate
452 period, if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the [
453 described in Subsection (16) will last for an indeterminate period.
454 (b) (i) The court shall maintain a current list of all patients under [
455 of commitment[
456 who have been under an order of commitment for the court designated period.
457 (ii) At least two weeks [
458 order of commitment still in effect, the court that entered the original order of commitment
459 shall inform the appropriate local mental health authority or [
460 authority's designee of the expiration.
461 (iii) [
462 mental health authority or [
463 reexamine the reasons upon which the order of commitment was based.
464 (iv) If, after reexamination under Subsection (17)(b)(iv), the local mental health
465 authority or [
466 justifying [
467 mental health authority's designee shall discharge the patient from involuntary commitment and
468 immediately report the discharge to the court.[
469 (v) If, after reexamination under Subsection (17)(b)(iv), the local mental health
470 authority or the local mental health authority's designee determines that the conditions
471 justifying commitment continue to exist, the court shall immediately appoint two designated
472 examiners and proceed under Subsections (8) through (14).
473 (c) (i) The local mental health authority or [
474 designee responsible for the care of a patient under an order of commitment for an
475 indeterminate period shall, at six-month intervals, reexamine the reasons upon which the order
476 of indeterminate commitment was based.
477 (ii) If the local mental health authority or [
478 designee determines that the conditions justifying [
479 local mental health authority or [
480 the patient from [
481 designee's custody and immediately report the discharge to the court.
482 (iii) If the local mental health authority or [
483 designee determines that the conditions justifying [
484 local mental health authority or [
485 written report of [
486 (iv) [
487 the involuntary commitment will be continued under Subsection (17)(c)(iii), the reasons for
489 a request to the court.
490 (v) Upon receiving [
491 immediately appoint two designated examiners and proceed under Subsections (8) through
493 (18) (a) Any patient committed as a result of an original hearing or a patient's legally
494 designated representative who is aggrieved by the findings, conclusions, and order of the court
495 entered in the original hearing has the right to a new hearing upon a petition filed with the court
496 within 30 days [
497 (b) The petition [
498 court shall appoint three impartial designated examiners previously unrelated to the case to
499 conduct an additional examination of the patient.
500 (c) [
501 conduct the new hearing [
503 (19) [
504 costs of all proceedings under this section [