Mental Health/Civil Commitments
When a person is mentally ill and is not agreeing to accept the clinical treatment that is considered necessary for his/her safety and overall psychiatric stability, that person may be committed to a mental health facility by a District Court Judge against his/her will. The person petitioning for the commitment, who is the superintendent of a mental health facility, must prove that the person: is in fact mentally ill; that failure to hospitalize would create a likelihood of serious harm; and that there is no less restrictive alternative to hospitalization. The burden of proof in these cases is the highest possible, proof beyond a reasonable doubt, and expert testimony is required. Our firm has significant experience representing hospitals as the Petitioners in civil commitment cases.