Court-Ordered Evaluation Proceedings

About the Proceedings
Any person may file an application executed under oath with the community mental health center for a determination of whether it appears that a court should order an evaluation of the proposed patient, alleged to be a mentally ill person requiring involuntary treatment. Upon the filing of such application, the community mental health center shall make a preliminary investigation and, if the investigation shows that there is probable cause to believe that such allegation is true, it shall file a petition with the court in the county where the patient is located seeking an involuntary order for evaluation.

Any person may file with the court a petition executed under oath alleging that a person within the county is a mentally ill person requiring involuntary treatment. The petition must be accompanied by the certificate of a physician or psychologist stating that he has examined the patient within the preceding five days and has found that the patient may be a mentally ill person requiring involuntary treatment and that a full evaluation of the patient is necessary.

If after reviewing the petition, the court finds probable cause to believe the patient is mentally ill and may require involuntary treatment, an evaluation hearing will be held between 10-15 days after the petition is filed. Notice is served on the proposed patient, patient representatives, and the petitioner no later than five days after the petition is filed.

If the court rules that an evaluation is warranted, the court will order a law enforcement official to pick up the patient and deliver him or her for evaluation by a physician and/or psychologist at a state-sanctioned evaluation facility.

View our sample forms for reference, some of which are for use by individuals and others for use by community mental health centers.