• Background

Probate / Family Court

Probate / Family Court

MENTAL HEALTH PROCEEDINGS


OVERVIEW OF MENTAL HEALTH

The Monroe County Probate Court hears petitions for hospitalization for individuals alleged to be mentally ill and who are a significant danger to themselves or others. MCL § 330.1438. Hearings must be convened within 7 days of filing of a petition for hospitalization, excluding Sundays and holidays. MCL § 330.1452. Additionally, an attorney must be appointed to represent the individual, if he or she does not have his or her own attorney.

 To obtain assistance in filing a petition for hospitalization, contact Monroe County Probate Court at (734) 240-7353.


CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD PETITION AND RELATED FORM(s).


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH PROCEEDINGS

What is involuntary commitment?

This is the process used in a probate court to help a person who may be mentally ill and harmful to self or others and refuses to seek treatment or whose judgment is so imparted that they do understand the need for treatment.


How do I know if a person is mentally ill?

First, watch the person's behavior carefully.  If the behavior only occurs when the person has been taking drugs or using alcohol, the problem could be substance abuse, not mental illness.

However, if the behavior is continuous, and if the person threatens or actually harms him/herself or others, or whose judgment is so impaired that they do not understand their need for treatment, you may contact the Probate Court where the person resides or is found.   

Who should I call?
If you have been unable to get treatment for the person at a clinic or agency with a mental health professional, you may call the Monroe County Probate Court at (734) 240-7353 between 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM - 4:30 PM, Monday-Friday, except holidays.

What will the Court need to know?

Court staff will verify that you personally observed the behavior and that it happened recently.  You will be asked to describe the behavior in detail.

Court staff will also want to know the individual's substance abuse habits.  If the problem is determined to be substance abuse related, you will be referred to an agency in your area.

You will also be asked whether every effort has been made to get the person to voluntarily seek help.

What if the person needs further evaluation?

Court staff will tell you to come in person to the courthouse - 106 E. First Street (2nd floor) to fill out a petition.  You will need to describe in writing:

1.  What specific symptoms and behaviors the person is displaying.

2.  What harmful or threatening behavior to him/herself or others did the person demonstrate that concerns you.

Petitions can be filed between 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM, Monday - Friday, except holidays.

What happens next?

You will be asked to complete a Petition for Mental Health Treatment. There is no fee.

Court staff will prepare an Order for Examination\Transport.  You will then be sent to a Probate Judge (in the same building) where your petition will be heard.  If the Judge signs the Order to authorize a psychiatric evaluation, you will then return to probate court office where you will receive all of the completed paperwork to take with you.  

Where will the person be taken?

The police will take the person to Promedica Monroe Regional.

What happens at the hospital?

The hospital will perform a psychiatric evaluation and will decide whether the person needs treatment.

What if the hospital determines that the person does not require hospitalization?

If the person does not require hospitalization, or is diagnosed as having a substance abuse problem, the hospital will release the person.  Sometimes the hospital will recommend outpatient treatment.

And if the person is diagnosed as requiring treatment?

Then the person will be sent to a designated hospital for necessary care.

How long will the person be kept in the treatment facility?

The Court may order up to 60 days of treatment on the initial admission order, but the hospital makes the final decision.

Could it be longer?

Yes.  The hospital may petition the Court for continued treatment.  The Court will then hold a hearing to decide whether to grant the petition or discharge the patient.

IMPORTANT:  The person who originally filed the petition must attend the hearing.