Mentally Ill

The probate court is given exclusive jurisdiction over matters involving involuntary hospitalization of persons determined to be mentally ill, and for appointing guardians for developmentally disabled persons.


The involuntary commitment process begins with the filing of a petition alleging that the subject of the petition is a person requiring treatment as a result of one of the following: 

The person as a result of mental illness can reasonably be expected within the near future to intentionally or unintentionally seriously injure himself or others and who has engaged in an act or acts or made significant threats that are substantially supportive of the expectation.

The person, as a result of mental illness, is unable to attend to his/her basic physical needs such as food, clothing, or shelter. These needs must be attended to in order for the individual to avoid serious harm in the near future.

The person, as a result of mental illness, whose judgment is so impaired that he or she is unable to understand his or her need for treatment and whose continued behavior as a result of this mental illness can reasonably be expected, on the basis of competent clinical opinion, to result in significant harm to himself or others.

Two clinical evaluations must be completed to certify that the person is a person requiring treatment. If the alleged mentally ill person refuses to have an examination, the court, after hearing, may order the individual taken into protective custody and transported to a hospital for evaluation.

Upon receipt of the two clinical certificates stating the person is a person requiring treatment, the court will schedule a hearing and provide notice to all interested persons as provided by the mental health code. If after hearing the court finds the person to be a person requiring treatment, the court may order the person to be hospitalized, or to participate in an alternative treatment program, or a combination of both.