Dept of Health & Human Services (DHHS)

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The referral process for a commitment under Chapter 51 starts in one of two ways. 1) a law officer carries out an Emergency Detention or Protective Custody of a person judged to be a danger to themselves or others or 2)  a three-party petition is submitted to a court to place the person in custody.

Within prescribed time limits the court holds a preliminary hearing to determine whether there is probable cause to keep the person in custody.  The court holds a final hearing at a later date to substantiate the findings that the person needs to remain in custody.

A person being considered for commitment must be determined to be mentally ill, dangerous, and treatable.

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