Superior Court >Probate And Mental Health >Titles

Civil Commitment Proceedings Title 36 Overview: Mental Health Civil Commitment cases pursuant to Title 36 occur at Desert Vista Behavioral Health Center and Arizona State Hospital (ASH). These proceedings include Court ordered evaluation (COE) hearings, Court ordered treatment (COT) hearings, and status review hearings on all COT cases. Additional proceedings at the ASH include GEI hearings under the jurisdiction of the Psychiatric Security Review Board (PSRB).

When someone who is mentally ill does not wish to seek treatment, or someone wishes to terminate treatment against medical advice, they may find themselves in court, going through a process designed to provide treatment pursuant to a court order. The Court may order that the person be committed to a suitable treatment facility. The length of the Order for Treatment will not exceed one year and the patient is entitled to a period of mandatory local treatment for at least 25 days at one of several mental health treatment agencies. Before this can happen however, the Court must find that the person, as a result of a mental disorder, meets at least one of the following four criteria:

  1. is a danger to him/herself
  2. is a danger to others
  3. is persistently or acutely disabled
  4. is gravely disabled

If the Court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the patient is suffering a mental disorder and meets one or more of the four criteria, the Court will enter an Order for Treatment. The length and terms will vary. At the expiration of the court-ordered treatment, the patient may be unconditionally released by the treating agency. If further in-patient treatment is indicated, the patient must be re-petitioned and the process outlined above is repeated.

Any person who is eighteen years of age or older and who manifests the capacity to give informed consent, may be hospitalized for evaluation, care, and treatment by voluntarily making written application on a prescribed form.

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