34-20A-70 Petition for involuntary commitment--Appointment of attorney for applicant--Procedure--Gro...
Petition for involuntary commitment--Appointment of attorney for applicant--Procedure--Grounds.
A person may be committed by the circuit court upon the petition of the
person's spouse or guardian, a relative, a physician, the administrator of any approved treatment
facility, or any other responsible person. Any person applying for commitment shall do so to the
circuit court through the clerk of courts of the county in which the person to be committed resides
or is present. The circuit court judge, upon receipt of a written application prepared by the clerk of
courts, shall appoint an attorney to represent the applicant. The appointed attorney shall investigate
the grounds upon which the application is based and shall within five days, excluding Saturdays,
Sundays, and legal holidays, submit a petition for commitment and a written report to the circuit
court as to whether probable cause exists that the person subject of the petition is an alcoholic or
drug abuser. All information obtained as a result of the investigation and written report shall be
documented and made a part of the record of any further proceedings. The petition shall allege that
the person is an alcoholic or drug abuser who habitually lacks self-control as to the use of alcoholic
beverages or other drugs and:
Has threatened, attempted, or inflicted physical harm on himself or herself or on another
and that unless committed is likely to inflict harm on himself or herself or on another; or
Is incapacitated by the effects of alcohol or drugs; or
Is pregnant and abusing alcohol or drugs.
A refusal to undergo treatment does not constitute evidence of lack of judgment as to the need
Source: SL 1974, ch 240, § 12 (a); SL 1985, ch 277, § 22; SL 1998, ch 207, § 1.