Horton Law Offices, LLC
3800 American Blvd. West
Suite 1500
Bloomington, MN 55431

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952-922-8220 Office
612 209-6607 Cell
612 435-9941 Fax

mark@hortonlawmn.com

Mark Horton at Horton Law Offices LLC provides Criminal Defense, DUI & DWI defense, Civil Commitment defense legal services in Minneapolis and throughout Minnesota. 

 

The Civil Commitment Court Process

The court process consists of three statutorily required hearings, beginning with the preliminary hearing. This hearing provides an opportunity for a voluntary agreement to be entered into by all the parties that may eliminate the need for further hearings. If a settlement is not reached, the court determines whether the patient presents an imminent danger to himself or others. If the court finds that there is an imminent danger, the patient is held in a secure facility.

The court then appoints an examiner and the patient selects a second examiner to conduct a pre-hearing examination. These licensed professionals examine the patient and submit reports to the court with their recommendations concerning commitment. These examinations are independent of those done by the staff at the treating hospital.

After completing the above examinations, the case is heard by a judge in a full judicial hearing. The petitioner, through their counsel the County Attorney, calls witnesses and submits evidence showing that all of the requirements for commitment have been satisfactorily met. The patient is then allowed to submit evidence to show that he or she does not meet the conditions necessary for commitment, or that there is a less restrictive alternative available for them.

The judge then makes a determination, based on all of the evidence, regarding the level of treatment needed by the patient. The judge may dismiss the petition completely or may structure a treatment plan that the patient agrees to comply with. If necessary, the court may commit the patient to a treating hospital under the care and supervision of the court and the hospital. In extreme cases, the court may even order a patient to receive medications that the patient does not wish to receive. This only occurs after a separate hearing is held to determine that this action is appropriate. This hearing is often known as a Jarvis hearing.

Most patients are committed to either a public or private hospital for treatment with the Anoka-Metro Regional Treatment Center serving as a back-up location. Most initial commitment periods cannot exceed six months. After six months, the court is required to review the matter following a full trial hearing, and decide whether to extend the commitment up to a maximum of twelve months. However, in cases involving Mentally Ill and Dangerous Persons, Sexual Psychopathic Personalities, or Sexually Dangerous Persons, commitment is of an indefinite duration. Periodic reviews are conducted by the court to determine whether the initial commitment remains valid

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