What Happens at the Hearing?
Upon the filing of a petition for the involuntary services of a substance abuse impaired person with the clerk of the court, the court shall immediately determine whether the respondent is represented by an attorney or whether the appointment of counsel for the respondent is appropriate. The court shall schedule a hearing to be held on the petition within 5 days. A copy of the petition and notice of the hearing must be provided to the respondent; the respondent’s parent, guardian, or legal custodian, in the case of a minor; the respondent’s attorney, if known; the petitioner; the respondent’s spouse or guardian, if applicable; and such other persons as the court may direct, and have such petition and order personally delivered to the respondent if he or she is a minor. The court shall also issue a summons to the person whose admission is sought. If the respondent is not served with the pleadings by the time of hearing the court cannot move forward. Unlike an ex parte petition for assessment and stabilization, a petition for services cannot be heard unless the respondent has been served.
The court will review this petition and the services recommendation by the clinician to decide, by clear and convincing evidence whether to order the respondent to comply with the recommendation. At a hearing on a petition for involuntary services, the court shall hear and review all relevant evidence, including the review of results of the assessment completed by the qualified professional in connection with the respondent’s protective custody, emergency admission, involuntary assessment, or alternative involuntary admission. The respondent must be present unless the court finds that his or her presence is likely to be injurious to himself or herself or others, in which event the court must appoint a guardian advocate to act in behalf of the respondent throughout the proceedings.
The petitioner has the burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence:
- The respondent is substance abuse impaired and has a history of lack of compliance with treatment for substance abuse; and
- Because of such impairment the respondent is unlikely to voluntarily participate in the recommended services or is unable to determine for himself or herself whether services are necessary; and:
- Without services, the respondent is likely to suffer from neglect or refuse to care for himself or herself; that such neglect or refusal poses a real and present threat of substantial harm to his or her well-being; and that there is a substantial likelihood that without services the respondent will cause serious bodily harm to himself, herself, or another in the near future, as evidenced by recent behavior; or
- The respondent’s refusal to voluntarily receive care is based on judgment so impaired by reason of substance abuse that the respondent is incapable of appreciating his or her need for care and of making a rational decision regarding that need for care.
At the conclusion of the hearing the court shall either dismiss the petition or order the respondent to undergo involuntary substance abuse treatment, with the respondent’s chosen licensed service provider to deliver the involuntary substance abuse treatment where possible and appropriate.