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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language

  

                         Laws of Minnesota 1983 

                        CHAPTER 348--S.F.No. 218
           An act relating to commitment of persons who are 
          mentally ill, mentally retarded, or mentally ill and 
          dangerous; requiring mental commitment proceedings for 
          persons acquitted of a criminal charge under section 
          611.026 to be held in the court in which acquittal 
          took place; modifying the burden of going forward with 
          the evidence on the issues of mental illness, mental 
          retardation, and mental illness and dangerousness in 
          certain commitment cases; amending Minnesota Statutes 
          1982, sections 253B.02, subdivision 4, and by adding 
          subdivisions; 253B.07, subdivisions 1, 2, 3, and 7, 
          and by adding a subdivision; 253B.08, subdivision 7; 
          253B.12, subdivision 4; 253B.18, subdivision 1; 
          253B.19, subdivision 1; 253B.21, subdivision 5; and 
          253B.23, subdivision 7.  
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
    Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 253B.02, 
subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 4.  [COMMITTING COURT.] "Committing court" means 
probate court or, in a case where commitment proceedings are 
commenced in response to an acquittal of a crime or offense 
under section 611.026, "committing court" means the court in 
which the acquittal took place.  
    Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 253B.02, is 
amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
    Subd. 4a.  [CRIME AGAINST THE PERSON.] "Crime against the 
person" means a violation of or attempt to violate any of the 
following provisions:  sections 609.185; 609.19; 609.195; 
609.20; 609.205; 609.21; 609.215; 609.221; 609.222; 609.223; 
609.224; 609.23; 609.231; 609.235; 609.24; 609.245; 609.25; 
609.255; 609.265; 609.27, subdivision 1, clause (1) or (2); 
609.28 if violence or threats of violence were used; 609.322, 
subdivision 1, clause (2); 609.342; 609.343; 609.344; 609.345; 
609.3641; 609.3642; 609.3643; 609.3644; 609.365; 609.498, 
subdivision 1; 609.50, clause (1); 609.561; 609.562; and 609.595.
    Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 253B.02, is 
amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
    Subd. 20.  [VERDICT.] "Verdict" means a jury verdict or a 
general finding by the trial court sitting without a jury 
pursuant to the rules of criminal procedure.  
    Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 253B.07, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
    Subdivision 1.  [PRE-PETITION SCREENING.] (a) Prior to 
filing a petition for commitment of a proposed patient, a 
prospective petitioner shall apply to the designated agency in 
the county of the proposed patient's residence or presence for 
conduct of a preliminary investigation, except when the proposed 
patient has been acquitted of a crime under section 611.026 and 
the county attorney is required to file a petition for 
commitment pursuant to subdivision 2.  In any case coming within 
this exception, the county attorney shall apply to the 
designated county agency in the county in which the acquittal 
took place for a preliminary investigation unless substantially 
the same information relevant to the proposed patient's current 
mental condition as could be obtained by a preliminary 
investigation is part of the court record in the criminal 
proceeding or is contained in the report of a mental examination 
conducted in connection with the criminal proceeding.  The 
designated agency shall appoint a screening team to conduct an 
investigation which shall include:  
    (i) a personal interview with the proposed patient and 
other individuals who appear to have knowledge of the condition 
of the proposed patient.  If the proposed patient is not 
interviewed, reasons must be documented;  
    (ii) identification and investigation of specific alleged 
conduct which is the basis for application; and 
    (iii) identification, exploration, and listing of the 
reasons for rejecting or recommending alternatives to 
involuntary placement.  
    (b) In conducting the investigation required by this 
subdivision, the screening team shall have access to all 
relevant medical records of proposed patients currently in 
treatment facilities.  Data collected pursuant to this clause 
shall be considered private data on individuals.  
     (c) When the pre-petition screening team recommends 
commitment, a written report shall be sent to the county 
attorney for the county in which the petition is to be filed.  
     (d) The pre-petition screening team shall refuse to support 
a petition if the investigation does not disclose evidence 
sufficient to support commitment.  Notice of the pre-petition 
screening team's decision shall be provided to the prospective 
petitioner.  
     (e) If the interested person wishes to proceed with a 
petition contrary to the recommendation of the pre-petition 
screening team, application may be made directly to the county 
attorney, who may determine whether or not to proceed with the 
petition.  Notice of the county attorney's determination shall 
be provided to the interested party.  
    (f) If a court petitions for commitment pursuant to the 
rules of criminal procedure or a county attorney petitions 
pursuant to acquittal of a criminal charge under section 
611.026, the pre-petition investigation, if required by this 
section, shall be completed within seven days after the filing 
of the petition.  
    Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 253B.07, 
subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 2.  [THE PETITION.] Any interested person may file a 
petition for commitment in the probate court of the county of 
the proposed patient's residence or presence.  Following an 
acquittal of a person of a criminal charge under section 
611.026, the petition shall be filed by the county attorney of 
the county in which the acquittal took place and the petition 
shall be filed with the court in which the acquittal took place, 
and that court shall be the committing court for purposes of 
chapter 253B.  The petition shall set forth the name and address 
of the proposed patient, the name and address of his nearest 
relatives, and the reasons for the petition.  The petition must 
contain factual descriptions of the proposed patient's recent 
behavior, including a description of the behavior, where it 
occurred, and over what period of time it occurred.  Each 
factual allegation must be supported by observations of 
witnesses named in the petition.  Petitions shall be stated in 
behavioral terms and shall not contain judgmental or conclusory 
statements.  The petition shall be accompanied by a written 
statement by an examiner stating that he has examined the 
proposed patient within the 15 days preceding the filing of the 
petition and is of the opinion that the proposed patient is 
suffering a designated disability and should be committed to a 
treatment facility.  The statement shall include the reasons for 
the opinion.  If a petitioner has been unable to secure a 
statement from an examiner, the petition shall include 
documentation that a reasonable effort has been made to secure 
the supporting statement.  
    Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 253B.07, is 
amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
    Subd. 2a.  [PETITION FOLLOWING ACQUITTAL; REFERRAL.] When a 
petition is filed pursuant to subdivision 2 with the court in 
which acquittal of a criminal charge took place, the court shall 
assign the judge before whom the acquittal took place to hear 
the commitment proceedings unless that judge is unavailable.  
    Sec. 7.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 253B.07, 
subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 3.  [EXAMINERS.] After a petition has been filed, the 
probate court or other court in which the petition was filed 
shall appoint an examiner.  At the proposed patient's request, 
the court shall appoint a second examiner of the patient's 
choosing to be paid for by the county at a rate of compensation 
fixed by the court.  
    Sec. 8.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 253B.07, 
subdivision 7, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 7.  [PRELIMINARY HEARING.] (a) No proposed patient 
may be held pursuant to subdivision 6 for longer than 72 hours, 
exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays, unless the 
court holds a preliminary hearing and determines that probable 
cause exists to continue to hold him.  
    (b) The proposed patient, his counsel, the petitioner, the 
county attorney, and any other persons as the court directs 
shall be given at least 24 hours written notice of the 
preliminary hearing.  The notice shall include the alleged 
grounds for confinement.  The proposed patient shall be 
represented at the preliminary hearing by counsel.  If the court 
finds it to be reliable, it may admit hearsay evidence, 
including written reports.  
    (c) The court may order the continued holding of the 
proposed patient if it finds, by a preponderance of the 
evidence, that serious imminent physical harm to the patient or 
others is likely if the proposed patient is not confined.  The 
fact that a proposed patient was acquitted of a crime against 
the person under section 611.026 immediately preceding the 
filing of the petition constitutes evidence that serious 
imminent physical harm to the patient or others is likely if the 
proposed patient is not confined and shifts the burden of going 
forward in the presentation of evidence to the proposed patient; 
provided that the standard of proof remains as required by this 
chapter.  
    Sec. 9.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 253B.08, 
subdivision 7, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 7.  [EVIDENCE.] The court shall admit all relevant 
evidence at the hearing.  The court shall make its determination 
upon the entire record pursuant to the rules of evidence. 
    In any case where the petition was filed immediately 
following a criminal proceeding in which the proposed patient 
was acquitted under section 611.026, the court shall take 
judicial notice of the record of the criminal proceeding.  
    Sec. 10.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 253B.12, 
subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 4.  [HEARING; STANDARD OF PROOF.] The probate 
committing court shall not make a final determination of the 
need to continue commitment unless a hearing is held and the 
court finds by clear and convincing evidence that (1) the person 
continues to be mentally ill, mentally retarded or chemically 
dependent; (2) involuntary commitment is necessary for the 
protection of the patient or others; and (3) there is no 
alternative to involuntary commitment.  
    In determining whether a person continues to be mentally 
ill, the court need not find that there has been a recent 
attempt or threat to physically harm himself or others, or a 
recent failure to provide necessary food, clothing, shelter, or 
medical care for himself.  Instead, the court must find that the 
patient is likely to attempt to physically harm himself or 
others, or to fail to provide necessary food, clothing, shelter, 
or medical care for himself unless involuntary commitment is 
continued.  
    Sec. 11.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 253B.18, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
    Subdivision 1.  [PROCEDURE.] Upon the filing of a petition 
alleging that a proposed patient is mentally ill and dangerous 
to the public, the court shall hear the petition as provided in 
sections 253B.07 and 253B.08.  If the court finds by clear and 
convincing evidence that the proposed patient is mentally ill 
and dangerous to the public, it shall commit the person to the 
Minnesota Security Hospital, a regional center designated by the 
commissioner or to a treatment facility.  In any case where the 
petition was filed immediately following the acquittal of the 
proposed patient for a crime against the person pursuant to a 
verdict of not guilty by reason of mental illness, the verdict 
constitutes evidence that the proposed patient is mentally ill 
and dangerous within the meaning of this section and shifts the 
burden of going forward in the presentation of evidence to the 
proposed patient; provided that the standard of proof remains as 
required by this chapter.  Admission procedures shall be carried 
out pursuant to section 253B.10.  
    Sec. 12.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 253B.19, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
    Subdivision 1.  [CREATION.] The supreme court shall 
establish an appeal panel composed of three probate judges and 
two alternate probate judges appointed from among the acting 
probate judges of the state.  Panel members shall serve for 
terms of one year each.  Only three judges need hear any case. 
One of the regular three appointed judges shall be designated as 
the chief judge of the appeal panel.  The chief judge is vested 
with power to fix the time and place of all hearings before the 
panel, issue all notices, subpoena witnesses, appoint counsel 
for the patient, if necessary, and supervise and direct the 
operation of the appeal panel.  The chief judge shall designate 
one of the other judges or an alternate judge to act as chief 
judge in any case where he is unable to act.  No member of the 
appeal panel shall take part in the consideration of any case in 
which that judge committed the patient in the probate court.  
The chief justice of the supreme court shall determine the 
compensation of the judges serving on the appeal panel.  The 
compensation shall be in addition to their regular compensation 
as probate judges.  All compensation and expenses of the appeal 
panel and all allowable fees and costs of the patient's counsel 
shall be paid by the department of public welfare.  
    Sec. 13.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 253B.21, 
subdivision 5, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 5.  [TRANSFER.] Upon receipt of a certificate of a 
federal agency that facilities are available for the care or 
treatment of any committed person, the head of the treatment 
facility may transfer the person to a federal agency for care or 
treatment.  Upon the transfer, the committing court shall be 
notified by the transferring agency.  No person shall be 
transferred to a federal agency if he is confined pursuant to 
conviction of any felony or gross misdemeanor or if he has been 
acquitted of the charge solely on the ground of insanity under 
section 611.026, unless prior to transfer the committing court 
enters an order for the transfer after appropriate motion and 
hearing.  
    Written notice of the transfer shall be given to the 
patient's spouse or parent, or if none be known, to some other 
interested person.  
    Sec. 14.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 253B.23, 
subdivision 7, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 7.  [APPEAL.] The commissioner or any other aggrieved 
party may appeal to the district court of appeals from any order 
entered under this chapter as in the manner prescribed in 
section 487.39 other civil cases.  
    Upon perfection of the appeal, the return shall be filed 
forthwith.  The district court of appeals shall hear the appeal 
within 45 days after service of the notice of appeal.  This 
appeal shall not suspend the operation of the order appealed 
from until the appeal is determined, unless otherwise ordered by 
the district court of appeals.  Notwithstanding any contrary 
provision in section 487.39, an appeal may be taken from the 
determination of a district court judge to the supreme court 
without leave of the supreme court.  
    Sec. 15.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
    This act is effective August 1, 1983 and applies to 
commitment proceedings under chapter 253B commenced on or after 
that date. 
    Approved June 14, 1983