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253B.23 General provisions.

Subdivision 1. Costs of hearings. (a) In each proceeding under this chapter the court shall allow and order paid to each witness subpoenaed the fees and mileage prescribed by law; to each examiner a reasonable sum for services and for travel; to persons conveying the patient to the place of detention, disbursements for the travel, board, and lodging of the patient and of themselves and their authorized assistants; and to the patient's counsel, when appointed by the court, a reasonable sum for travel and for the time spent in court or in preparing for the hearing. Upon the court's order, the county auditor shall issue a warrant on the county treasurer for payment of the amounts allowed.

(b) Whenever venue of a proceeding has been transferred under this chapter, the costs of the proceedings shall be reimbursed to the county where the proceedings were conducted by the county of the patient's residence.

Subd. 1a. Repealed, 1997 c 217 art 1 s 118

Subd. 2. Legal results of commitment status. (a) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter and in sections 246.15, 246.16, and 609.165, no person by reason of commitment or treatment pursuant to this chapter shall be deprived of any legal right, including but not limited to the right to dispose of property, sue and be sued, execute instruments, make purchases, enter into contractual relationships, vote, and hold a driver's license. Commitment or treatment of any patient pursuant to this chapter is not a judicial determination of legal incompetency except to the extent provided in section 253B.03, subdivision 6.

(b) Proceedings for determination of legal incompetency and the appointment of a guardian for a person subject to commitment under this chapter may be commenced before, during, or after commitment proceedings have been instituted and may be conducted jointly with the commitment proceedings. The court shall notify the head of the treatment facility to which the patient is committed of a finding that the patient is incompetent.

(c) Where the person to be committed is a minor or owns property of value and it appears to the court that the person is not competent to manage a personal estate, the court shall appoint a general or special guardian or conservator of the person's estate as provided by law.

Subd. 3. False reports. Any person who willfully makes, joins in, or advises the making of any false petition or report, or knowingly or willfully makes any false representation for the purpose of causing the petition or report to be made or for the purpose of causing an individual to be improperly committed under this chapter, is guilty of a gross misdemeanor. The attorney general or the attorney general's designee shall prosecute violations of this section.

Subd. 4. Immunity. All persons acting in good faith, upon either actual knowledge or information thought by them to be reliable, who act pursuant to any provision of this chapter or who procedurally or physically assist in the commitment of any individual, pursuant to this chapter, are not subject to any civil or criminal liability under this chapter. Any privilege otherwise existing between patient and physician, patient and psychologist, patient and examiner, or patient and social worker, is waived as to any physician, psychologist, examiner, or social worker who provides information with respect to a patient pursuant to any provision of this chapter.

Subd. 5. Habeas corpus. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to abridge the right of any person to the writ of habeas corpus.

Subd. 6. Court commissioner. The Ramsey county court commissioner may hear and act upon petitions for commitment.

Subd. 7. Appeal. The commissioner or any other aggrieved party may appeal to the court of appeals from any order entered under this chapter as in other civil cases. Any district court order or judgment under this chapter or related case law may be appealed within 60 days after the date of filing of the order or entry of judgment. A judgment under section 253B.18, subdivision 1, may be appealed within 60 days after the date of the order entered under section 253B.18, subdivision 2.

Upon perfection of the appeal, the return shall be filed forthwith. The court of appeals shall hear the appeal within 90 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 court of appeals.

Subd. 8. Transcripts. For purposes of taking an appeal or petition for habeas corpus or for a judicial determination of mental competency or need for commitment, transcripts of commitment proceedings, or portions of them, shall be made available to the parties upon written application to the court. Upon a showing by a party that the party is unable to pay the cost of a transcript, it shall be made available at no expense to the party.

Subd. 9. Sealing of records. Upon a motion by a person who has been the subject of a judicial commitment proceeding, the court may seal all judicial records of the commitment proceedings if it finds that access to the records creates undue hardship for the person. The county attorney shall be notified of the motion and may participate in the hearings. All hearings on the motion shall be in camera. The files and records of the court in proceedings on the motion shall be sealed except to the moving party, the person's attorney, the county attorney, or other persons by court order.

HIST: 1982 c 581 s 23; 1983 c 247 s 107; 1983 c 251 s 26; 1983 c 348 s 14; 1986 c 444; 1987 c 363 s 13; 1990 c 378 s 3; 1993 c 60 s 1; 1993 c 302 s 1; 1994 c 618 art 1 s 29; 1Sp1994 c 1 art 2 s 30; 1995 c 189 s 8; 1996 c 277 s 1; 1997 c 217 art 1 s 112-116; 1998 c 376 s 4

Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes