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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Chapter 253B

Section 253B.07

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253B.07 JUDICIAL COMMITMENT; PRELIMINARY PROCEDURES.
    Subdivision 1. Prepetition screening. (a) Prior to filing a petition for commitment of or
early intervention for a proposed patient, an interested person 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. The designated
agency shall appoint a screening team to conduct an investigation. The petitioner may not be a
member of the screening team. The investigation must 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,
specific reasons must be documented;
(ii) identification and investigation of specific alleged conduct which is the basis for
application;
(iii) identification, exploration, and listing of the specific reasons for rejecting or
recommending alternatives to involuntary placement;
(iv) in the case of a commitment based on mental illness, the following information, if it
is known or available, that may be relevant to the administration of neuroleptic medications,
including the existence of a declaration under section 253B.03, subdivision 6d, or a health care
directive under chapter 145C or a guardian, conservator, proxy, or agent with authority to make
health care decisions for the proposed patient; information regarding the capacity of the proposed
patient to make decisions regarding administration of neuroleptic medication; and whether the
proposed patient is likely to consent or refuse consent to administration of the medication;
(v) seeking input from the proposed patient's health plan company to provide the court with
information about services the enrollee needs and the least restrictive alternatives; and
(vi) in the case of a commitment based on mental illness, information listed in clause (iv) for
other purposes relevant to treatment.
(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.
The interviewer shall inform the proposed patient that any information provided by the proposed
patient may be included in the prepetition screening report and may be considered in the
commitment proceedings. Data collected pursuant to this clause shall be considered private
data on individuals. The prepetition screening report is not admissible as evidence except by
agreement of counsel or as permitted by this chapter or the rules of court and is not admissible in
any court proceedings unrelated to the commitment proceedings.
(c) The prepetition screening team shall provide a notice, written in easily understood
language, to the proposed patient, the petitioner, persons named in a declaration under chapter
145C or section 253B.03, subdivision 6d, and, with the proposed patient's consent, other
interested parties. The team shall ask the patient if the patient wants the notice read and shall read
the notice to the patient upon request. The notice must contain information regarding the process,
purpose, and legal effects of civil commitment and early intervention. The notice must inform
the proposed patient that:
(1) if a petition is filed, the patient has certain rights, including the right to a court-appointed
attorney, the right to request a second examiner, the right to attend hearings, and the right to
oppose the proceeding and to present and contest evidence; and
(2) if the proposed patient is committed to a state regional treatment center or group home,
the patient may be billed for the cost of care and the state has the right to make a claim against the
patient's estate for this cost.
The Ombudsman for Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities shall develop a form for
the notice which includes the requirements of this paragraph.
(d) When the prepetition 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. The statement of
facts contained in the written report must meet the requirements of subdivision 2, paragraph (b).
(e) The prepetition screening team shall refuse to support a petition if the investigation does
not disclose evidence sufficient to support commitment. Notice of the prepetition screening team's
decision shall be provided to the prospective petitioner and to the proposed patient.
(f) If the interested person wishes to proceed with a petition contrary to the recommendation
of the prepetition screening team, application may be made directly to the county attorney, who
shall determine whether or not to proceed with the petition. Notice of the county attorney's
determination shall be provided to the interested party.
(g) If the proposed patient has been acquitted of a crime under section 611.026, 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. If a court petitions for
commitment pursuant to the Rules of Criminal or Juvenile Procedure or a county attorney petitions
pursuant to acquittal of a criminal charge under section 611.026, the prepetition investigation, if
required by this section, shall be completed within seven days after the filing of the petition.
    Subd. 2. The petition. (a) Any interested person, except a member of the prepetition
screening team, may file a petition for commitment in the district court of the county of the
proposed patient's residence or presence. If the head of the treatment facility believes that
commitment is required and no petition has been filed, the head of the treatment facility shall
petition for the commitment of the person.
(b) The petition shall set forth the name and address of the proposed patient, the name and
address of the patient's 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 the time period over which 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.
(c) The petition shall be accompanied by a written statement by an examiner stating that the
examiner 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. In
the case of a commitment based on mental illness, the petition and the examiner's statement
shall include, to the extent this information is available, a statement and opinion regarding the
proposed patient's need for treatment with neuroleptic medication and the patient's capacity to
make decisions regarding the administration of neuroleptic medications, and the reasons for the
opinion. If use of neuroleptic medications is recommended by the treating physician, the petition
for commitment must, if applicable, include or be accompanied by a request for proceedings
under section 253B.092. Failure to include the required information regarding neuroleptic
medications in the examiner's statement, or to include a request for an order regarding neuroleptic
medications with the commitment petition, is not a basis for dismissing the commitment petition.
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.
    Subd. 2a. Petition following acquittal; referral. 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 this chapter.
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.
    Subd. 2b. Apprehend and hold orders. The court may order the treatment facility to hold
the person in a treatment facility or direct a health officer, peace officer, or other person to take
the proposed patient into custody and transport the proposed patient to a treatment facility for
observation, evaluation, diagnosis, care, treatment, and, if necessary, confinement, when:
(1) there has been a particularized showing by the petitioner that serious physical harm to the
proposed patient or others is likely unless the proposed patient is immediately apprehended;
(2) the proposed patient has not voluntarily appeared for the examination or the commitment
hearing pursuant to the summons; or
(3) a person is held pursuant to section 253B.05 and a request for a petition for commitment
has been filed.
The order of the court may be executed on any day and at any time by the use of all necessary
means including the imposition of necessary restraint upon the proposed patient. Where possible,
a peace officer taking the proposed patient into custody pursuant to this subdivision shall not be in
uniform and shall not use a motor vehicle visibly marked as a police vehicle.
    Subd. 2c. Right to counsel. A patient has the right to be represented by counsel at any
proceeding under this chapter. The court shall appoint a qualified attorney to represent the
proposed patient if neither the proposed patient nor others provide counsel. The attorney shall be
appointed at the time a petition for commitment is filed. In all proceedings under this chapter, the
attorney shall:
(1) consult with the person prior to any hearing;
(2) be given adequate time and access to records to prepare for all hearings;
(3) continue to represent the person throughout any proceedings under this chapter unless
released as counsel by the court; and
(4) be a vigorous advocate on behalf of the person.
    Subd. 2d. Change of venue. Either party may move to have the venue of the petition
changed to the district court of the county of the person's residence, if the person is a resident of
Minnesota. If the petition has been filed pursuant to the Rules of Criminal or Juvenile Procedure,
venue may not be changed without the approval of the court in which the juvenile or criminal
proceedings are pending.
    Subd. 3. Examiners. After a petition has been filed, the court shall appoint an examiner.
Prior to the hearing, the court shall inform the proposed patient of the right to an independent
second examination. 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.
    Subd. 4. Prehearing examination; notice and summons procedure. (a) A summons
to appear for a prehearing examination and the commitment hearing shall be served upon the
proposed patient. A plain language notice of the proceedings and notice of the filing of the petition
shall be given to the proposed patient, patient's counsel, the petitioner, any interested person, and
any other persons as the court directs.
(b) The prepetition screening report, the petition, and the examiner's supporting statement
shall be distributed to the petitioner, the proposed patient, the patient's counsel, the county
attorney, any person authorized by the patient, and any other person as the court directs.
(c) All papers shall be served personally on the proposed patient. Unless otherwise ordered
by the court, the notice shall be served on the proposed patient by a nonuniformed person.
    Subd. 5. Prehearing examination; report. The examination shall be held at a treatment
facility or other suitable place the court determines is not likely to harm the health of the proposed
patient. The county attorney and the patient's attorney may be present during the examination.
Either party may waive this right. Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, a court-appointed
examiner shall file the report with the court not less than 48 hours prior to the commitment
hearing. The court shall ensure that copies of the examiner's report are provided to the county
attorney, the proposed patient, and the patient's counsel.
    Subd. 6.[Repealed, 1997 c 217 art 1 s 118]
    Subd. 7. Preliminary hearing. (a) No proposed patient may be held in a treatment facility
under a judicial hold pursuant to subdivision 6 longer than 72 hours, exclusive of Saturdays,
Sundays, and legal holidays, unless the court holds a preliminary hearing and determines that the
standard is met to hold the person.
(b) The proposed patient, patient's 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. The court may admit reliable hearsay
evidence, including written reports, for the purpose of the preliminary hearing.
(c) The court, on its motion or on the motion of any party, may exclude or excuse a proposed
patient who is seriously disruptive or who is incapable of comprehending and participating in
the proceedings. In such instances, the court shall, with specificity on the record, state the
behavior of the proposed patient or other circumstances which justify proceeding in the absence
of the proposed patient.
(d) The court may continue the judicial hold of the proposed patient if it finds, by a
preponderance of the evidence, that serious physical harm to the proposed patient or others is
likely if the proposed patient is not immediately confined. If a proposed patient was acquitted
of a crime against the person under section 611.026 immediately preceding the filing of the
petition, the court may presume that serious physical harm to the patient or others is likely if the
proposed patient is not immediately confined.
(e) Upon a showing that a person subject to a petition for commitment may need treatment
with neuroleptic medications and that the person may lack capacity to make decisions regarding
that treatment, the court may appoint a substitute decision-maker as provided in section
253B.092, subdivision 6. The substitute decision-maker shall meet with the proposed patient
and provider and make a report to the court at the hearing under section 253B.08 regarding
whether the administration of neuroleptic medications is appropriate under the criteria of section
253B.092, subdivision 7. If the substitute decision-maker consents to treatment with neuroleptic
medications and the proposed patient does not refuse the medication, neuroleptic medication may
be administered to the patient. If the substitute decision-maker does not consent or the patient
refuses, neuroleptic medication may not be administered without a court order, or in an emergency
as set forth in section 253B.092, subdivision 3.
History: 1982 c 581 s 7; 1983 c 251 s 11-13; 1983 c 348 s 4-8; 1984 c 623 s 4; 1986 c 444;
1995 c 189 s 8; 1996 c 277 s 1; 1997 c 217 art 1 s 39-48; 1998 c 313 s 5,6; 1998 c 399 s 29; 1999
c 245 art 5 s 14; 1Sp2001 c 9 art 9 s 32-34; 2002 c 335 s 2; 2002 c 379 art 1 s 113; 2005 c 56 s 1