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Chris T., JD
Chris T., JD, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 4787
Experience:  I have assisted many customers and clients with their family law questions and I'm experienced in family law litigation.
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Please help. My 13 year old daughter made some cuts on her

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Please help. My 13 year old daughter made some cuts on her thighs last night and we took her to the emergency room. The attending physician committed her to a psychiatric hospital via a 1013 form. They told us she is basically a ward of the state for the next several days until the facility has a chance to evaluate her. Can an attorney help my husband and I or do we just have to accept this situation?

texlawyer :

Good afternoon. I'll be assisting you with your question.

texlawyer :

What are your goals? Are you trying to get her out of the psych facility?

Customer:

I know she needs help, but I'm afraid. I don't like the way this was handled. The doctor just told me she was taking custody of her and I had no rights. They took her in an ambulance and I was not allowed to go. I cannot see her until tomorrow night and then not again until Saturday. I really want her to get help, but had I know this was the way it would work out, I would not have taken her to the hospital. I feel like we are being treated like criminals. Just very frustrated and heartbroken. I can't stop crying. I've never been apart from her for more than 1 day.

texlawyer :

I'm sure this is a very, very difficult situation. If you can give me a couple of minutes, I'd like to look a few things up.

Customer:

That's fine. Thank you so much.

texlawyer :

Thanks for your patience. Here is the issue. You can certainly hire a lawyer and fight this, but whether or not you will be succesful is dependent on the facts of your daughter's situation.

texlawyer :

If the state wants to keep her detained in the psych facility, they will just have to prove to a judge that she poses a danger to herself or others due to mental illness.

Customer:

So it pretty much sounds like they are in control and we have no rights. We have to just go along with what they decide. I pulled up the 1013 form online (I was not shown this form last night, nor was any of this explained to me). The form pretty much says that the attending physician is saying that the person is mentally ill in the boilerplate language on the form.

texlawyer :

Yes, the language is rather boilerplate. It isn't that you don't have any rights. In fact, you have a right to a hearing on her detention.

texlawyer :

However, whether or not you will win at that hearing completely depends on the facts and whether or not she poses a danger to herself or others.

texlawyer :

If you can show to a judge that you are capable of preventing her from harming herself or others, then she does not pose the same risk. So, the question is both regarding the severity of her mental illness and your ability to control her.

Customer:

So would you hire an attorney in GA if you were in my shoes, or just see how this plays out in the next few days? The people at the hospital last night said she would be held for probably 72 hours. Once I spoke with the psychiatric person this morning, he said it could be 5-7 days at a minimum.

texlawyer :

If I were personally in this situation, it would depend on whether I thought my daughter would actually harm herself if let out and into my custody. I view mental illness like any other disease...if someone is truly sick, the best place for them is in the hospital where they can recover, whether that need is because of a broken leg or a mental illness.

texlawyer :

If I was certain that she would not harm herself if released back to me, then I'd do what I could to get her released. But, I'd err on the side of keeping her in the hospital since the cost of being wrong about that is so high.

texlawyer :

Keep in mind, I'm not a mental health expert, but that's just my personal opinion, since you asked.

texlawyer :

Does that help at all?

texlawyer :

If you have any additional questions, feel free to ask. If not, please remember to "rate" my answer.

texlawyer :

Good luck to you and your daughter. I really hope things work out for the best for her.

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