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Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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Can you legally hold someone against their will issues

Customer Question

Can you legally hold someone against their will for mental issues
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 4 months ago.

Dear Customer,

Thank you for using our forum. My name is ***** ***** I hope to assist you today.

Yes, it is possible for a court to order an individual held against their will due to an inability to care for themselves, or because they pose a danger to themselves or others.

The individual being held has a right to an attorney, and a right to a jury trial (for holds longer than the emergency hold/evaluation period - so if a court is going to place a person on a 1 year hold, the individual has a right to a trial).

These statutes also allow an "emergency hold" (usually 72 hours) for a physician to place an individual under a mental health hold for the same reasons.

Each state has their own particular statute - so you will see different references (for example: CA has the Lanterman Petris Short Act (5150, 5250, and 5350 holds), while other states have the "Baker Act" - and still other states use their own particular statute), but each is a variation of the principle I described above.

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