How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask CalAttorney2 Your Own Question
CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 10220
Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
Type Your Legal Question Here...
CalAttorney2 is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My brother is detained for 72h for 5150 and I'm looking for

Customer Question

hi, my brother is detained for 72h for 5150 and I'm looking for a lawyer to make sure he leaves at the end of the 72h - do you know who could help with this?
JA: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: california
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: I am not sure, they thought he attempted to kill himself but it was not the case. they called me and got a statement from me though in regards ***** ***** past
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: he can ask more question about the case, on my end I just want to make sure I do everything to make him leave at the end of the 72h
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 month ago.

Hello, My name is ***** ***** I will assist you today. Please give me a few minutes to write a response and identify any additional resources for you.

Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 month ago.

I am sorry to learn about your brother's situation.

Understand the way California's psychiatric involuntary hold works (the "Lanternman Pierce Short Act"), there are three primary statutes, and the holds are referenced by the statute numbers.

  1. 5150: your brother is currently under the "emergency" 72 hour hold, this is initiated (usually) by an emergency room physician and the individual is transferred to an appropriate psychiatric facility where they are evaluated by a more highly specialized and trained provider (this is why you were contacted).
  2. 5250: if the evaluating physician deems that the individual is a danger to him or herself, a danger to the public, or is unable to care for themselves, they are placed on a 10 day hold. This is an administrative hold and is determined by the physician.
  3. 5350: this is the*****ordered conservatorship. In order for this to happen, the county public guardian/conservator's office (represented by the county counsel's office) must go to court and petition for a 1 year conservatorship. The individual is entitled to a lawyer (if they cannot afford one they get one appointed (usually from the public defender's office)), they are also entitled to a jury trial.

You can find the "CA Handbook for challenging LPS Conservators" here:

If you believe that your brother's rights in this process are being violated for some specific reason, contact a probate attorney with experience in "LPS" matters. You can also try local trusts and estates attorney, a criminal defense attorney, or a civil litigation attorney.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
hi and thank you for taking the time to respond. this doesnt answer my question, though. I am asking what I need to do to make sure he get out at the end of the 72h and doesnt get an additional 10/14 days. can a lawyer help or is it conpletely up to my brother and what he says to the doctors?
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 month ago.

It is primarily up to what his psychiatric evaluation determines.

You can retain a lawyer if you like (again a probate attorney with LPS experience is your very best option), but there is not a lot that can be done at that early stage.

However, if the physician does decide to place him on a 10 day, I would recommend retaining that attorney for him at that time - it gives the lawyer additional time to prepare in advance of any hearing or trial in the event the county determines they want to attempt a conservatorship.

  • I do not know if this will be of any assurance, but most individuals who threaten suicide or self harm are not retained past the initial 72 hours. They are released with some kind of "no self harm agreement" referrals to a treating physician/provider outside of the facility, and usually agree to follow ups. It is not common to be retained past the 72 hours (although there may be an issue with the holiday weekend - sometimes with long weekends there is insufficient providers to complete all clearances, but if you have already been contacted for information, this wouldn't appear to be an issue.)
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thank you! He is in a room with someone suicidal that has been here for 5 days so he is worried. What you are saying is that it is likely that they release him but that I should contact a LPS lawyer if they decide to call a 5250?
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 month ago.

Yes, that is what I would recommend - there is not a lot to do at this point, but if they do decide to pursue a more aggressive conservatorship for some reason (I don't have any information about your brother's case, but I do not know why they would for a single instance of possible suicidal ideations), then yes, having additional time to prepare is worthwhile.

Your brother had the disadvantage of being conserved over a holiday weekend, this unfortunately makes it more likely that releases are being delayed simply due to lack of personnel rather than actual necessity for the hold.

Related Legal Questions