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Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 27769
Experience:  18 years of litigation experience.
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A 21-year-old male is involuntarily held at a hospital in Colorado.

Customer Question

A 21-year-old male is involuntarily held at a hospital in Colorado. He had been overusing marijuana and apparently was using mushrooms. He was delusional and undernourished and hadn’t slept for four days. His mother tricked him into going to the hospital for an evaluation. Something happened, and a large number of hospital orderlies held him down, and his involuntary confinement has continued. He has been held now for 14 days. His father thinks he sounds fine, but his mother, who has a history of emotionally hurting this child and his sister, wants to keep him confined. Apparently a court has appointed an attorney for him, but the attorney refuses to return his calls. The physician at the hospital refuses to return phone calls. The social worker refuses to provide any current reasons for his continuing to be held other than an intention by him to being using marijuana and mushrooms again when he gets out. Those statements are contrary to what he has told his father. The current court order apparently continues for another 10 weeks.
As a practical matter (contacting the patient advocate or the CEO of the hospital) or as a legal matter (a habeas corpus action), what can be done for the individual who has been confined?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 2 years ago.
My name is ***** ***** I will be assisting you with your question.
If the involuntary commitment has continued past the initial evaluation period, then there has been a medical finding that he is a danger to himself and others or gravely disabled. He will be retained, treated and further evaluated medically pursuant to Colorado's law.
Unfortunately, your son's lawyer, social worker, and doctors have no obligation to discuss anything with you, and every reason to maintain confidentiality. Short of hiring another lawyer who may be more responsive to your needs to make sure that your son is accorded all of his rights as this process unfolds, there's nothing that can be done until medically doctors find that he is in good enough shape so that the threat is lifted.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Are you saying that the hospital has the right to keep him, whether or not he is in fact mentally unstable, without any court review?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Are you saying the hospital doesn't have to talk to his parents? Apparently the hospital is now talking about sending him to another lockdown facility (the only one in Colorado that is not a hospital) that costs $750 a day and is not covered by any insurance--can it do that?
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 2 years ago.
Yes. That's exactly what I am saying, and what involuntary commitment is all about. He's entitled to a hearing, but so long as doctors find he's a danger to himself and others or gravely disabled they can treat him.
Your son is an adult. His conversations with his doctors and his lawyer are privileged. You need to retain an attorney who specializes in these mental health determinations. He may be able to arrange for and use independent medical findings to oppose your son's continued stay. But from what I see they can keep him for at least 90 days and put him wherever they have to in order to be able to treat him.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Who pays the $750 a day for the new facility?
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 2 years ago.
I cannot find anything on the web for certain on that, however, they will likely try to go after your son for the cost. It does happen that way in other states.