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The local policeman made a judgment that my 16 year old son…

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The local policeman made...

The local policeman made a judgment that my 16 year old son is a danger to himself, and thusly he is now being held at a hospital. based on the written statements by the police, this judgment is a serious over-reach. my son was admitted at 2am local time, and in a best case scenario the counselor will not be available until maybe 11am. what rights or options do i have as his parent?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because family law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Or who can i call in the seattle area to get help

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

There is a police report, and the hospital has provided that to me

Submitted: 9 months ago.Category: Family Law
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Answered in 2 hours by:
12/5/2017
Family Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer replied 9 months ago
Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 127,643
Experience: Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
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Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only. Please feel free to ignore any phone service request, the expert does not send those unless asked by customer and they are sent by the site automatically.

The police are not mental health professionals, they engage in the first step of the involuntary commitment process by being the first responder who does the evaluation based on reasonableness and their limited first responder training. It is only up to the officer or EMT to decide whether or not the person they are in contact with needs further professional evaluation. It is the professional evaluators in the mental health or medical facility who make the actual determination as to whether or not the first responder's determination was or was not correct.

So you need to contact the facility your son is at and remain in contact with them, because they are the one who would actually determine if your son is truly a danger to himself or others or if the conduct the police observed was simply conduct that was not that severe.

As a parent you cannot get your son out until the facility determines whether or not he truly is a danger to himself or others. If they determine he needs further evaluation or treatment, you have a right to get your own doctor involved to evaluate him and perhaps have him moved to another more appropriate facility or if your doctor does not believe the facility evaluation is appropriate, then you can get an attorney to represent your son to have him released.

The facility cannot hold your son beyond 72 hours without your consent, your son's consent (as he is 16 and at 16 he can consent to limited things regarding medical care and this is one of them) or a court order. If neither you or your son consent to further treatment/evaluation, then the facility must go to court and get a court order and your son is entitled to an attorney and you can present your own medical expert to testify if you believe he should not continue to be held or treated further.

You can get a local mental health law attorney for representation at the same site used by other attorneys: http://www.hg.org

Most of these cases result in release of the individual in 36 hours or less however.

Please do not forget to leave positive feedback by clicking on the 5 stars at the top of your page, as the experts are not employees of the site and get no credit for spending time with customers unless they leave positive feedback. Thank you.

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The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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