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N Cal Atty
N Cal Atty, Lawyer
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Experience:  attorney at self
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I am trying to obtain an FID card in Massachusetts. In the

Customer Question

I am trying to obtain an FID card in Massachusetts. In the application it asks; "Have you ever been committed to any hospital or institution for mental illness, or alcohol or substance abuse?". When I was 14 I was admitted, by my mother, to a mental hospital for a short stay due to anxiety and depression following my parents divorce. Does that count as a commitment? Am I safe to apply? No court or other legal authority was involved and I have been fine since. 28 year old successful Engineer now.
Submitted: 1 year ago via Cornell Legal Info Institute.
Category: Legal
Expert:  N Cal Atty replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. Committed implies that it was involuntary but the law is rather vague:(iii) is or has been: (A) except in the case of a commitment pursuant to sections 35 or 36C of chapter 123, committed to any hospital or institution for mental illness, alcohol or substance abuse, unless after 5 years from the date of the confinement, the applicant submits with the application an affidavit of a licensed physician or clinical psychologist attesting that such physician or psychologist is familiar with the applicant's mental illness, alcohol or substance abuse and that in the physician's or psychologist's opinion the applicant is not disabled by a mental illness, alcohol or substance abuse in a manner that should prevent the applicant from possessing a firearm, rifle or shotgun; (B) committed by an order of a court to any hospital or institution for mental illness, unless the applicant was granted a petition for relief of the court's order pursuant to said section 36C of said chapter 123 and submits a copy of the order for relief with the application; (C) subject to an order of the probate court appointing a guardian or conservator for a incapacitated person on the grounds that that applicant lacks the mental capacity to contract or manage affairs, unless the applicant was granted a petition for relief pursuant to section 56C of chapter 215 and submits a copy of the order for relief with the application; or (D) found to be a person with an alcohol use disorder or substance use disorder or both and committed pursuant to said section 35 of said chapter 123, unless the applicant was granted a petition for relief of the court's order pursuant to said section 35 of said chapter 123 and submits a copy of the order for relief with the application;fromhttps://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleXX/Chapter140/Section129B As you can see from the part I underlined, you can get around this issue by just getting a doctor's note. I have been unable to find a Massachusetts court case that clarifies whether comment" excludes voluntary admissions or not, but a local attorney should be able to answer that. You can get a free consultation from some of the attorneys listed by location here. I suggest consulting a local attorney. Otherwise, you can play it safe by disclosing the hospitalization and getting a doctor's note to submit with the application. I hope this information is helpful.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your response. I have never contacted an attorney before. Will the question be answered in the consultation?
Expert:  N Cal Atty replied 1 year ago.
Yes a local criminal defense lawyer should be able to answer that question pretty quickly. You can ask over the phone until you find an attorney who knows the answer, or who knows if the courts have never interpreted the word "committed" as used in that statute.