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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 10643
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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In the U.S., what, if any, are the lasting de jure and de

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In the U.S., what, if any, are the lasting de jure and de facto legal consequences of involuntary hospitalization for mental health problems and/or having a parent attempt/succeed at having an adult child declared non compos mentis? Do these consequences vary from state to state? Is there any way to void those consequences later in life?
DoctorZ :

Hello are you still there?

Customer:

Yes, just using multiple browsers.

Customer:

Good evening.

DoctorZ :

No worries, just wanted to make sure you were there. Good evening to you too

Customer:

So, yeah.

DoctorZ :

So to answer your question, it usually depends on how long the commitment was and for what.

DoctorZ :

Also you are right different states have different laws concerning this

Customer:

I'm not sure on the confidentiality rules of the chat, but I can say that one party is in NY and the other in TX

DoctorZ :

Well I have experience with involuntary commitments in NY.

Customer:

I can only imagine. NY tends to have some very archaic laws on the books on issues like this. Can you give me an idea?

DoctorZ :

When someone is removed from an involuntary commitment, some courts will assign a conservator to manage the treatment and finances for the patient, but this happens in rare instances when someone needs that help

DoctorZ :

For most states though including Texas and NY, you are not allowed to own a gun for an indeterminate amount of time

Customer:

Not really an issue for me: I took a gun safety course in order to know how to get the bullets out and haven't been back since.

Customer:

Are there any de facto employment consequences?

DoctorZ :

Also this involuntary commitment will be on your record for the rest of your life, but only law enforcement (under special circumstances) and state mental health officials will see it. No employer will ever see it or hear about an involuntary commitment unless you tell them.

DoctorZ :

That is your right to privacy for medical and mental health issues, so no matter what state you are in no employer will ever know

Customer:

Even if your employer is a government?

DoctorZ :

The only government that will know is if you work in FBI, CIA, or NSA. Some police departments may get access to it, but last time I checked NY police were not allowed to access that information

Customer:

The military isn't listed up there.

DoctorZ :

Typically no, but the military does its own psychological testing to see if you are fit for duty, but they should not have access to your mental health records. Now they may ask you on a form if you have ever been involuntary committed for a mental health reason

Customer:

Ok. So, last bit, I promise: if she attempted to have me hospitalized, whose laws would apply? My state of residence or hers?

DoctorZ :

The state that you are currently in is what applies for involuntary commitment.

DoctorZ :

Also just to add that a 72 hour hold and involuntary commitment are two different things

Customer:

What she wants is less to have me hospitalized (my symptoms are more chronic and progressive than acute, at least at the moment) and more to regain power of attorney/medical proxy/guardianship over me, as she feels that my symptoms have made me incapable of advocating for myself/recognizing need for treatment. I did have a power of attorney/med proxy appointing someone else who is local drawn up a few years ago, simply because my family is so far away. It's just that she's an attorney and I'm not sure which routes she has to get what she wants, and at this point, wondering whether fighting her is worth it.

DoctorZ :

Okay I understand and I am sorry that you are going through this. I would recommend seeing a mental health attorney to see what avenues you can possibly take to preempt this, if you so choose to.

Customer:

The nightmare scenario was, if she got it, that I could never regain legal competence again, and would remain the ward of one person or another for the rest of my life.

Customer:

Thanks for listening. This is a very nice service for someone with agoraphobia.

DoctorZ :

Typically conservatorship or having someone being your power of attorney is a drastic measure and most courts do not like to do it without do cause. If you can take care of yourself currently with your daily life needs, then most likely you are in control of your own faculties to not need a power of attorney.

DoctorZ :

No problem, I am happy to help and I hope I provided you with excellent service today

Customer:

Fantastic. Thank you very much, sir. It's nice to have one less thing to worry about. Have a good evening, and sleep well.

DoctorZ :

Good night :)

Dr. Z and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Cameron,
I just wanted to check in and see how you were doing with your issues of a possible future involuntary hospitalization. Let me know if there is anything else I can assist you with or if you have any other questions.
-Dr. Z