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  • NJ A3981
  • Establishes process for individual to petition court for involuntary commitment of another person to treatment for substance use disorder.
Introduced
(6/20/2016)
In Committee
(6/20/2016)
Crossed OverPassedSignedDead/Failed/Vetoed
2016-2017 Regular Session
This bill provides for a "petitioner" who is the spouse, civil union partner, relative, friend, or guardian of an individual to submit to the court a petition for the involuntary commitment of the individual to treatment for a substance use disorder. The petition is to be accompanied by a guarantee obligating the spouse, civil union partner, relative, friend, or guardian of the individual to pay all costs for treatment of the individual that is ordered by the court. If, after reviewing the allegations contained in the petition and examining the petitioner under oath, it appears to the court that there is probable cause to believe the individual is in need of involuntary commitment to treatment for a substance use disorder, the court is to: set a date for a hearing within 14 days to determine probable cause; provide certain notifications; and have the individual, called a "respondent" in the bill, examined no later than 24 hours before the hearing date. The examinations would be by two physicians, at least one of whom is to be a psychiatrist, who would certify the findings of the examinations to the court. If, upon completion of the hearing, the court finds the respondent is in need of involuntary commitment to treatment for a substance use disorder, the court is to order treatment for the respondent, pending a final hearing, as discussed below. Failure to undergo treatment may place the respondent in contempt of court. Additionally, following the physician examinations certifying the respondent to be in need of the involuntary commitment, the court may order the respondent hospitalized for a period not to exceed 72 hours, if the court finds, by clear and convincing evidence, that the respondent presents an imminent threat of danger to self, others, or property as a result of a substance use disorder. The bill provides certain patient rights which include: having examinations provided in the primary means of communication of the person or the aid of an interpreter; receiving verbal explanations of the reason for admission; and the right to be represented by an attorney. Within 20 days of the patient's initial commitment, the patient would receive a final court hearing, which is to be transcribed. At this hearing, if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the patient needs continued involuntary commitment to treatment for a substance use disorder, it is to issue an order authorizing the commitment. Additionally, if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the patient needs continued involuntary commitment to treatment for a substance use disorder and has a co-occurring mental illness, the court is to issue an order authorizing the involuntary commitment of the patient pursuant to the law governing civil commitment for mental illness. If the court finds the patient does not need continued involuntary commitment, the court would so order and a patient is to be discharged, with a discharge plan, within 48 hours of the court's verbal order or by the end of the next working day. At least 10 days prior to a hearing, notice is to be provided to the patient, the patient's guardian if any, the patient's next-of-kin, the patient's attorney, the chief executive officer or other individual who has custody of the patient, and any other individual specified by the court. A committed patient is to be provided with periodic court reviews of the need for involuntary commitment. The bill also provides for administrative and conditional discharges from commitment. A discharge plan is to be developed, and the patient is to have the opportunity to participate in its development. A facility licensed to provide substance use disorder treatment on an outpatient basis is also designated to participate in developing the plan, and the designated facility is to provide follow-up care to the patient.
Human Services
Introduced, Referred to Assembly Human Services Committee  (on 6/20/2016)
 
 
Date Chamber Action Description
6/20/2016 A Introduced, Referred to Assembly Human Services Committee
Date Motion Yea Nay Other
None specified