Frequently Asked Questions: Mental Health (Part 2)
Oakland County, MichiganCourtsProbate CourtFrequently Asked Questions: Mental Health (Part 2)

Frequently Asked Questions: Mental Health (Part 2)

If I sign in voluntarily, can I sign myself out?

Yes. Because you came in on a voluntary basis, you may leave on a voluntary basis. However, the hospital may determine that you need continued hospitalization and can detain you for 72 hours in order to complete a petition and two physician certificates. The hospital has 72 hours after a Notice of Intent to Terminate Voluntary Status has been filed with them to file the petition.


In an involuntary situation, who transports the person to the hospital for the examination?

The police department coordinates this with ambulance services. The person being transported is responsible for paying the ambulance bill.


Once the person is hospitalized, how long must he/she wait before the hearing takes place?

The court is required to schedule a hearing within seven (7) days from the time the court receives the paperwork (petition and two physician certificates).


What is the duration of involuntary hospitalization once there has been a court hearing?

The court may not enter an order for more than sixty (60) days of inpatient treatment in the hospital nor more than ninety (90) days of outpatient treatment. After that first hearing, if a determination is made that the patient needs continuing treatment, the court can order a hospitalization order up to ninety (90) days and up to one year of alternative treatment.

After that, with the determination that the patient still needs treatment, the court can order hospitalization up to one year, one year alternative, or one year combined with hospitalization up to ninety (90) days with six-month period reviews.


Where in the community does a patient obtain "alternative treatment"?

Community Mental Health Services.  They are involved in screening the patient at the time of discharge to an alternative treatment setting.  They are also responsible for linking the patient to the various Community Mental Health satellite offices throughout the county, following up on the treatment, and advising the court if the patient is not meeting the requirements under the alternative treatment order.


What is a deferred hearing?

"Deferred hearing" is kind of a misnomer as it is more of an agreement with the patient and the hospital, which must take place within 72 hours after the petition and physician certifications have been filed with the court. These meetings involve the patient's assigned legal counsel, a hospital treatment member, a member from Community Mental Health, and the patient. The patient is informed of proposed treatment by the hospital which is normally 60 days inpatient treatment or 90 days alternative (outpatient) treatment, or 90 days combined inpatient/outpatient treatment with no more than 60 of those days being inpatient. If the patient agrees to the treatment, the hospital notifies the court and the court hearing is canceled. If during the agreement period the patient refuses treatment or requests a hearing, the hospital or patient can file a Demand for Hearing PC 236 and the court shall convene a hearing within seven (7) days.


What if the person does not agree with the hospital physician's determination of his/her need for treatment?

At the time of the hearing the judge is required to allow an independent medical examination requested by the person or his/her attorney. The matter is then adjourned for seven (7) days and the court provides a list of independent examiners to the patient.


What about costs involved in this process?

There are no filing fees.  The State of Michigan and the county are responsible for all costs, with reimbursement for the attorney fee from the individual, if feasible. 


Is the patient entitled to an attorney and jury at these hearings?

Yes.  The court will appoint an attorney for the individual unless he/she is privately represented.  The individual may make a demand for jury at any time up to the time of the first hearing.  If a demand is made, the hearing is adjourned until a jury may be convened. 


Do these same procedures affect the mentally ill minor?

Yes. The procedures are very similar. A minor (aged 14-17) can request hospitalization, the minor's parent(s) or guardian may make the request on a voluntary basis, or an Order of Transport may be issued by the court. Transport will be issued if it is determined that the minor is emotionally disturbed and presents a serious danger to him/herself or others. The minor (aged 14-17) may at any time object to this admission, having been advised by the social worker in the hospital. As a result of that objection, a hearing is set within seven (7) days and an attorney is appointed for the minor.


Where is the Mental Health Division located?

The Oakland County Probate Court Mental Health Division is located on the 1st floor of the Courthouse at 1200 North Telegraph Road, Pontiac, Michigan, 48341-0457.  The telephone number is (248) 858-0291. 

The Mental Health Division is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. except Holidays.  Due to time requirements needed to complete paperwork and appear before the judge, the public is asked to file petitions at the Mental Health counter before 3:30 p.m.