How to Have a Person Committed

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The court makes the ultimate decision as to whether a person will be committed.
The court makes the ultimate decision as to whether a person will be committed. (Image: Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images)

Having someone committed can be a fairly simple process if you take the right steps. It’s hard to see a loved one go through a tough situation, and sometimes people avoid having a loved one committed out of guilt. However, often committing someone is actually helping him in the long run. Professionals can often see to the problem that the person is having and can help him better deal with the situation. Those who need more help may remain committed longer.

Establish a valid reason as to why the person needs to be committed. Usually people are committed for mental health reasons, drug abuse or even severe mental retardation. When people are unable to care for themselves, or are a danger to themselves or to those around them, they are eligible to be committed. If you are observing someone behaving in an unhealthy manner, try to keep a log or a journal of events to present with your case. It helps to have some sort of timeline or log so your case seems more valid.

Submit a form at your county courthouse with the court clerk or county attorney. The form may vary according to the courthouse, but it is likely to be similar in most areas. You will be required to give your name and contact information along with the person whom you are reporting. The applicant may not have to participate after the initial complaint. Sometimes the court will ask the person to testify but in many cases the applicant is finished with the process once the paperwork is submitted.

Report someone if you feel that they are in danger. It doesn’t have to be a family member. Neighbors and concerned citizens can file a petition to have someone committed. Any individual who is concerned for their safety or for the safety of the person in question has a right to issue a complaint. Sometimes the court will conceal the identity of the applicant for his own safety. Also, the court may prevent the applicant from hearing any additional information about the case on behalf of the potentially committed person's privacy.

Wait for the outcome. A court hearing will commence and the respondent or person who is to be committed with have to go through a mental evaluation. The mental evaluation ensures that the individual is treated fairly and that the case is considered before she is committed. Once committed, the person may be detained by the hospital administrators for however long they feel the person needs help.

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