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Involuntary Commitment Procedure

Involuntary Commitment Procedure - Departments & Programs, UW Medical Foundation, Patient Resources, Social Work Services Quick Guide, Social Work Manual, AODA, Treatment


What is an involuntary commitment?

An involuntary commitment is a civil, legal proceeding which allows for an alcohol or drug dependent individual who is dangerous as a result of that use, to be placed in a treatment setting against his/her will. 

How is an involuntary commitment initiated?

Initiating an involuntary commitment requires that a three-party petition for commitment be filed with the court after an initial screening process has been completed by Tellurian UCAN, Inc (223.3311).

What is a petitioner?

A petitioner is an individual who completes a written affidavit requesting and initiating the involuntary commitment procedure. 

Who may be a petitioner?

What is an affidavit?

An affidavit is a sworn statement in writing made under oath or an affirmation before an officer or notary.

What happens after the affidavits are filed?

A judge will review the documents and if he/she believes that the statutory requirements are met, he/she will issue an order for the Sheriff’s Department to pick up your loved one and place them involuntarily at a treatment facility pending their Probable Cause Hearing in court. 

Will the person I am attempting to commit know what I am saying about him/her?

The person to be committed will receive a copy of the affidavits and will be present at the court hearings to hear the testimony presented. 

What happens at the hearings?

Will the commitment guarantee my loved one will recover?

No. Since the illness of addiction is not a curable one, there is no guaranteed that your loved one will maintain long-term sobriety. However, In most cases, the individual will be in a protective environment, abstinent from alcohol or their other drug(s) of choice for a period of time long enough to experience an appropriate therapeutic intervention. During that time, most individuals acknowledge their addiction and desire to accept the needed treatment and support for long-term recovery. 

Is there a fee to initiate an Involuntary Commitment?

No. There is no fee to initiate these proceedings.