I recently represented a client facing a 180 day involuntary commitment to the Mental Health facility at Wernersville State Hospital under section 305 of the Pennsylvania Mental Health Act. After testimony before a Mental Health Hearing Officer the period of potential commitment was reduced to 30 days. Clearly, a favorable result for my client. While she will continue to receive the treatment that she needs she will not be facing the possibility of a long stay in a restrictive facility.
Title 50 addresses mental health law in Pennsylvania. The law provides for the involuntary examination and treatment of individuals who, due to mental illness, lack the capacity to care for their personal needs to the extent that they pose a danger to themselves or others. The statutes can be found at 50 P.S. Section 7301 through 7305. Each section provides for examination by a physician and a period of time for which the commitment may last.
Individuals facing a 303, 304 or 305 hearing have the right to an attarney to represent them. It is particularly important for individuals and/or families of individuals facing involuntary commitment to hire an attarney to represent their interests. As with any situation where your liberty interests are at stake, you need to be prepared to present your best case.
Myself and my partners at Ebner, Nevins & McAllister have extensive experience representing individuals with mental health diagnosis. We are sensitive to the delicate nature of many of these cases and will zealously advocate for your interests. Please contact our office for a free consultation.