Matter of Paige M.

In Matter of Paige M.[1] the supreme court held that a court must conduct a post-petition screening investigation, or appoint a mental health professional to conduct one, before granting a petition for involuntary hospitalization under section 47.30.700 of the Alaska Statutes.  A psychologist at a mental health clinic petitioned to have a patient involuntarily hospitalized.  The superior court held a hearing on the petition at which only the psychologist gave substantive testimony.  The court granted the petition, and the patient was hospitalized.  The patient appealed, arguing that the trial court violated section 47.30.700 of the Alaska Statutes by not ensuring that a full screening investigation was conducted before it issued the order for her involuntary hospitalization.  The supreme court agreed, explaining that three key events must occur before an individual may be involuntary hospitalized: first, an adult must petition a superior court for the respondent’s involuntary hospitalization; second, a judge or mental health professional must conduct a screening investigation to evaluate the allegations in the petition; third, the court must find probable cause that the respondent is mentally ill and that this mental illness causes the respondent to be gravely disabled or to present a likelihood of serious harm to self or others.  Finally, the court explained that the required screening investigation should take place after a petition has been filed, and the screening investigation should, if possible, include an interview with the respondent.  Thus, the supreme court concluded that the superior court violated section 47.30.700 of the Alaska Statutes by not conducting a post-petition interview with the respondent or attempting to determine whether one would be reasonably possible.  Reversing, the supreme held that a court must conduct a post-petition screening investigation, or appoint a mental health professional to conduct one, before granting a petition for involuntary hospitalization.

 

 

[1] 433 P.3d 1182 (Alaska 2018).

Matter of Paige M.

In Matter of Paige M.[1] the supreme court held that a court must conduct a post-petition screening investigation, or appoint a mental health professional to conduct one, before granting a petition for involuntary hospitalization under section 47.30.700 of the Alaska Statutes.  A psychologist at a mental health clinic petitioned to have a patient involuntarily hospitalized.  The superior court held a hearing on the petition at which only the psychologist gave substantive testimony.  The court granted the petition, and the patient was hospitalized.  The patient appealed, arguing that the trial court violated section 47.30.700 of the Alaska Statutes by not ensuring that a full screening investigation was conducted before it issued the order for her involuntary hospitalization.  The supreme court agreed, explaining that three key events must occur before an individual may be involuntary hospitalized: first, an adult must petition a superior court for the respondent’s involuntary hospitalization; second, a judge or mental health professional must conduct a screening investigation to evaluate the allegations in the petition; third, the court must find probable cause that the respondent is mentally ill and that this mental illness causes the respondent to be gravely disabled or to present a likelihood of serious harm to self or others.  Finally, the court explained that the required screening investigation should take place after a petition has been filed, and the screening investigation should, if possible, include an interview with the respondent.  Thus, the supreme court concluded that the superior court violated section 47.30.700 of the Alaska Statutes by not conducting a post-petition interview with the respondent or attempting to determine whether one would be reasonably possible.  Reversing, the supreme held that a court must conduct a post-petition screening investigation, or appoint a mental health professional to conduct one, before granting a petition for involuntary hospitalization.

 

 

[1] 433 P.3d 1182 (Alaska 2018).