Essay On Review Of California – Laura’s Law, Ohio’s Court Ordered Outpatient Treatment Law And New York – Kendra’s Law

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Law, Health, Court, Criminal Justice, Psychology, Crime, Medicine, Treatment

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2021/02/13

Review of California – Laura’s Law, Ohio’s Court Ordered Outpatient Treatment Law and New York – Kendra’s LawName of Student

Ohio’s Court Ordered Outpatient Treatment Law The new law was effected in 2014 following the House Bill (HB) 104 and Senate Bill (SB) 43 passed by 130th Ohio General Assembly to modify and clarify court-ordered outpatient treatment. Before the passage of the law, numerous probate court judges provided variable interpretations regarding their ability to order particular persons with mental illness into outpatient treatment. National Alliance on Mental Illness, (2012) documents that the law provides that mentally ill person subject to court order because the person represents a substantial risk to self-physical harm such as suicide, physical harm to others, represents significant and immediate risk of physical impairment, and would benefit from the treatment. Ordering a mentally ill person into outpatient treatment follows two primary procedures. Firstly, is through emergency hospitalization (pink sleeping) that involves a licensed psychologist, psychiatrist, health officer, police officer, licensed physician, and parole officer. The patient must be examined within 24 hours, and if determined that the person is mentally ill subject to court order, he or she may be held up for three days (Ohio Association of County behavioural Helaht Authorities, 2014). In this period, the person may voluntary admit herself/himself as a patient, and if the person is held longer, the court must order for detention and scheduled for hearing. Secondly, the persons may be ordered to file an affidavit of Mental Illness with the probate court in the county of residence and as prescribed by the department of mental health. The affidavit, according to National Alliance on Mental Illness, should be accompanied by a certificate bearing a signature of a licensed physician upon payment of $25 fee to validate that the bearer is a mentally ill person subject to court order. The court would then determine if there is a probable cause within two business days upon receipt of the affidavit. The probate court must then refer the affidavit to ADAMH to help in determining if the person is a subject to court order and there is alternative hospitalization (National Alliance on Mental Illness, 2012). A report is then drawn and in case of positive results, court orders temporary detention or order a hearing and the person is transported to a designated place or hospital pending a court order on jurisdiction over the case.California – Laura’s Law California legislature passed the Laura Law in 2002 to offer a treatment option for the individuals suffering from chronic and severe mental illness following repeated and recent hospitalizations, documented acts of threats of violent behaviour, and or incarceration. The law offer for court ordered community-based assisted outpatient treatment (AOT) to individuals of small populations who meet strict legal criteria and persons who fails to seek voluntary mental health care as a result of their mental illness (Allenby, 2011). The law strictly applies to individuals of at least 18 years of age, persons with severe mental illness, and recent history of hospitalization. The law permits the counties to offer the option of court-ordered outpatient treatment for individuals with who meets the above criteria. The option may also provide treatment for individuals who refuses treatment and may danger to themselves and others. The county mental health director, Allenby (2011) notes is obligated to file a petition authorizing assisted outpatient treatment to the county's superior court where the individual with mental illness is believed to be present. A request for petition may be made by any person above 18 years of age, parent or spouse of the person, director of public or private agency or charitable organization, director of hospital, and or a licensed mental health treatment provider. The county health director is mandated by the law to conduct investigations upon receiving a request for the petition. The director will then file a petition in the case of a reasonable risk is validated in the investigations and that the contents of the petition can be proven in a court of law using convincing and clear evidence. The court shall then fix a hearing date following receipt of the petition at within five days from the petition date. The judges will not order AOT unless the examining mental health provider has reviewed the treatment history of the person (Allenby, 2011). However, in case the person declines voluntary examination, the court shall order for examination following the validation of a prudent or reasonable cause to believe the documented allegations. Under this scenario, Allenby notes, the person shall be detained for not more than 72 hours. However, failure to comply with involuntary treatment orders of AOT may not lead to involuntary civic commitment.New York – Kendra’s Law In 1999, the families of persons with serious mental illnesses proposed the Kendra’s Law as a mechanism to assist them help their loved ones and keep the society safer. Washington, (2010) indicates that the law allows courts, upon extensive due process, to order a specified group of narrowly defined persons ailing from serious mental illness for treatment. Under this act, the persons must have a past history of multiple arrests, needless hospitalizations, or incarcerations to accept treatment as an obligation for living in the society. The law permits the judges to order recalcitrant mental health system to offer services to individuals with the serious mental illness. Besides, the courts can also order people with serious brain disorders to comply with treatment while in the community (Washington, 2010). The New York – Kendra’s Law also includes the mechanism to offer persons with mental illness who gets discouraged from hospitals and jails to receive medication pending approval of their application. It also provides provisions for improved health record sharing between hospitals and mental health treatment officers. Thirdly, the law provides procedures to improve the application of conditional discharge for persons discharged from hospital and extension of outpatient commitment program at in New York City’s Bellevue Hospital (Washington, 2010).Similarities and Differences The most common factor in the three laws is the issuance of a court order. In all the scenarios, the person must have serious mental illness, history of hospitalization, and incarceration. However, the Laura’s Law slightly differs with the other two laws as it specifies that the persons must be above 18 years of age (Allenby, 2011). Secondly, the petition to file a request for hearing must be conducted by a licensed mental health practitioner following examination. The Laura’s law also exhibits some similarities with the Ohio’s court ordered patient as both provides for detention of the person with similar timelines of 72 hours working days. The New York – Kendra’s Law differs from the two laws as it provides for the orders obligating the hospital to provide a person treatment upon application and pending approval. It also offers permission for information sharing between different hospitals on a single consumer as opposed to the Laura’s Law and Ohio’s Law. Laura’s Law also differs as it offers permission to the counties to order AOT for persons who meet the criteria. Also, the county health director or any other designee is the only individual permitted to file a petition and conduct examinations before presenting the case for hearing, unlike the Ohio and Kendra’s Laws. Also, Kendra’s Law permits the judges to order recalcitrant mental health system to offer services to individuals with serious mental illness while the Ohio and Laura’s laws do not offer such provisions.


Allenby, C. (2011). Laura’s law report combined annual reports for 2009-2011 and one time evaluation required by ab 2357 chapter 1017, statutes of 2002, as amended by chapter 774, statutes of 2006, W&I code, section 5348 et seq. Orange, County Board of Supervisors. Superior Court of the State of California County of Nevada
National Alliance on Mental Illness. (2012). Understanding Ohio’s Court Ordered Outpatient Treatment Law the State’s Voice on Mental Illness, NAMI, Ohio.
Ohio Association of County behavioural Health Authorities. (2014). Behavioral Health: Developing a Better Understanding. Senate Bill 43 Outpatient Commitment Overview.
Washington, A. K. (2010). Kendra’s law and the rights of the mentally ill: an empirical peek behind the courts’ legal analysis and a suggested template for the New York state legislature’s reconsideration for renewal in 2010. Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy, vol. 19:213.

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