Saline County Kansas

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Saline County Attorney

Ellen Mitchell

300 W. Ash Room 302
Salina, Kansas 67401

Office hours: Monday - Friday

8 a.m. to 5:00 p.m
Phone: 785-309-5815 
Fax: 785-309-5816 

 

 

 

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The Saline County Attorney’s Office provides the service of involuntary court commitments for mental illness.

 

The procedure is as follows:

 

  • The patient must obtain a mental health evaluation by a qualified person to determine if the patient meets the criteria for involuntary commitment.
    • This is typically performed by Central Kansas Mental Health Center.  Their office is located at 809 Elmhurst, their phone number is 785.823.6322.
    • The criteria for involuntary commitment is that the patient meets criteria 1, 2, and 3, plus 4 and/or 5:
  1. Is suffering from a severe mental disorder to the extent that he/she needs involuntary care in a State Hospital
  2. Lacks the capacity to make an informed decision concerning his/her need for treatment
  3. Is not manifesting a primary diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder, chemical abuse/addiction, mental retardation, organic personality syndrome, or an organic mental disorder; AND
  4. Is likely, in the reasonably foreseeable future, to cause substantial physical injury or physical abuse to self or others or substantial damage to another’s property, as evidenced by behavior causing , attempting , or threatening such injury, abuse, or damage; OR
  5. Is substantially unable, except for reason of indigence, to provide for any of his/her basic needs, such as food, clothing, shelter, health, or safety, causing a substantial deterioration of the person’s ability to function with current level of support, care or structure
  • Once the evaluation and screening is completed, the evaluator will send a copy of the screen, along with recommendations, to our office.
  • If the recommendation is for involuntary commitment, our office will file a petition and set a temporary custody hearing by the close of business of the next business day.
  • If the patient is not represented by a retained attorney, an attorney will be appointed for the patient. 
  • At the temporary custody hearing, the patient and his or her attorney will have the opportunity to speak with the judge.  The judge will then determine if the criteria have been met for involuntary commitment.  If so, the patient will remain at Larned State Hospital (LSH) for care and treatment.  The judge will authorize LSH to release the patient once the professionals at the hospital find the patient stable enough to be treated in the community.
  • While the patient is at LSH, the case will be reviewed regularly, typically every 14 days.  The patient will appear before the judge by video appearance, along with his or her attorney. 
  • After the patient has been released, the court will continue to monitor the case as needed with an out-patient treatment order to verify the continued treatment by community resources.

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