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Probate Court

Mental Illness - Writing a Petition

Statutory Requirements

  • Application for Admission
    • Mental Health Code, Sec. 424(1)(2) "(1) An application for hospitalization of an individual under Section 423 shall contain an assertion that the individual is a person requiring treatment as defined in Section 401, the alleged facts that are the basis for the assertion, the names and addresses, if known, of any witnesses to alleged and relevant facts, and if known the name and address of the nearest relative or guardian, or if none, a friend if known, of the individual."
    • Form PCM 201
  • Petition for admission
    • Mental Health Code, Sec. 434(1)(2)
      • "Any person 18 years of age or over may file with the court a petition which asserts that an individual is a person requiring treatment as defined in Section 401."
      • "The petition shall contain the facts which are the basis for the assertion, the names and addresses, if known, of any witnesses to the facts, and, if known, the name and address of the nearest relative or guardian, or, if none, a friend, if known, of the individual."
  • Petition for 90 day or continuing hospitalization.
    • Mental Health Code, Sec. 473
      • "Sec. 473. A petition for an order authorizing 90-day or continuing hospitalization shall contain a statement setting forth the reasons for the director's determination that the patient continues to be a person requiring treatment, a statement describing the treatment program provided to the patient, the results of that course of treatment, and a clinical estimate as to the time further treatment will be required. The petition shall be accompanied by a certificate executed by a psychiatrist."
    • Form PCM 218

Completing the Forms

  • Follow the appropriate form closely. It is designed to help you. Read the instructions.
  • The statute and forms require facts rather than conclusions.
  • Be careful to indicate in the correct places that which you have personally observed and that which was observed by others. This is important for determining what witnesses should be present at trial.
    • A petition or application may be based upon hearsay.
    • Hearsay is not admissible at trial.
  • Be careful on Form PCM 218, Item 10, to indicate the proper request. The Court should not order more than requested.

Who Petitions

  • An Application/Petition for an initial order of hospitalization may be filed by any person.
  • Petition for 90 day or continuing treatment.
    • If person is in hospital, the petition may be filed by hospital director or authorized representative.
    • If person is on a 90-day combined order or 90-day alternative order, the petition may be filed by:
      • Hospital Director or authorized representative.
      • Supervisor of alternative treatment program.
  • Privileged communications.
    • Defined by Mental Health Code, Sec. 750(1) (c) "(c) 'Privileged communication' means a communication made to a psychiatrist or psychologist in connection with the examination, diagnosis, or treatment of a patient, or to other persons while they are participating in the examination, diagnosis, or treatment."
    • While such persons may petition, they may not be allowed to testify at hearing. Therefore, they should avoid being petitioners if there is a privilege problem. c. Privileged communication may be disclosed under some circumstances including:
      • Patient informed that any communication could be used in the proceeding.
      • Patient communicates to a psychiatrist, psychologist or psychiatric social worker a threat of physical violence against a reasonably identifiable third person and the patient has the apparent intent and ability to carry out that threat in the foreseeable future.
      • Sec. 750(3) defines other exceptions to privilege not relevant to this discussion.

Contact Us

Probate Court

Kent County Courthouse
180 Ottawa Avenue NW, Suite 2500
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Monday - Friday
8:00am - 5:00pm
Filings are accepted until 4:30pm

(616) 632-5440

(616) 632-5430

Judge David Murkowski

Judge David M. Murkowski
Chief Judge Probate Court

Susan B. Flakne, Register

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