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2011 Florida Statutes

SECTION 11
Involuntary admission to residential services.
F.S. 393.11
393.11 Involuntary admission to residential services.
(1) JURISDICTION.When a person is mentally retarded and requires involuntary admission to residential services provided by the agency, the circuit court of the county in which the person resides shall have jurisdiction to conduct a hearing and enter an order involuntarily admitting the person in order that the person may receive the care, treatment, habilitation, and rehabilitation which the person needs. For the purpose of identifying mental retardation, diagnostic capability shall be established by the agency. Except as otherwise specified, the proceedings under this section shall be governed by the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure.
(2) PETITION.
(a) A petition for involuntary admission to residential services may be executed by a petitioning commission.
(b) The petitioning commission shall consist of three persons. One of these persons shall be a physician licensed and practicing under chapter 458 or chapter 459.
(c) The petition shall be verified and shall:
1. State the name, age, and present address of the commissioners and their relationship to the person with mental retardation or autism;
2. State the name, age, county of residence, and present address of the person with mental retardation or autism;
3. Allege that the commission believes that the person needs involuntary residential services and specify the factual information on which the belief is based;
4. Allege that the person lacks sufficient capacity to give express and informed consent to a voluntary application for services and lacks the basic survival and self-care skills to provide for the person’s well-being or is likely to physically injure others if allowed to remain at liberty; and
5. State which residential setting is the least restrictive and most appropriate alternative and specify the factual information on which the belief is based.
(d) The petition shall be filed in the circuit court of the county in which the person with mental retardation or autism resides.
(3) NOTICE.
(a) Notice of the filing of the petition shall be given to the individual and his or her legal guardian. The notice shall be given both verbally and in writing in the language of the client, or in other modes of communication of the client, and in English. Notice shall also be given to such other persons as the court may direct. The petition for involuntary admission to residential services shall be served with the notice.
(b) Whenever a motion or petition has been filed pursuant to s. 916.303 to dismiss criminal charges against a defendant with retardation or autism, and a petition is filed to involuntarily admit the defendant to residential services under this section, the notice of the filing of the petition shall also be given to the defendant’s attorney, the state attorney of the circuit from which the defendant was committed, and the agency.
(c) The notice shall state that a hearing shall be set to inquire into the need of the person with mental retardation or autism for involuntary residential services. The notice shall also state the date of the hearing on the petition.
(d) The notice shall state that the individual with mental retardation or autism has the right to be represented by counsel of his or her own choice and that, if the person cannot afford an attorney, the court shall appoint one.
(4) AGENCY PARTICIPATION.
(a) Upon receiving the petition, the court shall immediately order the developmental services program of the agency to examine the person being considered for involuntary admission to residential services.
(b) Following examination, the agency shall file a written report with the court not less than 10 working days before the date of the hearing. The report must be served on the petitioner, the person with mental retardation, and the person’s attorney at the time the report is filed with the court.
(c) The report must contain the findings of the agency’s evaluation, any recommendations deemed appropriate, and a determination of whether the person is eligible for services under this chapter.
(5) EXAMINING COMMITTEE.
(a) Upon receiving the petition, the court shall immediately appoint an examining committee to examine the person being considered for involuntary admission to residential services provided by the agency.
(b) The court shall appoint no fewer than three disinterested experts who have demonstrated to the court an expertise in the diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of persons with mental retardation. The committee must include at least one licensed and qualified physician, one licensed and qualified psychologist, and one qualified professional with a minimum of a masters degree in social work, special education, or vocational rehabilitation counseling, to examine the person and to testify at the hearing on the involuntary admission to residential services.
(c) Counsel for the person who is being considered for involuntary admission to residential services and counsel for the petition commission has the right to challenge the qualifications of those appointed to the examining committee.
(d) Members of the committee may not be employees of the agency or be associated with each other in practice or in employer-employee relationships. Members of the committee may not have served as members of the petitioning commission. Members of the committee may not be employees of the members of the petitioning commission or be associated in practice with members of the commission.
(e) The committee shall prepare a written report for the court. The report must explicitly document the extent that the person meets the criteria for involuntary admission. The report, and expert testimony, must include, but not be limited to:
1. The degree of the person’s mental retardation and whether, using diagnostic capabilities established by the agency, the person is eligible for agency services;
2. Whether, because of the person’s degree of mental retardation, the person:
a. Lacks sufficient capacity to give express and informed consent to a voluntary application for services pursuant to s. 393.065;
b. Lacks basic survival and self-care skills to such a degree that close supervision and habilitation in a residential setting is necessary and if not provided would result in a real and present threat of substantial harm to the person’s well-being; or
c. Is likely to physically injure others if allowed to remain at liberty.
3. The purpose to be served by residential care;
4. A recommendation on the type of residential placement which would be the most appropriate and least restrictive for the person; and
5. The appropriate care, habilitation, and treatment.
(f) The committee shall file the report with the court not less than 10 working days before the date of the hearing. The report shall be served on the petitioner, the person with mental retardation, the person’s attorney at the time the report is filed with the court, and the agency.
(g) Members of the examining committee shall receive a reasonable fee to be determined by the court. The fees are to be paid from the general revenue fund of the county in which the person with mental retardation resided when the petition was filed.
(h) The agency shall develop and prescribe by rule one or more standard forms to be used as a guide for members of the examining committee.
(6) COUNSEL; GUARDIAN AD LITEM.
(a) The person with mental retardation shall be represented by counsel at all stages of the judicial proceeding. In the event the person is indigent and cannot afford counsel, the court shall appoint a public defender not less than 20 working days before the scheduled hearing. The person’s counsel shall have full access to the records of the service provider and the agency. In all cases, the attorney shall represent the rights and legal interests of the person with mental retardation, regardless of who may initiate the proceedings or pay the attorney’s fee.
(b) If the attorney, during the course of his or her representation, reasonably believes that the person with mental retardation cannot adequately act in his or her own interest, the attorney may seek the appointment of a guardian ad litem. A prior finding of incompetency is not required before a guardian ad litem is appointed pursuant to this section.
(7) HEARING.
(a) The hearing for involuntary admission shall be conducted, and the order shall be entered, in the county in which the petition is filed. The hearing shall be conducted in a physical setting not likely to be injurious to the person’s condition.
(b) A hearing on the petition must be held as soon as practicable after the petition is filed, but reasonable delay for the purpose of investigation, discovery, or procuring counsel or witnesses shall be granted.
(c) The court may appoint a general or special magistrate to preside. Except as otherwise specified, the magistrate’s proceeding shall be governed by the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure.
(d) The person with mental retardation shall be physically present throughout the entire proceeding. If the person’s attorney believes that the person’s presence at the hearing is not in the person’s best interest, the person’s presence may be waived once the court has seen the person and the hearing has commenced.
(e) The person has the right to present evidence and to cross-examine all witnesses and other evidence alleging the appropriateness of the person’s admission to residential care. Other relevant and material evidence regarding the appropriateness of the person’s admission to residential services; the most appropriate, least restrictive residential placement; and the appropriate care, treatment, and habilitation of the person, including written or oral reports, may be introduced at the hearing by any interested person.
(f) The petitioning commission may be represented by counsel at the hearing. The petitioning commission shall have the right to call witnesses, present evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and present argument on behalf of the petitioning commission.
(g) All evidence shall be presented according to chapter 90. The burden of proof shall be on the party alleging the appropriateness of the person’s admission to residential services. The burden of proof shall be by clear and convincing evidence.
(h) All stages of each proceeding shall be stenographically reported.
(8) ORDER.
(a) In all cases, the court shall issue written findings of fact and conclusions of law to support its decision. The order must state the basis for the findings of fact.
(b) An order of involuntary admission to residential services may not be entered unless the court finds that:
1. The person is mentally retarded or autistic;
2. Placement in a residential setting is the least restrictive and most appropriate alternative to meet the person’s needs; and
3. Because of the person’s degree of mental retardation or autism, the person:
a. Lacks sufficient capacity to give express and informed consent to a voluntary application for services pursuant to s. 393.065 and lacks basic survival and self-care skills to such a degree that close supervision and habilitation in a residential setting is necessary and, if not provided, would result in a real and present threat of substantial harm to the person’s well-being; or
b. Is likely to physically injure others if allowed to remain at liberty.
(c) If the evidence presented to the court is not sufficient to warrant involuntary admission to residential services, but the court feels that residential services would be beneficial, the court may recommend that the person seek voluntary admission.
(d) If an order of involuntary admission to residential services provided by the agency is entered by the court, a copy of the written order shall be served upon the person, the person’s counsel, the agency, and the state attorney and the person’s defense counsel, if applicable. The order of involuntary admission sent to the agency shall also be accompanied by a copy of the examining committee’s report and other reports contained in the court file.
(e) Upon receiving the order, the agency shall, within 45 days, provide the court with a copy of the person’s family or individual support plan and copies of all examinations and evaluations, outlining the treatment and rehabilitative programs. The agency shall document that the person has been placed in the most appropriate, least restrictive and cost-beneficial residential setting. A copy of the family or individual support plan and other examinations and evaluations shall be served upon the person and the person’s counsel at the same time the documents are filed with the court.
(9) EFFECT OF THE ORDER OF INVOLUNTARY ADMISSION TO RESIDENTIAL SERVICES.
(a) An order authorizing an admission to residential care may not be considered an adjudication of mental incompetency. A person is not presumed incompetent solely by reason of the person’s involuntary admission to residential services. A person may not be denied the full exercise of all legal rights guaranteed to citizens of this state and of the United States.
(b) Any minor involuntarily admitted to residential services shall, upon reaching majority, be given a hearing to determine the continued appropriateness of his or her involuntary admission.
(10) COMPETENCY.
(a) The issue of competency shall be separate and distinct from a determination of the appropriateness of involuntary admission to residential services for a condition of mental retardation.
(b) The issue of the competency of a person with mental retardation for purposes of assigning guardianship shall be determined in a separate proceeding according to the procedures and requirements of chapter 744. The issue of the competency of a person with mental retardation or autism for purposes of determining whether the person is competent to proceed in a criminal trial shall be determined in accordance with chapter 916.
(11) CONTINUING JURISDICTION.The court which issues the initial order for involuntary admission to residential services under this section has continuing jurisdiction to enter further orders to ensure that the person is receiving adequate care, treatment, habilitation, and rehabilitation, including psychotropic medication and behavioral programming. Upon request, the court may transfer the continuing jurisdiction to the court where a client resides if it is different from where the original involuntary admission order was issued. A person may not be released from an order for involuntary admission to residential services except by the order of the court.
(12) APPEAL.
(a) Any party to the proceeding who is affected by an order of the court, including the agency, may appeal to the appropriate district court of appeal within the time and in the manner prescribed by the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure.
(b) The filing of an appeal by the person with mental retardation shall stay admission of the person into residential care. The stay shall remain in effect during the pendency of all review proceedings in Florida courts until a mandate issues.
(13) HABEAS CORPUS.At any time and without notice, any person involuntarily admitted into residential care, or the person’s parent or legal guardian in his or her behalf, is entitled to file a petition for a writ of habeas corpus to question the cause, legality, and appropriateness of the person’s involuntary admission. Each person, or the person’s parent or legal guardian, shall receive specific written notice of the right to petition for a writ of habeas corpus at the time of his or her involuntary placement.
History.s. 4, ch. 10272, 1925; CGL 3677; s. 1, ch. 61-426; s. 5, ch. 67-65; s. 1, ch. 70-343; s. 1, ch. 70-439; s. 4, ch. 73-308; s. 25, ch. 73-334; s. 8, ch. 75-259; s. 197, ch. 77-147; s. 2, ch. 77-335; s. 155, ch. 79-400; s. 3, ch. 80-174; s. 5, ch. 81-290; s. 8, ch. 88-398; s. 2, ch. 90-333; s. 7, ch. 92-58; s. 14, ch. 94-154; s. 95, ch. 95-143; s. 1048, ch. 95-148; s. 2, ch. 98-92; s. 89, ch. 99-8; s. 5, ch. 99-240; s. 76, ch. 2004-11; s. 78, ch. 2004-267; s. 27, ch. 2006-227.