34-20A-70. Petition for involuntary commitment--Appointment of attorney for applicant--Procedure--Grounds.

A person may be committed by the circuit court upon the petition of the person's spouse or guardian, a relative, a physician, the administrator of any approved treatment facility, or any other responsible person. Any person applying for commitment shall do so to the circuit court through the clerk of courts of the county in which the person to be committed resides or is present. The circuit court judge, upon receipt of a written application prepared by the clerk of courts, shall appoint an attorney to represent the applicant. The appointed attorney shall investigate the grounds upon which the application is based and shall within five days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays, submit a written report to the circuit court as to whether probable cause exists that the person subject of the petition is an alcoholic or drug abuser. All information obtained as a result of the investigation and written report shall be documented and made a part of the record of any further proceedings. The petition shall allege that the person is an alcoholic or drug abuser who habitually lacks self-control as to the use of alcoholic beverages or other drugs and:

(1)    Has threatened, attempted, or inflicted physical harm on himself or herself or on another and that unless committed is likely to inflict harm on himself or herself or on another; or

(2)    Is incapacitated by the effects of alcohol or drugs; or

(3)    Is pregnant and abusing alcohol or drugs.

A refusal to undergo treatment does not constitute evidence of lack of judgment as to the need for treatment.

Source: SL 1974, ch 240, § 12 (a); SL 1985, ch 277, § 22; SL 1998, ch 207, § 1; SL 2023, ch 117, § 6.