I am a law school graduate who has just been appointed to the Berkeley Mental Health Commission.The City of Berkeley has adopted a practice ( and perhaps a tacit policy) of placing homeless persons
involuntary psychiatric holds who DO NOT MEET the health and welfare
"51/50" criteria but who are instituionalized under a misapplication of
the " failure to self care" test. Inability to "take care of self" is
being randomly applied to homeless persons on the basis of ther status
as homeless. Additonally, profiling citizens known to the coummity
mental health facility or to the police as a "psychiatric patient"
common place. I am also concerned with the profiling of "mental health
patients" when it takes the form of improper application of the Health
and Welfare and Institutions Code in the involuntary
instituionalization of "mental health patients" who commit or are
accused of committing illegal or tortious acts WHERE NO NEXUS CAN BE
SHOWN between the mental illness and the conduct in question.
My questions are as follows:
1) Are you aware of any class action law suits regarding the misapplication of health and welfare and
institutions code..either on the basis of homeless persons mischaracterized as per se "mentally ill"?
or on the basis of profiling where status as a "mental health patient" is sufficient coupled with any
conduct or cognition deemed problematic to justify a psychiatric hold?
2) Where should I look for cases..and for guidelines for appropriate guidelines of applicable guidelines?