Following an evaluation or emergency admission, in order for involuntary inpatient treatment proceedings to begin, the chief medical officer (CMO) at the evaluation facility must file a petition in Probate Court recommending that the patient be hospitalized against his or her will. This recommendation must be supported by the opinions of either two physicians or a physician and a psychologist.
In order to proceed, the hospital files a petition in the probate court in the county where the hospital is located within seven days of the person's admission, (i.e., five days after the initial 48-hour evaluation period) ,weekends and holidays excluded. A hearing must be held no sooner than seven nor later than 12 days after the filing. Except for time deadlines and the applicable legal standard, the procedure is basically the same as that for outpatient treatment proceedings as to notice, the designation of patient representatives, and the appointment of an attorney.
Two patient representatives are designated (one by the patient and one or two by the facility, depending on whether or not the patient has designated one), the required notices are sent by the court, and an attorney is appointed to represent the patient if the patient does not have or retain one for the upcoming hearing.