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Can my sister's incarcerated husband have her committed into a mental institution or have say of her well-being?

Buffalo, NY |
Filed under: Civil rights

My sister has been suffering from depression and extreme anxiety. Lately, she's had a few bad episodes that send her crying all the time. She is being taken care of by me and her adult children. Her husband is incarcerated. They live in the state of New York state. Does her husband have control of whether she goes to an institution? Can he control who's her health proxy?

Attorney Answers 2


  1. It is almost impossible for the husband to make those decisions or carry out those actions while incarcerated.

    The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advice" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.


  2. He cannot control her health care proxy - that is her decision alone and he (nor anyone else) has any say or control in that. You don't say whether or not her husband is incarcerated by the State or in a local jail - which might, but not necessarily so - make a difference to a judge. If she's not being treated by a doctor for her depression, that's the first place to start. If she's already under a doctor's care, you may want to let the doctor know about her current "bad episodes" so that hopefully it can be dealt with clinically. Good luck!

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