Skip to main content

What is the best way in NY to have someone committed to a mental institution, long term, against their will?

Albany, NY |

I know that sounds cruel, & it's not something I want to have to happen. In fact, I'm not sure it's at all possible, which is why I'm asking this forum.
+ My boyfriend suffers from severe dissociation.
+ As a result, it is dangerous for him to drive & he frequently attempts suicide.
+ He has a very tenuous grasp on reality & loses memory from dissociating, so handling his own affairs (getting medical treatments, handling legal proceedings, getting state aid) is very difficult for him.
+ He's been held involuntarily in psychwards for suicide watch three times in the past month, but only for 3-8 days.

He desperately needs longer-term treatment (a couple of months) & he won't agree to it. Is there any legal recourse? I know more details are needed but I'm running out of characters.

Oh, good, I can add more, haha. I don't want him declared incompetent forever or anything (unless he really is incompetent for so long); I want him to be his own person with his own rights. It's just that right now, he really can't handle himself and needs more treatment than he's agreeing to and receiving and needs more help with his affairs. So I guess the longer version of my question is: could these things be considered incompetency (i.e. should I even bother consulting a lawyer), and what are some less extreme ways of getting this accomplished besides going through an Article 81 proceeding, if they are available? Thank you so much for your help!

Attorney Answers 1


An Article 81 proceeding is your only option without his consent. I highly recommend voicing your concerns to his parents and his psychiatrist before beginning legal proceedings.

Mental disease and defect can be very difficult to handle. There are few good solutions aside from rigid adherence to his treatment plan. If he will not do it voluntarily, it may be in his best interest to have a guardian appointed through the Article 81 petition.

The Law Office of Jennifer L. McCann, P.C.
132 Nassau Street, Suite 423
New York, New York 10038
Tel: (646) 524-5761

Ms. McCann's answers are for general information about perceived legal issues within this question only and no response to any posted inquiry should be deemed to extend any right of confidentiality between you and Ms. McCann, to constitute legal advice, or create an attorney/client or other contractual relationship. An attorney/client relationship is formed only by specific agreement including an evaluation of the specific legal problem and review of all the facts and documents at issue. We try to insure the accuracy of this information, but we cannot guarantee its accuracy. The reader should never assume that this information applies to his or her specific situation or constitutes legal advice. Therefore, please consult competent counsel that practices in the subject area in your jurisdiction and who is familiar with your specific facts and all of the circumstances.

Mark as helpful

1 found this helpful