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How to clear an involuntary admission to a mental hospital in NY from my record.

Albany, NY |

In 1990 I was arrested for DUI in NY and being drunk got belligerent with the police. They took me to the Psych center where I was held overnight until I sobered up. Doctor's eval upon discharge in the morning says no sign of mental illness, no risk of harm to self or others. Earlier this year I tried to purchase a rifle to target shoot with my son and was denied. I didn't even know this was on my record. I filed for a relief from disabilities with NY Office of Mental Health five months ago but have heard nothing. I've been sober since that night 23+ years ago. What do I do to get this off my record? NY has no mechanism for expungement. I currently reside in Naples, FL.

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Attorney answers 2


Try contacting the New York State Mental Hygiene Legal Service, which is effectively a patient advocacy office. I'm not sure if they can help you directly, but they will likely have information to guide you. Good luck!

My response is for general information only. It is not legal advice, and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. There is rarely a black-and-white rule or a "one size fits all" answer to a legal question. Please contact an attorney for specific legal advice regarding your matter so you can customize a solution to your needs and desires. :)


It seems that you were reported in conjunction with section 9.46 of the Mental Hygiene Law. "MHL 9.46 requires mental health professionals to report to their local director of community services ("DCS") or his/her designees when, in their reasonable professional judgment, one of their patients is "likely to engage in conduct that would result in serious harm to self or others.""

There are two issues here. First that it should only effect the 5 years after the report is made, and second it doesn't seem that there is any issue that would cause the report to be created.

The first step is to obtain a certificate of relief from the Office of Mental Health. I would consult an attorney to assist you through this process.