Mental Health · Court-Based Hearings Under The LPS Act


Court-Based Hearings Under The LPS Act


Initial Conservatorship
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LOS ANGELES COUNTY PUBLIC GUARDIAN

The Director of County Mental Health/Public Guardian functions as the legal guardian or conservator of the person and estate of individuals whom the court has determined to be unable to provide their basic needs of food clothing and/or shelter.

More specifically, the Public Guardian can act under authority of the LPS Act, Welfare and Institutions Code and the Probate Code. The LPS and Probate conservatorship programs differ in a number of important ways:

      LPS PROBATE
    Program Description Involuntary Mental Health treatment and estate management Protective services and estate management (Cannot authorize mental health treatment)
    Program Type Mandated by state law Permissible under state law
    Process initiated by
    1. Evaluation by designated mental health treatment facility and application to Public Guardian
    2. Conservatorship investigation by Public Guardian
    Anyone through petition to the Court (Usually requires the assistance of an attorney)
    Population served Persons gravely disabled due to mental disorder and in need of involuntary treatment Persons unable to provide for personal needs for physical health, food, clothing and/or shelter or unable to resist fraud or undue influence


    Click here for more information on the Office of the Public Guardian.

    HOW LPS CONSERVATORSHIPS ARE INITIATED

    Because a Mental Health (LPS) Conservatorship is based upon grave disability as a result of a mental disorder, referrals to the Public Guardian's Office are accepted only from mental health professionals designated to evaluate for both the grave disability (inability to provide for one's basic personal needs for food, clothing or shelter) and the mental disorder. The two sources for qualified professionals to complete psychiatric evaluations and make referrals to the Public Guardian's Office are:

    • Private and public acute psychiatric hospitals officially designated by the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health to treat involuntary patients.

    • The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health and its regional offices.

    If you, as a relative, friend, or other concerned citizen and believe another person needs a LPS Conservatorship, the proper course to follow is for you to contact the appropriate source and request an evaluation for grave disability and referral to the Public Guardian as follows:

    • If the patient is in an acute psychiatric hospital designated by the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health to accept and treat involuntary patients, contact the treating therapist at the hospital and request an evaluation for conservatorship.

    • If the patient is living at home or residing in any other facility, contact the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health's Regional Office that covers the area where the patient is located and request a conservatorship evaluation.

    CONSERVATORSHIP POWERS/DISABILITIES

    Appointments

    • (Re)appointed conservator (ratifying acts since termination)

    • (Re)appointed conservator person and estate
    Powers - Placements and Treatment

    The conservator may be granted the following Powers regarding placement and treatment:

    • Power 4 – Open Residential: To place the conservatee in a private residence, psychiatric or non-psychiatric residential care facility, board and care, nursing or other State licensed facility where the conservatee has free access into or out of the premises.

    • Power 5 – Open Acute Care Hospital: To place the conservatee in a portion of a private acute care psychiatric hospital, State or County hospital or hospital operated by the Regents of the University of California or by the United States Government, where the conservatee has free access into or out of the premises.

    • Power 6 – Locked Nursing or Residential Facility: To place the conservatee in a medical or psychiatric nursing facility or other State or County licensed facility where the conservatee does not have free access into or out of the facility.

    • Power 7 – Locked Acute Care Hospital: To place the conservatee in that portion of a State or County hospital facility or a hospital operated by the Regents of the University of California or by the United States Government or of a private acute care psychiatric hospital, where the conservatee does not have free access into or out of such hospital.

      • Power 7a – Developmental Disabled Facility: Including a facility for the Developmentally Disabled under the jurisdiction of the Department of Developmental Services, State of California, or any of the Regional Centers for the Developmentally Disabled.

    • Power 8 – Mental Health Treatment: To require the conservatee to receive treatment, other than psychotropic medications, related specifically to remedying or preventing the recurrence of the conservatee’s being gravely disabled.

      • Power 8a – Medication: To require the conservatee to be treated with psychotropic medication.

    Disabilities

    The rights of the conservatee may be revoked regarding the following:

    • Disability 9 – Driving: The privilege of possessing a license to operate a motor vehicle.

    • Disability 10 – Treatment: The right to refuse or consent to treatment related specifically to the conservatee’s being gravely disabled.

    • Disability 11 – Contracts: The right to enter into any contracts.

    • Disability 12 – Medical Treatment: The right to refuse or consent to medical treatment necessary for existing or continuing medical conditions. The conservator may make medical treatment decisions for the conservatee for specific medical conditions listed in the Court Order.

    Power - Estate

    The conservator may have the following additional Power:

    • Power 13: To manage and control the conservatee’s estate pursuant to Chapter 6 of Part 4 of Division 4 of the Probate Code, commencing with Section 2400. Any additional powers specified in Article II (commencing with Section 2590) of Chapter 6 of Part 4 of Division 4 of the Probate Code must be authorized by further court order after a noticed hearing.

    Note: The Court may grant all or only some of the above Powers and Disabilities, check the specific order to verify which Powers and Disabilities have been granted.

    QUESTIONS THAT MUST BE ANSWERED WHEN REQUESTING EITHER MEDICAL OR ECT CONSENT WHEN A PATIENT IS ON A TEMPORARY OR LPS CONSERVATORSHIP

    Q1: What is the condition that requires treatment or surgery?

    Q2: What is the recommended course of treatment?

    Q3: What are the predictable results if authority to consent to treatment is denied or delayed by the court?

    Q4: What are the predictable or probable results if the recommended treatment is given?

    Q5: Are there any medical alternatives available?

    Q6: What are the attendant risks involved in the procedure recommended by the doctor?

    Q7: What were the reasonable efforts by the physician and/or the facility to obtain informed consent of the conservatee?

    Conservatorship Reappointment

    Click here for forms related to Conservatorship Reappointment.



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    Other Court-Based Hearings Under The LPS Act

    • Electroconvulsive Treatment (WIC 5327.7)

    • Weapons Confiscation/Return/Restriction Lifted (WIC 8102/8103)

    • Medication Capacity Appeal (WIC 5334)

    • 180-Day Post-Certification (WIC 5300)

    • Writs Of Habeas Corpus (WIC 5275)