Montana Code Annotated 2015

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     53-21-128. Petition for extension of commitment period. (1) (a) Not less than 2 calendar weeks prior to the end of the 3-month period of commitment to the state hospital, a behavioral health inpatient facility, or the Montana mental health nursing care center or the period of commitment to a community facility or program or a course of treatment provided for in 53-21-127, the professional person in charge of the patient at the place of commitment may petition the district court in the county where the patient is committed for extension of the commitment period unless otherwise ordered by the original committing court. The petition must be accompanied by a written report and evaluation of the patient's mental and physical condition. The report must describe any tests and evaluation devices that have been employed in evaluating the patient, the course of treatment that was undertaken for the patient, and the future course of treatment anticipated by the professional person.
     (b) Upon the filing of the petition, the court shall give written notice of the filing of the petition to the patient, the patient's next of kin, if reasonably available, the friend of respondent appointed by the court, and the patient's counsel. If any person notified requests a hearing prior to the termination of the previous commitment authority, the court shall immediately set a time and place for a hearing on a date not more than 10 days, not including Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, from the receipt of the request and notify the same people, including the professional person in charge of the patient. When a hearing is requested less than 10 days prior to the termination of the previous commitment authority, the previous commitment is considered extended until the hearing is held. The notice of hearing must include a notice of this extension. If a hearing is not requested, the court shall enter an order of commitment for a period not to exceed 6 months.
     (c) Procedure on the petition for extension when a hearing has been requested must be the same in all respects as the procedure on the petition for the original 3-month commitment, except that the patient is not entitled to a trial by jury. The hearing must be held in the district court having jurisdiction over the facility in which the patient is detained unless otherwise ordered by the court. Court costs and witness fees, if any, must be paid by the county that paid the same costs in the initial commitment proceedings.
     (d) If upon the hearing the court finds the patient not to be suffering from a mental disorder and requiring commitment within the meaning of this part, the patient must be discharged and the petition dismissed. If the court finds that the patient continues to suffer from a mental disorder and to require commitment, the court shall order commitment as set forth in 53-21-127. However, an order extending the commitment period may not affect the patient's custody for more than 6 months and may not commit the patient to a behavioral health inpatient facility. In its order, the court shall describe what alternatives for treatment of the patient are available, what alternatives were investigated, and why the investigated alternatives were not found suitable. The court may not order continuation of an alternative that does not include a comprehensive, individualized plan of treatment for the patient. A court order for the continuation of an alternative must include a specific finding that a comprehensive, individualized plan of treatment exists.
     (2) Prior to the end of the period of commitment to a community facility or program or course of treatment, a respondent may request that the treating provider petition the district court for an extension of the commitment order. The petition must be accompanied by a written report and evaluation of the respondent's mental and physical condition, an updated treatment plan, and a written statement by the respondent that an extension is desired. The extension procedure must follow the procedure required in subsections (1)(b) through (1)(d).
     (3) Further extensions under subsection (1) or (2) may be obtained under the same procedure described in subsection (1). However, the patient's custody may not be affected for more than 1 year without a renewal of the commitment under the procedures set forth in subsection (1), including a statement of the findings required by subsection (1).

     History: En. 38-1306 by Sec. 6, Ch. 466, L. 1975; amd. Sec. 6, Ch. 546, L. 1977; R.C.M. 1947, 38-1306(3), (4); amd. Secs. 10, 14, Ch. 547, L. 1979; amd. Sec. 11, Ch. 376, L. 1987; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 434, L. 1987; amd. Sec. 24, Ch. 490, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 13, Ch. 342, L. 2001; amd. Sec. 6, Ch. 513, L. 2003; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 554, L. 2003.

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