Involuntary commitment hearings; petitioner right to appeal. (HB938)

Introduced By

Del. Todd Gilbert (R-Woodstock) with support from 7 copatrons, whose average partisan position is:

Those copatrons are Del. Dave Albo (R-Springfield), Del. Clay Athey (R-Front Royal), Del. Mark Cole (R-Fredericksburg), Del. Scott Lingamfelter (R-Woodbridge), Del. Jimmie Massie (R-Richmond), Del. Beverly Sherwood (R-Winchester), Sen. John Cosgrove (R-Chesapeake)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Commitment hearings; petitioner right to appeal. Gives the petitioner the right to appeal a decision by the judge or special justice not to involuntarily commit a respondent. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/08/2008Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/09/08 081429432
01/08/2008Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/16/2008Assigned Courts sub: Mental Health
01/25/2008Reported from Courts of Justice with amendments (22-Y 0-N)
01/25/2008Reported from Courts of Justice with amendment (22-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/29/2008Read first time
01/30/2008Read second time
01/30/2008Committee amendment agreed to
01/30/2008Engrossed by House as amended HB938E
01/30/2008Printed as engrossed 081429432-E
01/31/2008Read third time and passed House BLOCK VOTE (98-Y 0-N)
01/31/2008VOTE: BLOCK VOTE PASSAGE (98-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/31/2008Communicated to Senate
02/01/2008Constitutional reading dispensed
02/01/2008Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
02/14/2008Assigned Courts sub: Special on Proposed Mental Health Legislation
02/15/2008Impact statement from DPB (HB938E)
02/28/2008Passed by in Courts of Justice with letter (15-Y 0-N)
02/28/2008 Subject matter referred to Commission on Mental Health Law Reform pursuant to Senate Rule 20 (L)


R P McMurphy writes:

These overreacting CBS's already have an option of appeal. They can restart the whole process!

What is missing and what is in dire need of is the creation is a real and accessible procedure for a respondent to appeal a special justice's decision to commit. These special justices seem to basically just rubberstamp these overreacting Chicken Little mentality psychiatrists. Respondent's families are "business as usual" told "a typical stay is only three or four days" as if that is no big deal. Indeed, the whole State Mental Health System is too nonchalant and too cavalier toward imprisoning people. These overreacting Chicken Little mentality psychiatrists are literally given a blank check to do whatever they want for as long as they want with no accountability to anybody but themselves and there is reprehensibly little one can do about it. THIS IS UNCONSCIONABLE!

Why is it the wheels to commit turn at breakneck speed and the wheels to appeal or even provide any oversight over these Chicken Little mentality psychiatrists do not turn at all?

Alison Hymes writes:

Because appeals of commitment are moot in Virginia by the time they are heard. Once a person files an appeal, they have usually been discharged already and their appeal is declared moot.

This bill isn't actually for CSB's to appeal as I understand it, it's for family members and other non mental health employees who have petitioned for commitment of someone they know. But I could be misreading it. The Treatment Advocacy Center and NAMI-Virginia want this bill.