The Vermont Statutes Online
Title 13 : Crimes and Criminal Procedure
Chapter 157 : INSANITY AS A DEFENSE(Cite as: 13 V.S.A. § 4822)
§ 4822. Findings and order; persons with a mental illness
(a) If the court finds that the person is a person in need of treatment or a patient in need of further treatment as defined in 18 V.S.A. § 7101, the court shall issue an order of commitment directed to the Commissioner of Mental Health that shall admit the person to the care and custody of the Department of Mental Health for an indeterminate period. In any case involving personal injury or threat of personal injury, the committing court may issue an order requiring a court hearing before a person committed under this section may be discharged from custody.
(b) An order of commitment issued pursuant to this section shall have the same force and effect as an order issued under 18 V.S.A. §§ 7611-7622, and a person committed under this order shall have the same status and the same rights, including the right to receive care and treatment, to be examined and discharged, and to apply for and obtain judicial review of his or her case, as a person ordered committed under 18 V.S.A. §§ 7611-7622.
(c)(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, at least 10 days prior to the proposed discharge of any person committed under this section, the Commissioner of Mental Health shall give notice of the discharge to the committing court and State’s Attorney of the county where the prosecution originated. In all cases requiring a hearing prior to discharge of a person found incompetent to stand trial under section 4817 of this title, the hearing shall be conducted by the committing court issuing the order under that section. In all other cases, when the committing court orders a hearing under subsection (a) of this section or when, in the discretion of the Commissioner of Mental Health, a hearing should be held prior to the discharge, the hearing shall be held in the Family Division of the Superior Court to determine if the committed person is no longer a person in need of treatment or a patient in need of further treatment as set forth in subsection (a) of this section. Notice of the hearing shall be given to the Commissioner, the State’s Attorney of the county where the prosecution originated, the committed person, and the person’s attorney. Prior to the hearing, the State’s Attorney may enter an appearance in the proceedings and may request examination of the patient by an independent psychiatrist, who may testify at the hearing.
(2)(A) This subdivision (2) shall apply when a person is committed to the care and custody of the Commissioner of Mental Health under this section after having been found:
(i) not guilty by reason of insanity; or
(ii) incompetent to stand trial, provided that the person’s criminal case has not been dismissed.
(B)(i) When a person has been committed under this section, the Commissioner shall provide notice to the State’s Attorney of the county where the prosecution originated or to the Office of the Attorney General if that office prosecuted the case:
(I) at least 10 days prior to discharging the person from:
(aa) the care and custody of the Commissioner; or
(bb) a hospital or a secure residential recovery facility to the community on an order of nonhospitalization pursuant to 18 V.S.A. § 7618;
(II) at least 10 days prior to the expiration of a commitment order issued under this section if the Commissioner does not seek continued treatment; or
(III) any time that the person elopes from the custody of the Commissioner.
(ii) When the State’s Attorney or Attorney General receives notice under subdivision (i) of this subdivision (B), the Office shall provide notice of the action to any victim of the offense for which the person has been charged who has not opted out of receiving notice.
(iii) As used in this subdivision (B), “victim” has the same meaning as in section 5301 of this title.
(d) The court may continue the hearing provided in subsection (c) of this section for a period of 15 additional days upon a showing of good cause.
(e) If the court determines that commitment shall no longer be necessary, it shall issue an order discharging the patient from the custody of the Department of Mental Health.
(f) The court shall issue its findings and order not later than 15 days from the date of hearing. (Added 1969, No. 20, § 9; amended 1977, No. 95, § 1, eff. May 5, 1977; 1977, No. 252 (Adj. Sess.), § 38; 1987, No. 248 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; 1989, No. 187 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; 1995, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 2009, No. 154, § 238; 2011, No. 79 (Adj. Sess.), § 15a, eff. April 2, 2012; 2013, No. 96 (Adj. Sess.), § 58; 2013, No. 131 (Adj. Sess.), § 107; 2021, No. 57, § 3.)