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Searching 2021-2022 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online


Title 18 : Health


(Cite as: 18 V.S.A. § 7615)
  • § 7615. Hearing on application for involuntary treatment

    (a)(1) Upon receipt of the application, the court shall set a date for the hearing to be held within 10 days from the date of the receipt of the application or 20 days from the date of the receipt of the application if a psychiatric examination is ordered under section 7614 of this title unless the hearing is continued by the court pursuant to subsection (b) of this section.

    (2)(A) The applicant or a person who is certified as a person in need of treatment pursuant to section 7508 of this title may file a motion to expedite the hearing. The motion shall be supported by an affidavit, and the court shall rule on the motion on the basis of the filings without holding a hearing. The court:

    (i) shall grant the motion if it finds that the person demonstrates a significant risk of causing the person or others serious bodily injury as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 1021 even while hospitalized, and clinical interventions have failed to address the risk of harm to the person or others;

    (ii) may grant the motion if it finds that the person has received involuntary medication pursuant to section 7624 of this title during the past two years and, based upon the person's response to previous and ongoing treatment, there is good cause to believe that additional time will not result in the person establishing a therapeutic relationship with providers or regaining competence.

    (B) If the court grants the motion for expedited hearing pursuant to this subdivision, the hearing shall be held within ten days from the date of the order for expedited hearing.

    (3) If a hearing on the application for involuntary treatment has not occurred within 60 days from the date of the court's receipt of the application, the Commissioner shall request that the court and both parties' attorneys provide the reasons for the delay. The Commissioner shall submit a report to the court, the Secretary of Human Services, and the patient's attorney that either explains why the delay was warranted or makes recommendations as to how delays of this type can be avoided in the future.

    (b)(1) For hearings held pursuant to subdivision (a)(1) of this section, the court may grant each party a onetime extension of up to seven days for good cause.

    (2) The court may grant one or more additional seven-day continuances if:

    (A) the court finds that the proceeding or parties would be substantially prejudiced without a continuance; or

    (B) the parties stipulate to the continuance.

    (c) The hearing shall be conducted according to the Vermont Rules of Evidence, and to an extent not inconsistent with this part, the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure shall be applicable.

    (d) The applicant and the proposed patient shall have a right to appear at the hearing to testify. The attorney for the State and the proposed patient shall have the right to subpoena, present, and cross-examine witnesses, and present oral arguments. The court may, at its discretion, receive the testimony of any other person.

    (e) The proposed patient may at his or her election attend the hearing, subject to reasonable rules of conduct, and the court may exclude all persons, except a peer or other support person designated by the proposed patient, not necessary for the conduct of the hearing. (Added 1977, No. 252 (Adj. Sess.), § 22; amended 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 238; 2013, No. 192 (Adj. Sess.), § 11.)