Translate This Page Print This Page Email a Friend Newsletter Sign-Up
Text Size : Sm Med Lg

Sample Image
Involuntary Psychiatric Evaluation

Article 9 of the New York State Mental Hygiene Law (M.H.L.) contains several sections that govern the decision by clinicians and police/peace officers to involuntarily remove a person to the psychiatric emergency room for evaluation. The law defines the standards that must be met, as well as who is authorized to take such action. In addition, the Department has established guidelines for clinicians. (Police guidelines are developed by the Police Department.)

Section 9.45
A Section 9.45 removal order is issued by the Department's Commissioner directing the police to transport an individual to the emergency room when a treating clinician is able to demonstrate that this individual has a mental illness and presents a danger to self or others. Department guidelines require that a qualified clinical reporter (licensed M.D. or licensed psychologist, registered nurse or certified social worker treating the individual) provide the Office of Crisis Intervention Services with all the necessary information needed to establish that the client is mentally ill and presents a danger to self or others. Requesting a 9.45 order is not appropriate if the client is an immediate danger to self or others. In such cases, Department guidelines direct the clinician to call "911". Additional information about the 9.45 order can be obtained by calling 311.

Section 9.37
The Department Commissioner is empowered to designate board-certified psychiatrists who are part of mobile crisis teams, or who work in other key emergency arenas, to order the involuntary removal to a psychiatric emergency room of an individual who has a mental illness and presents a danger to self or others. The 9.37 designation is not available for emergency room doctors. Additional information about 9.37 designation can be obtained by calling 311.

Section 9.58
Section 9.58 of the State mental hygiene law was enacted in 1995. It extends the authority to order the involuntary removal of an individual to the psychiatric emergency room to specified staff (i.e., M.D.s, licensed psychologists, registered nurses and certified social workers)who are part of approved mental health mobile crisis teams. The individual subject to involuntary removal must appear to have a mental illness and present a danger to self or others.

In New York City, all 9.58 eligible mobile crisis workers must complete a special training sequence developed by the Department before they can receive the 9.58 designation. 9.58 provides an alternative to the 9.45 and 9.37 orders.

Section 9.43
A 9.43 involuntary removal order is a civil order issued by a judge when he or she is presented with evidence that an individual has, or may have, a mental illness, and presents a danger to self or others. A 9.43 order may be requested by a treating clinician or family member. The Department will provide information and guidance on this process, please call 311 for more information. A 9.43 order also can be issued by a judge in criminal cases when the individual appearing before the judge appears to have a mental illness and presents a danger to self or others, and the court determines either that the crime has not been committed or that there is not sufficient cause to believe that such a person is guilty of the crime.

Last Updated December 12, 2012