Preliminary Hearing


My husband was involuntarily committed to a mental hospital 2 weeks ago. Extremely delusional and thinks his family, including me, have been “overtaken” by other people. He refuses all antipsychotic meds but does let them give him his Diabetes and blood pressure meds. I haven’t seen him at all because he refuses. I talked to him for about a minute the day after he was admitted. Other than that brief phone call, he refuses to talk to any of us. His social worker told me yesterday that they will hold a preliminary Hearing today and a judge will decide whether he should be involuntarily medicated with psych treatment or if he should be released. She said that even though he is refusing the medicine, its possible that the judge will order him released because my husband is “not acting out in any way, polite and taking his diabetes medicine”. I am terrified that they will release him and he will refuse to let me pick him up because “I am not his wife” in his mind. Any thoughts on this situation? How will the judge rule?


SewNonnie, can you attend the preliminary hearing? Have you had any chance for input?

I would like to think that the judge would not release him to the streets since he cannot recognize his family.


Unfortunately since he refuses to allow me to visit, I don’t think so but I’m calling right now to find out! Good thinking, thanks.


Now they tell me… the hearing starts in 4 minutes, will be over in 5 minutes and I’m an hour away. I can’t even find out how it went until noon.:thinking:


We were in this same situation last March, with son extremely ill, refusing AP meds. After 11th day of him refusing, a civil court hearing took place. We presented a record of dangerous or potentially dangerous behavior witnessed over the previous few months, as well as what occurred just before hospitalization.

The judge ruled against our son, based on what he’d done before hospitalization, not just how he was presenting in the hospital. The actual deal clincher for the judge to rule against our son was a threat that occurred 3 months before hospitalization.

Do you have a written list of events or evidence to give to the hospitals lawyer? Any threats of violence? A deal clincher? Your husband will be assigned his own lawyer.

We were scared to death that the judge would rule in favor of our son. Yes. it could happen. If that happened to us, our next step would’ve been to refuse to take him home. Saying you can’t care for him will give you leverage.


I gave my list to the doctors there. I did not realize I could be there and will not be able to make it in time. I’m an hour away and it’s already started. So frustrating. I’m new to all of this…


Then, as they say in the dog rescue world - we will keep our paws crossed that the judge doesn’t release him.

We all make mistakes all the time. I had mine in jail once and was new - I did it all wrong.

Next time…


What would you have done differently?


DianeR, I would definitely have asked if I could be there at the hearing. It would have at least allowed me to at least see him with my own eyes! I just assumed it would not be allowed. I’ve learned to “not make any assumptions” at least.


@SewNonnie - Did he end up staying in the hospital - do you know?


Oh yes, 60 day commitment plus another hearing scheduled for next Tuesday morning which my daughter and I will both attend!


Will they start AP medication today?


Depending on if he will be forced meds will depend on where they committ him for the 60 days. In NJ, they will not force meds on you unless you are in a state run mental hospital. I went through this with my husband many times and he would be bounced from short term hospital to short term hospital until he would end up in a state hospital and there if you refuse to take meds by mouth, they force you to take an injection…there is no saying “NO” when a couple of guys come into your room, hold you down while another gives you an injection. When my husband would experience those men ready to hold him down, he would just cooperate and take the injection. Once they get meds into your husbands system, he’ll calm down and talk to you. Do make sure you go to court and ask to speak to the judge so that you can relay to them what has been going on! Whatever you do, speak the truth and don’t fear how he will react. By telling the court everything that has happened, believe it or not, you will be helping him and yourself. Good Luck and keep us updated!


Yes I agree. You have to reach that point where you will tell them everything. Shame and embarrassment have to take the back burner, and you cannot worry about whether your loved one will be angry. None of that really matters anymore…

Something to be careful of…
Once the judge ruled against our son, and meds would be forced, our son was given a choice of the daily injections, with restraint if necessary, or taking daily orals. He took the orals, but continued to hide them in his cheeks and later spit them. Even the psych nurses didn’t realize they were being fooled. He was eventually discharged, still psychotic, because he was determined to be no longer making progress.

Since then, we will never trust our son with med compliance unless he is on long-term injectables. Unfortunately, even those have had limited effectiveness.

In MA, a civil hearing to force hospitalization and meds took place in our local hospital, not state run.


I would have left him in jail and requested a psych evaluation and tried for court ordered meds. I bailed him out right away. After I left his home to go home, a mental health officer came by to try to determine my son’s status. My son called and told me about the officer asking him if he intended to hurt his neighbor or himself.

We had no idea that our son had a brain disorder and didn’t understand why the officer was asking him these questions.


They will hold another hearing on Tuesday to determine if he can be forced to take the antipsychotic meds plus use his sleep apnea machine.


So glad you will be able to attend Tuesday’s hearing!

So good to hear that the judge ruled for the 60 day hold.