The Kaufman County Criminal District Attorney's Office represents the State of Texas in Civil Mental Health Commitments. These cases are filed when individuals have a mental illness and become a danger to themselves or others. The Texas Mental Health Code provides a process for the State to protect the public safety interest while balancing the individual's right to refuse treatment. The mental health prosecutors are charged with the duty to represent the State's interest in ensuring the public safety by seeking involuntary mental health treatment through trials held in the Kaufman County Statutory Probate Courts. The assistant district attorneys prepare between 50 and 60 cases per week for trial; this includes interviewing civil and law enforcement witnesses, psychiatrists, social workers and family members. The courts appoint attorneys to represent proposed patients and to protect the proposed patient's rights to remain at liberty and refuse treatment.
The Mental Health prosecutors of the Criminal District Attorney's Office also represent the Texas Department of Health and Human Services, Adult Protective Services, in emergency protective order removals. These cases are filed when it is determined that there is an imminent danger to the health and safety of an incapacitated elderly or disabled individual that is suffering from abuse, neglect or exploitation. These cases allow for the emergency protection and medical treatment of individuals that are in life-threatening conditions.
The Mental Health attorneys of the Criminal District Attorney's Office also represent the State of Texas in cases that require commitment orders to provide necessary services for individuals with intellectual disability. When individuals incapacitated with an intellectual disability require the care and services of a state-supported living center, a commitment order must be obtained through the Kaufman County Courts at Law.
Resources for additional information regarding mental illness: