LPS Conservatorship for Mental Illness
New Booklet Available:
“THE MENTAL HEALTH CONSERVATORSHIP (LPS CONSERVATORSHIP)” by William Weinberg, AUGUST 23, 2018. This excellent overview can be found on California Criminal Defense Lawyer Blog. This article is a great place to start if you are new to this subject.
The Basic ABCs of Hospitalizing a Conserved Person in California
The 5358.5 Code
The 5358.5 code serves as the vehicle for LPS conservators to place their LPS conservatee into a hospital setting for treatment when the conservator determines the conservatee is in the process of decompensation. The code provides the legal vehicle to place the conservatee back into an appropriate hospital setting to prevent the conservatee from further mental instability.
Officers called to the scene, must comply with the code. It is important to have a filled in copy of the “Conservator Requesting Peace Officer Assistance” Form (provided in our link below) filled out, along with “certified“ copies of the court conservatorship papers naming you as the conservator. Of course, have your personal ID handy.
Any responding crisis assessment or psychiatric evaluation team is not to be involved with the process in terms of evaluations, as the code does not mandate evaluation criteria. The courts have already determined the individual to be gravely disabled, and that the code is the vehicle to put the individual back into a locked facility to deter the process of further decompensation.
The police are to transport the individual to an appropriate facility, and that the facility is to provide the placement from there. The hospital team is not to assess the consumer, but to simply find the appropriate placement. Once placed, the doctor at the treating hospital determines the course of treatment.
If the police refuse to take the consumer in to a treatment facility, it may be necessary to request that a supervisor from the police department come to the location. Before taking this last step, be sure to provide the officers with all the documentation mentioned above (your written request including a copy of the code, your conservatorship papers, and your id).
Related Links & Advocacy
Guide to LPS Conservatorship: Understanding or at Least Trying to Understand LPS Conservatorship, Prepared by Gail Evanguelidi, MA, board member of NAMI West LA
IMD (Institution for Mental Disease) Advocacy: If you are interested in joining an advocacy group forming around the issue of IMDs, please contact Gail Evanguelidi (WLA) firstname.lastname@example.org
“Meet Up” Page: LPS Conservators for Mental Health near Los Angeles, CA