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This entry was published on 2014-09-22
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SECTION 9.13
Voluntary admissions
Mental Hygiene (MHY) CHAPTER 27, TITLE B, ARTICLE 9
§ 9.13 Voluntary admissions.

(a) The director of any hospital may receive as a voluntary patient
any suitable person in need of care and treatment, who voluntarily makes
written application therefor. If the person is under sixteen years of
age, the person may be received as a voluntary patient only on the
application of the parent, legal guardian, or next-of-kin of such
person, or, subject to the terms of any court order or any instrument
executed pursuant to section three hundred eighty-four-a of the social
services law, a social services official or authorized agency with care
and custody of such person pursuant to the social services law, the
director of the division for youth, acting in accordance with section
five hundred nine of the executive law, or a person or entity having
custody of the person pursuant to an order issued pursuant to section
seven hundred fifty-six or one thousand fifty-five of the family court
act. If the person is over sixteen and under eighteen years of age, the
director may, in his discretion, admit such person either as a voluntary
patient on his own application or on the application of the person's
parent, legal guardian, next-of-kin, or, subject to the terms of any
court order or any instrument executed pursuant to section three hundred
eighty-four-a of the social services law, a social services official or
authorized agency with care and custody of such person pursuant to the
social services law, the director of the division for youth, acting in
accordance with section five hundred nine of the executive law, provided
that such person knowingly and voluntarily consented to such application
in accordance with such section, or a person or entity having custody of
the person pursuant to an order issued pursuant to section seven hundred
fifty-six or one thousand fifty-five of the family court act.

(b) If such voluntary patient gives notice in writing to the director
of the patient's desire to leave the hospital, the director shall
promptly release the patient; provided, however, that if there are
reasonable grounds for belief that the patient may be in need of
involuntary care and treatment, the director may retain the patient for
a period not to exceed seventy-two hours from receipt of such notice.
Before the expiration of such seventy-two hour period, the director
shall either release the patient or apply to the supreme court or the
county court in the county where the hospital is located for an order
authorizing the involuntary retention of such patient. The application
and proceedings in connection therewith shall be in the manner
prescribed in this article for a court authorization to retain an
involuntary patient, except that notice of such application shall be
served forthwith and, if a hearing be demanded, the date for hearing to
be fixed by the court shall be at a time not later than three days from
the date such notice has been received by the court. If it be determined
by the court that the patient is mentally ill and in need of retention
for involuntary care and treatment in the hospital, the court shall
forthwith issue an order authorizing the retention of such patient for
care and treatment in the hospital, or, if requested by the patient, his
guardian, or committee, in such other non-public hospital as may be
within the financial means of the patient, for a period not exceeding
sixty days from the date of such order. Further application for
retention of the patient for periods not exceeding six months, one year,
and two year periods thereafter, respectively, may thereafter be made in
accordance with the provisions of this article.

In the case of a patient under eighteen years of age, such notice
requesting release of the patient may be given by the patient, by the
person who made application for his admission, by a person of equal or
closer relationship, or by the mental hygiene legal service. If such
notice be given by any other person, the director may in his discretion
refuse to discharge the patient and in the event of such refusal, such
other person or the mental hygiene legal service may apply to the
supreme court or to a county court for the release of the patient.