1. The Laws of New York
  2. Consolidated Laws
  3. Mental Hygiene
  4. Title B: Mental Health Act
  5. Article 9: Hospitalization of the Mentally Ill


Section 9.27 Involuntary admission on medical certification

Mental Hygiene (MHY)

  (a) The director of a hospital may receive and retain therein as a patient any person alleged to be mentally ill and in need of involuntary care and treatment upon the certificates of two examining physicians, accompanied by an application for the admission of such person. The examination may be conducted jointly but each examining physician shall execute a separate certificate.

  (b) Such application must have been executed within ten days prior to such admission. It may be executed by any one of the following:

  1. any person with whom the person alleged to be mentally ill resides.

  2. the father or mother, husband or wife, brother or sister, or the child of any such person or the nearest available relative.

  3. the committee of such person.

  4. an officer of any public or well recognized charitable institution or agency or home, including but not limited to the superintendent of a correctional facility, as such term is defined in paragraph (a) of subdivision four of section two of the correction law, in whose institution the person alleged to be mentally ill resides and the designee authorized by the commissioner of the department of corrections and community supervision responsible for community supervision in the region where such person alleged to be mentally ill has been released to any form of supervision following incarceration.

  5. the director of community services or social services official, as defined in the social services law, of the city or county in which any such person may be.

  6. the director of the hospital or of a general hospital, as defined in article twenty-eight of the public health law, in which the patient is hospitalized.

  7. the director or person in charge of a facility providing care to alcoholics, or substance abusers or substance dependent persons.

  8. the director of the division for youth, acting in accordance with the provisions of section five hundred nine of the executive law.

  9. 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 which has, pursuant to the social services law, care and custody or guardianship and custody of a child over the age of sixteen.

  10. subject to the terms of any court order a person or entity having custody of a child pursuant to an order issued pursuant to section seven hundred fifty-six or one thousand fifty-five of the family court act.

  11. a qualified psychiatrist who is either supervising the treatment of or treating such person for a mental illness in a facility licensed or operated by the office of mental health.

  (c) Such application shall contain a statement of the facts upon which the allegation of mental illness and need for care and treatment are based and shall be executed under penalty of perjury but shall not require the signature of a notary public thereon.

  (d) Before an examining physician completes the certificate of examination of a person for involuntary care and treatment, he shall consider alternative forms of care and treatment that might be adequate to provide for the person's needs without requiring involuntary hospitalization. If the examining physician knows that the person he is examining for involuntary care and treatment has been under prior treatment, he shall, insofar as possible, consult with the physician or psychologist furnishing such prior treatment prior to completing his certificate. Nothing in this section shall prohibit or invalidate any involuntary admission made in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

  (e) The director of the hospital where such person is brought shall cause such person to be examined forthwith by a physician who shall be a member of the psychiatric staff of such hospital other than the original examining physicians whose certificate or certificates accompanied the application and, if such person is found to be in need of involuntary care and treatment, he may be admitted thereto as a patient as herein provided.

  (f) Following admission to a hospital, no patient may be sent to another hospital by any form of involuntary admission unless the mental hygiene legal service has been given notice thereof.

  (g) Applications for involuntary admission of patients to residential treatment facilities for children and youth or transfer of involuntarily admitted patients to such facilities shall be reviewed by the pre-admission certification committee serving such facility in accordance with section 9.51 of this article.

  (h) If a person is examined and determined to be mentally ill, the fact that such person suffers from alcohol or substance abuse shall not preclude commitment under this section.

  (i) After an application for the admission of a person has been completed and both physicians have examined such person and separately certified that he or she is mentally ill and in need of involuntary care and treatment in a hospital, either physician is authorized to request peace officers, when acting pursuant to their special duties, or police officers, who are members of an authorized police department or force or of a sheriff's department, to take into custody and transport such person to a hospital for determination by the director whether such person qualifies for admission pursuant to this section. Upon the request of either physician an ambulance service, as defined by subdivision two of section three thousand one of the public health law, is authorized to transport such person to a hospital for determination by the director whether such person qualifies for admission pursuant to this section.