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What is a commitment hearing?

If the application for commitment is adequate, the judge will set the matter for hearing. The hearing will be at least 48 hours after notice to the respondent, unless the respondent waives the time requirement. Before the hearing, the court may require a physician to examine the respondent.

At the hearing for a matter concerning serious mental impairment, the county attorney will present evidence in support of the contentions in the application. At a hearing concerning an allegation of substance-related disorder, the evidence may be presented by the county attorney, by the applicant, or by the applicant’s attorney.

The applicant and the respondent will each be given an opportunity to testify and to present and cross-examine witnesses. Only persons necessary for the hearing will be allowed to attend. The proceedings are a civil matter, not criminal. The applicant will have the burden of proving the contents of the application for commitment.

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