72 Hours Detention in California

Welfare and Institutions Code section 5150 and 5151 permit a person to be taken into custody and detained for 72 hours when there is probable cause he or she is a danger to himself or others as a result of a mental disorder. (People v. Keil (2008) 161 Cal.App.4th 34, 38 73 Cal. Rptr. 3d 600.) Section 5150 provides: "When any person, as a result of mental disorder, is a danger to others, or to himself or herself, or gravely disabled, a peace officer, member of the attending staff, as defined by regulation, of an evaluation facility designated by the county, designated members of a mobile crisis team ... , or other professional person designated by the county may, upon probable cause, take, or cause to be taken, the person into custody and place him or her in a facility designated by the county and approved by the State Department of Mental Health as a facility for 72-hour treatment and evaluation. ..." Section 5151 states: "If the facility for 72-hour treatment and evaluation admits the person, it may detain him or her for evaluation and treatment for a period not to exceed 72 hours." Section 8103, subdivision (f) provides that when a person is admitted into a mental health facility under these sections, the individual may not own, possess, control, receive, or purchase firearms for five years after release from the facility. ( 8103, subd. (f)(1).) However, the individual may request a hearing to lift this prohibition. ( 8103, subd. (f)(3), (5); People v. Keil, supra, 161 Cal.App.4th at p. 38.) The People "bear the burden of showing by a preponderance of the evidence that the person would not be likely to use firearms in a safe and lawful manner." ( 8103, subd. (f)(6).) Hearsay evidence, including police reports and medical records, is admissible at the hearing. ( 8103, subd. (f)(5); see Rupf v. Yan (2000) 85 Cal.App.4th 411, 426.) If the court finds that the People have not met their burden, the restriction is removed, and the person shall be entitled to own, possess, control, receive or purchase firearms, unless another legal restriction applies. ( 8103, subd. (f)(1).)