What symptoms or actions need to be witnessed to get a person committed?

If you believe someone you know is a danger to themselves or others and won’t seek voluntary treatment, you can contact the Lincoln County State’s Attorney’s Office at 605-764-5732.

The Civil Deputy State’s Attorney and his assistant oversee the filing of the petitions, and will assist you with completing the required information including the facts which you believe indicate the need for involuntary commitment. As the petitioner, you must be 18 years or older.

Sever Mental Illness

A person is subject to involuntary commitment if said person suffers from a severe mental illness, and due to that severe mental illness, is a danger to themselves or others and is in need of immediate intervention.

Definition

A severe mental illness is defined under the SDCL 27A-1-1 (18) as a substantial organic or psychiatric disorder of thought, mood, perception, orientation, or memory which significantly impairs judgment, behavior, or ability to cope with the basic demands of life.

The following alone do not constitute a severe mental illness:

  • Alcohol or Substance Abuse
  • Brief Periods of Intoxication
  • Criminal Behavior
  • Epilepsy
  • Mental Retardation
  • Other Developmental Disability

Show All Answers

1. What symptoms or actions need to be witnessed to get a person committed?
2. What happens after I fill out the petition?
3. If I file a petition to have someone committed do I need to hire my own attorney?
4. Will I have to testify in front of the person that I am asking to have committed?