THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

1464

THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2019

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to judicial proceedings.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


PART I

SECTION 1. The legislature finds that a petition to obtain an order for assisted community treatment often requires a knowledgeable advocate to prepare and file the petition and to argue in court for its issuance. As enacted in 2013, the State's assisted community treatment law requires that private entities use their own resources to seek an assisted community treatment order for an individual requiring mental health treatment. In contrast, orders for involuntary hospitalization are generally handled and filed by the department of the attorney general. The legislature recognizes that private service providers, community organizations, and family members have found the assisted community treatment process to be so complex that they often require assistance in obtaining these much-needed orders for mental health treatment.

The legislature also finds that the responsibilities of handling petitions for assisted community treatment and related mental health petitions, including guardianships, extend to the judiciary, specifically to the family courts and the office of the public guardian. Additional funding for judges and staff are needed to properly assess, file, and adjudicate these matters. The social costs of not acting greatly outweigh the modest staffing costs.

The purpose of this Act is to establish the following positions dedicated to the preparation, filing, defense, and adjudication of assisted community treatment petitions, related guardianship petitions, and other legal filings:

(1) A deputy attorney general position;

(2) A family court judge in the first circuit; and

(3) A staff person in the office of the public guardian.

PART II

SECTION 2. Act 221, Session Laws of Hawaii 2013, is amended by amending section 24 to read as follows:

"SECTION 24. This Act shall take effect on January 1, 2014; provided that:

(1) Petitions filed pursuant to section 334-123, Hawaii Revised Statutes, for assisted community treatment involving a designated mental health program that is a state-operated provider shall not be filed until after July 1, 2015;

(2) Any private provider wishing to file a petition pursuant to section 334-123, Hawaii Revised Statutes, for assisted community treatment may do so after January 1, 2014, [using its own resources,] if the petitioner is to be the designated mental health program; [and]

(3) Any interested party wishing to file a petition pursuant to section 334-123, Hawaii Revised Statutes, for assisted community treatment may do so after January 1, 2014, [using the party's own resources,] if the designated mental health program is a private provider[.]; and

(4) The department of the attorney general shall be responsible for petitions brought pursuant to section 334-123, Hawaii Revised Statutes, unless the private provider or other interested party declines assistance."

SECTION 3. The department of the attorney general shall establish one deputy attorney general position dedicated to assisted community treatment petitions. The deputy attorney general appointed pursuant to this Act shall have responsibilities that include:

(1) Preparing, filing, and defending petitions for assisted community treatment, pursuant to chapter 334, part VIII, Hawaii Revised Statutes, including any petitions brought or requested by a private provider and other interested party, unless the private provider or interested party declines assistance;

(2) Obtaining the necessary documentation to file the petition and assisting with related guardianship petitions and petitions for orders to treat, if requested;

(3) Coordinating responsibilities with the adult mental health division in the department of health and the office of the public guardian in the judiciary; and

(4) Engaging in community education.

SECTION 4. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $95,000 or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2019-2020 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2020-2021 for the appointment of a deputy attorney general pursuant to section 3 of this Act.

The sums appropriated shall be expended by the department of the attorney general for the purposes of this Act.

PART III

SECTION 5. Section 603-3, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"603-3 First circuit court judges. Effective July 1, 1992, the circuit court of the first circuit shall consist of [twenty-five] twenty-six judges, [who shall be styled as first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth, fifteenth, sixteenth, seventeenth, eighteenth, nineteenth, twentieth, twenty-first, twenty-second, twenty-third, twenty-fourth, and twenty-fifth judge, respectively.] who shall each be known as judges of the circuit court of the first circuit."

SECTION 6. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $170,000 or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2019-2020 and the sum of $330,000 or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2020-2021 for:

(1) One permanent full-time equivalent (1.00 FTE) district family court judge dedicated to hearing matters related to petitions for assisted community treatment, orders to treat, and guardianships for individuals with severe mental illness; provided that the judge may hear other matters as permitted by the calendar; and

(2) Additional staff, as necessary, to support the district family court judge identified in paragraph (1).

The sums appropriated shall be expended by the judiciary for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 7. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $55,000 or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2019-2020 and the sum of $55,000 or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2020-2021 for one permanent full-time equivalent (1.00 FTE) social worker IV in the office of the public guardian who shall be dedicated to handling petitions and actions brought on behalf of homeless individuals with severe mental illness, including coordinating with private service providers and other interested parties.

The sums appropriated shall be expended by the judiciary for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 8. The judiciary shall forward to the department of health copies of all petitions and orders of assisted community treatment, to be used by the department to fulfill its reporting obligation pursuant to Act 111, Session Laws of Hawaii 2017.

PART IV

SECTION 9. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 10. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2019.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

 

 


 


 

Report Title:

AG; JUD; DOH; Judicial Proceedings; Assisted Community Treatment; Petitions; Appropriations

 

Description:

Establishes certain positions in the Department of the Attorney General, Judiciary, and Department of Health dedicated to the preparation, filing, defense, and adjudication of assisted community treatment petitions, related guardianship petitions, and other legal filings. Appropriates funds.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.