HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO ASSISTED COMMUNITY TREATMENT.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that the assisted community treatment program established in 2013 provides individuals with severe mental illness who are unlikely to live safely in the community without available supervision with the necessary medical treatment and medication when it is in the individual's best interest. The legislature further finds that although the assisted community treatment program presents these individuals with an opportunity to receive ongoing treatment in the least restrictive setting and serves as a vital alternative to repeat emergency interventions as their primary course of treatment, many mentally ill individuals fail to participate in the program and partake of these benefits.
The legislature finds that existing law does not require a guardian ad litem to be appointed to represent an individual with severe mental illness during assisted community treatment program proceedings and promote their needs and interests. The legislature further finds that the mandatory appointment of a guardian ad litem will improve the assisted community treatment program process.
The purpose of this Act is to require the court to appoint, at the time an assisted community treatment program petition is filed, a guardian ad litem to represent the best interests of the individual who is subject to the petition throughout the pendency of the judicial proceedings.
SECTION 2. Chapter 334, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to part VIII to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:
"§334- Appointment of guardian ad litem. The family court, upon receipt of a petition filed under this part, shall appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the best interests of the subject of the petition throughout the pendency of the proceedings."
SECTION 3. Section 334-125, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsections (a) and (b) to read as follows:
"(a) Notice of the hearing shall be:
(1) Served personally on the subject of the petition pursuant to family court rules;
(2) Served personally or by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested, deliverable to the addressee only, to as many as are known to the petitioner of the subject's spouse or reciprocal beneficiary, legal parents, adult children, and legal guardian, if one has been appointed. If the subject of the petition has no living spouse or reciprocal beneficiary, legal parent, adult children, or legal guardian, or if none can be found, notice of the hearing shall be served on at least one of the subject's closest adult relatives, if any can be found;
(3) Served on the public defender;
(4) Served on the guardian ad litem appointed for the subject of the petition;
(5) Served on the
attorney for the subject of the petition, [
or other court-appointed attorney
as] if applicable; and
(4)] (6) Given to other persons as the court may
(b) The notice shall include the following:
(1) The date, time, place of hearing, a clear statement of the purpose of the proceedings and possible consequences to the subject, and a statement of the legal standard upon which assisted community treatment is being considered;
(2) A copy of the petition;
(3) Notice that the subject of the petition has been assigned a guardian ad litem to represent the best interests of the subject throughout the proceeding;
(4) The name and contact information of the guardian ad litem appointed for the subject of the petition;
(3)] (5) Notice that the subject of the petition
is entitled to the assistance of an attorney, and that the public defender has been notified of
these proceedings; and
(4)] (6) Notice that if the subject does not want to be
represented by the public defender, the subject may contact the subject's own
SECTION 4. Section 334-126, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended as follows:
1. By amending subsection (e) to read:
"(e) The subject of the petition shall not be required
to be present at the hearing[
However, if]; provided that the subject has been served with
the petition and [ does not appear at the hearing, the court may appoint a]
the appointed guardian ad litem is present to represent the best
interests of the subject through the proceedings."
2. By amending subsection
(g) to read:
"(g) If the subject of the petition is represented
an] their own attorney, the attorney shall be allowed adequate
time for investigation of the matters at issue and for preparation, and shall
be permitted to present the evidence that the attorney believes necessary for a
proper disposition of the proceeding."
SECTION 5. Section 334-133, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:
"§334-133 Petition for additional
of[ ]] treatment; hearing. (a) [ Prior
to] Before the expiration of the period of assisted community
treatment ordered by the family court, any interested party may file a petition
with the family court for an order of continued assisted community
treatment. The petition shall be filed,
guardian ad litem appointed, and notice provided in the same manner as under
sections 334-123 and 334‑125.
The family court shall appoint a guardian ad litem, hold a
hearing on the petition, and make its decision in the same manner as
provided under sections 334-123 to 334-127.
The family court may order the continued assisted community treatment
not] no more than one year after the date of the hearing
pursuant to this section if the court finds that the criteria for assisted
community treatment continue to exist and are likely to continue beyond one hundred
Nothing in this section shall preclude the subject's stipulation to the
of[ ]] an existing court order. This section shall be in addition to the
provisions on the objection to discharge."
SECTION 6. Section 334-134, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:
"§334-134 Hearing for discharge. Any person may petition the family court for the discharge of an order of assisted community treatment during the period of assisted community treatment after sixty days from the most recent hearing involving the subject of the order. The petition shall be filed, guardian ad litem appointed, notice given, hearing held, and order made in the same manner as provided for the original petition alleging that the subject of the order met the criteria for assisted community treatment."
SECTION 7. Section 571-87, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:
When it appears to a judge that a person requesting the appointment of
counsel satisfies the requirements of chapter 802 for determination of
indigency, or the court in its discretion appoints counsel under chapters [
and 346, part X, or that a person requires appointment of a guardian ad litem, or
is appointed a guardian ad litem pursuant to section 334- ,
the judge shall appoint counsel or a guardian ad litem to represent the person
at all stages of the proceedings, including appeal, if any. Appointed counsel and the guardian ad litem
shall receive reasonable compensation for necessary expenses, including travel,
the amount of which shall be determined by the court, and reasonable fees
pursuant to subsections (b) and (c). All
of these expenses and fees shall be certified by the court and paid upon
vouchers approved by the judiciary and warrants drawn by the comptroller."
SECTION 8. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun before its effective date.
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, 2060.
Mental Health; Assisted Community Treatment; Petition; Guardian Ad Litem; Appointment; Notice; Hearing
Mandates appointment of a guardian ad litem to represent the best interests of a mentally ill individual in assisted community treatment proceedings. Effective 7/1/2060. (HD2)
The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.