Disability Rights Washington, the ACLU of Washington, the Washington Defender Association, and the King County Department of Assigned Counsel have filed an Amicus Curiae (Friend of the Court) brief in the Washington State Supreme Court in consolidated cases involving Washington’s Involuntary Treatment Act, RCW Chapter 71.05. The cases, In Re the Detention of N.G. And C.M., involve language recently added to Washington’s civil commitment statute that limits the circumstances in which civil commitment petitions may be dismissed by the court.

The DRW amicus brief provides historical context, including long recognized constitutional protections that limit the state’s powers to detain people for involuntary inpatient mental health treatment without adequate due process protections. The brief also provides the court with information and argument regarding the negative impacts that involuntary inpatient civil commitment can have on individuals; the disproportionate use of civil commitment against people who are BIPOC; abuse and neglect in Washington’s involuntary inpatient civil commitment system; and the questionable efficacy of court ordered inpatient involuntary treatment, versus community-based care.

The full brief can be found here: https://www.disabilityrightswa.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/In-re-Detention-of-D.H.-ACLU-Brief-of-Amici.pdf