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Sec. 574.025: Probable Cause Hearing

(a) A hearing must be held to determine if:

(1) there is probable cause to believe that a proposed patient under a protective custody order presents a substantial risk of serious harm to the proposed patient or others to the extent that the proposed patient cannot be at liberty pending the hearing on court-ordered mental health services; and

(2) a physician has stated the physician's opinion and the detailed reasons for the physician's opinion that the proposed patient is a person with mental illness.

(b) The hearing must be held not later than 72 hours after the time that the proposed patient was detained under a protective custody order. If the period ends on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the hearing must be held on the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday. The judge or magistrate may postpone the hearing each day for an additional 24 hours if the judge or magistrate declares that an extreme emergency exists because of extremely hazardous weather conditions or the occurrence of a disaster that threatens the safety of the proposed patient or another essential party to the hearing.

(c) The hearing shall be held before a magistrate or, at the discretion of the presiding judge, before an associate judge appointed by the presiding judge. Notwithstanding any other law or requirement, an associate judge appointed to conduct a hearing under this section may practice law in the court the associate judge serves. The associate judge is entitled to reasonable compensation.

(d) The proposed patient and the proposed patient's attorney shall have an opportunity at the hearing to appear and present evidence to challenge the allegation that the proposed patient presents a substantial risk of serious harm to himself or others.

(e) The magistrate or associate judge may consider evidence, including letters, affidavits, and other material, that may not be admissible or sufficient in a subsequent commitment hearing.

(f) The state may prove its case on the physician's certificate of medical examination filed in support of the initial motion.


Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 101, Sec. 1, eff. May 16, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 334 (H.B. 890), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1375, eff. April 2, 2015.