Under the new law, committed persons now have choice regarding their commitment. If the person does not want to continue to be committed, the commitment will end. In order to determine whether a person wants to continue to be committed, the Court has created a process for determining whether a person has capacity and if not, who should be the substitute decision maker, and if the person has any expressed preferences. It is detailed in Directive 5-2018.
View the DC Superior Court Form
Understanding the Commitment Process
The process starts with an Interdisciplinary Team (IDT) meeting with all the people who know the person well. This may be either a separate meeting or may take place at the person’s next annual ISP meeting, but should take place at least 70 days before the next annual review hearing.
At least 60 days prior to the annual review hearing, the person’s Habilitation attorney is required to file a report with the answers to the above questions.
View the Respondent’s Report
Substitute Decision Maker's Report
At least 30 days before the annual review hearing, the substitute decision-maker with the highest level of priority is required to file a report indicating if the person consents to or refuses continued commitment. This may be a guardian (if one has been appointed) or a family member.
View the Substitute Decisions Maker's Report
Challenge to Substitute Decision Maker's Report
No less than 15 days before the hearing, any person of lower priority can challenge the decision of the substitute decision-maker by filing a Challenge to the Substitute Decision Maker’s Report Regarding Continued Voluntary Commitment.
View the Challenge to Substitute Decision Maker's Report
DDS Decision Making Rights | Fact Finding Template (FFT)
At the annual review hearing each year, the Judge will make a decision about whether the commitment should continue, based on these filings. The Judge’s decision will be documented in a Finding of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Order of the Court that will be mailed to all of the people involved in the committed person’s life.
View the Fact of Finding Template