Mental Health

Mental Health Court

My arrested family member has a mental illness what do I do?

Click here for a step by step guide to help families cope with the criminal justice system in Ventura County when a family member who suffers from mental illness is arrested.

Persons represented by the mental health section include clients in need of mental health treatment who are located at different facilities throughout the county.

Attorneys represent persons involuntarily committed to mental institutions, persons unable or unwilling to consent to needed medications, and persons under conservatorship. The Public Defender provides a variety of services to these clients.

If persons have been involuntarily placed into an institution, but no conservator has yet been appointed to care for them, they have a right to file a writ of Habeas Corpus. The Public Defender represents the clients in pursuing these writs.

If a client has been involuntarily placed in an institution and a conservator has been appointed, the Public Defender represents the client to ensure he or she receives the most appropriate care and placement. The Public Defender participates in periodic reviews to determine if the client should be released. These persons often remain Public Defender clients for years.

Probate – Attorneys provide representation to proposed conservatees in proceedings which determine the necessity of the conservatorship and the appropriateness of the proposed conservator, review accountings or the conditions of any long term care facility, and determine whether special orders limiting the conservatee’s rights are justified.