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LPS Conservatorship provides a conservatorship for the person and/or estate of an individual determined by the court to be "gravely disabled" due to mental illness. The conservatorship is established to allow involuntary treatment that will either eliminate or reduce the grave disability to the point of accepting third-party assistance.
Services provided by the LPS Conservatorship include:
LPS Conservatorship can be established for an individual who is gravely disabled due to mental illness.
Grave disability is defined as a condition in which a person is unable to provide for his/her basic personal needs for food, clothing, or shelter, as a result of a mental disorder. Additionally it must be determined that the individual is unwilling or unable to accept help from a third party to meet these basic needs. A minor is considered to be gravely disabled if he/she is unable to use the basic elements of life, which are considered to be essential for health, safety and development, even if provided by others.
The Lanterman-Petris-Short Act is a division of the California Welfare and Institutions Code that was enacted in 1969 to eliminate the inappropriate, indefinite, involuntary commitment of mentally disordered persons.
Referrals for LPS conservatorship are only received from the designated 5150 facilities (Kern Medical Center, Good Samaritan, and Crestwood PHF), and the Superior Court. The designated 5150 facilities can only initiate a conservatorship referral for an individual who has been involuntarily held on the unit via a 5150, and certified for an additional 14 days of intensive treatment via the 5250. At the conclusion of the probable cause hearing, the facility physician can initiate a referral for investigation into the appropriateness of establishing an LPS Conservatorship.
If after a thorough investigation by Public Conservator staff there exists a need for conservatorship, a petition will be filed with the Superior Court for a 30 day Temporary Conservatorship. The Court may appoint a Temporary Conservator, Ex Parte (without hearing). The Public Conservator is appointed the temporary conservator in all cases.
The Public Conservator will serve as "permanent" conservator where conservatorship is required and there is no one else willing or qualified to serve.
A permanent LPS conservatorship automatically terminates after one year (excluding the period of temporary conservatorship). If at that time the conservatee is still gravely disabled, the conservator must obtain the opinion of two physicians or psychologists, or one of each, in order to initiate further Court proceedings to reestablish the conservatorship for another year.
The goal of the conservatorship is to assist the conservatee in eliminating the behaviors that render him/her gravely disabled.
An LPS conservatee may be placed in a locked psychiatric facility against his/her will, and may be forced to take psychotropic medications against his/her will.
All proposed conservatees are interviewed by and represented in Court by an attorney. The conservatee is entitled to a Court or jury trial if he/she objects to the ongoing conservatorship.
Upon Court confirmation the following rights may be denied: (a) the right to enter into contracts; (b) the privilege of possessing a license to operate a motor vehicle; and (c) the right to possess and carry firearms.
The conservator shall have the right to refuse or consent to medical treatment related specifically to the conservatee's grave disability and to routine medical treatment. Any invasive treatment requires Court approval.
The conservatee has the right to request a rehearing to terminate the conservatorship; however, only one such request shall be made within a six-month period.
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