Massachusetts General Hospital v. C.R.Annotate this Case
The Supreme Judicial Court reversed the decision of the Appellate Division dismissing as untimely Massachusetts General Hospital's (MGH) petition seeking to have C.R. committed, holding that the activity governed by Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 123, 12(a) is separate from the three-day involuntary hospitalization period established under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 123, 12(b).
The day after C.R. was admitted to a psychiatric facility but six days after she was initially brought to the emergency department of MGH by police pursuant to section 12(a), MGH filed its petition for commitment pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 123, 7 and 8. The Appellate Division of the Boston Municipal Court concluded that MGH's petition was untimely because the three-day window under section 12(b) begins running when the patient is initially restrained under section 12(a). The Supreme Judicial Court reversed, holding (1) the three-day period under section 12(b) is necessary to fully evaluate the patient and was not intended by the Legislature to be shortened by the section 12(a) time period; and (2) as applied to C.R., the statute did not violate due process, as the section 12(a) period of confinement was no longer than necessary under the circumstances of this case.