2020 Tennessee Code
Title 33 - Mental Health and Substance Abuse and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Chapter 6 - Mental Health Service
Part 7 - Discharge From Inpatient Treatment
§ 33-6-708. Discharge Procedure for Involuntarily Committed Persons

Universal Citation: TN Code § 33-6-708 (2020)
  1. If a person is committed involuntarily by a criminal or juvenile court under chapter 6, part 5 of this title and the court determines at the time of commitment that, due to the nature of the person's criminal conduct that created a serious risk of physical harm to other persons, the person should not be discharged from the commitment without proceedings under this section to review eligibility for discharge under §§ 33-6-602, 33-6-705 and 33-6-706, the hospital shall proceed under this section to effect discharge from the commitment.
  2. Any person who was committed involuntarily on the basis of mental illness between April 23, 1980, and July 1, 1982, and who was subject to the discharge procedures of former § 33-313 during that period is subject to discharge only under the procedures of subdivisions (c)(1)-(5).
    1. When the chief officer determines that the person is eligible for discharge under § 33-6-602, § 33-6-705 or § 33-6-706, the chief officer shall notify the committing court of that conclusion, of the basis for it, and, if discharge is under § 33-6-602, of the outpatient treatment plan approved by the releasing facility and the qualified mental health professional for the person. The determination by the chief officer shall create a rebuttable presumption of its correctness. The clerk shall send a copy of that complete notice and plan to the person's counsel and to the district attorney general for the jurisdiction in which the committing court is located. The court may, on its own motion or that of the district attorney general, order a hearing to be held within twenty-one (21) days of the receipt of the chief officer's notice. The court shall send notice of the hearing to the person, the chief officer, the person's counsel, the person's next of kin, and the district attorney general.
    2. If the court does not set a hearing and notify the chief officer within fifteen (15) days of its receipt of the chief officer's notice, the chief officer shall release the person from involuntary commitment under § 33-6-602, § 33-6-705 or § 33-6-706, as appropriate.
    3. If the court sets a hearing, the hearing shall be held within twenty-one (21) days of the court's receipt of notice from the chief officer. The person shall attend the hearing, unless the person's presence is waived in writing by counsel before the hearing. If the person does not have counsel, the court shall appoint counsel to represent the person throughout the proceedings and any appeal. The person's counsel shall advocate for the least drastic alternative to commitment, unless directed otherwise by the person. Compensation of appointed counsel for the person shall be pursuant to Tennessee Rules of the Supreme Court, Rule 15.
    4. Following the hearing, if the court finds by clear, unequivocal, and convincing evidence that the person is not eligible for discharge under § 33-6-602, § 33-6-705 or § 33-6-706, it shall order the person's return to the hospital under the original commitment. If the court finds otherwise, it shall order the person's release from involuntary commitment in accordance with the recommendations of the chief officer.
    5. The district attorney general on behalf of the state or the person may file a notice of appeal of a final adjudication under this section to the court of criminal appeals.

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