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Commitments

Emergency Commitments- Order of Detention

If you have a family member or friend that you believe requires immediate treatment for either a mental illness or chemical dependency, you may go to Dorchester County Mental Health (DCMH) located at 106 Springview Lane or a nearby emergency room, if after hours, and request an Emergency Commitment, also known as a Order of Detention. The DCMH operating hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. The phone number is 873-5063. The requirements for a Detention Order are as follows:

  • The individual must pose an immediate threat to self or others. 
  • If threats were made, they must have been witnessed by the petitioner within 24 hours of the Detention Order request.
  • The petitioner must know where the individual is currently located. (This will assist law enforcement in locating and detaining the individual.)
  • It is helpful to know whether the individual has a history of mental illness and/or chemical dependency.
  • It is helpful to know whether the individual is currently taking any medication(s).
  • It is helpful to know whether the individual is having any self-care or self-neglect issues, such as not sleeping, not eating, or neglecting hygiene, that suggest the possibility of harm to self.

Based on the information provided to the Mental Health Professional, the Order of Detention request may or may not be forwarded to the Probate Court for approval. If approved, the Probate Court will issue a Order of Detention and law enforcement will be dispatched to locate and detain the individual. The individual will be transported to the nearest emergency room for examination. If, in the opinion of the mental health professionals, the individual meets the requirements for an emergency commitment, then the individual will be admitted to an appropriate treatment facility.

Non-Emergency Commitments - Judicial Orders

If you have a family member or friend that you believe requires non-emergency treatment for either a mental illness or chemical dependency, you may go to Dorchester County Mental Health (DCMH), located at 106 Springview Lane, Summerville (Mental Health) or Dorchester Alcohol and Drug Commission, located at 500 North Main Street, Summerville (Chemical Dependency) and request a Petition for Judicial Admission. The DCMH and DADC operating hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. The phone number is 843-873-5063 (MH) and 843-871-4790 (AD).

  • The DCMH and DADC will send the Judicial Petition to the Probate Court.
  • The Court will schedule an examination for the person with the alleged mental illness or chemical dependency.
  • You will receive notice from the Court of the place, date, and time of the scheduled examination and as the petitioner, you are required to attend the examination to offer information that will be considered by the examiners.
  • The individual will also receive notice of the examination by both mail and personal service.
  • After the examination, if the individual is found to be a mentally ill or chemically dependent person in need of treatment, a hearing will be held by a Probate Judge. Notice of the hearing will be provided to both the petitioner and the mentally ill/chemically dependent person.

Non-Emergency Examinations are scheduled in the order in which the Petitions are received by the Court. Therefore, please allow adequate time for the Petition to be processed, before contacting the Court. Once a Petition has been filed with the Court, it is unable to be cancelled.

Please take note of the telephone numbers listed below for your convenience:

Departments

Phone

Dorchester County Mental Health (843) 873-5063 
Dorchester Alcohol & Drug Commission (843) 871-4790
After Hours: Mobile Crisis Unit (843) 414-2350

For these simplified procedures to be effective, law enforcement officers must steer family members in the right direction. Please ask family members to use the procedures which have been implemented above. If these instructions are unclear, we invite you to contact the Probate Court and speak with Morgan Lawley (843) 563-0401.

Last updated: 5/11/2017 10:09:27 AM