Emergency Involuntary Commitment Procedures
If you have personal knowledge of a person who suffers from mental illness or chemical dependence (alcohol or drug addiction) who is an immediate danger to himself or others and is unwilling to get help, the person may need involuntary commitment at a facility for treatment. If the need arises for an emergency commitment for an individual located in Florence County, please go directly to the Pee Dee Mental Health Center located at 125 E Cheves St, Florence, SC 29506. You must know the current location of the patient. Law enforcement cannot pick up the person without an address.
DO NOT COME TO THE PROBATE COURT FIRST. YOU MUST GO TO YOUR LOCAL MENTAL HEALTH CENTER FIRST BEFORE COMING TO PROBATE COURT. The Probate Court can only assist after the Mental Health Center has done an initial screening.
If the mental health center determines that emergency treatment is necessary, you will bring the documents issued to you by the Mental Health Center to the Probate Court for an Order of Detention. This Order allows law enforcement officers to pick up the person and transport him/her to an emergency room to be examined. The hospital will determine the appropriate treatment.
Non-Emergency Commitment Procedures – Judicial Orders
If the Mental Health center determines that judicial commitment proceedings are needed, they will issue a judicial petition for you to bring to the Probate Court.
The Probate Court will schedule an examination for the person with alleged mental illness or chemical dependency. You will receive notice from the Court of the place, date and time of the scheduled examination. As the petitioner, you are required to attend the examination to provide information that will be considered by the examiners. The individual will also receive notice of the examination by both mail and personal service by the Sheriff. The Court will appoint an attorney for the patient.
After the examination, if the person is found to be mentally ill or chemically dependent, a hearing will be held by a Probate Judge. Notice of the hearing will be provided to both the petitioner and the patient.