State News


As many of us know the local Probate Courts handle marriage licenses, but did you know that they also handled Mental Health issues, such as Commitment Orders?

In a recent issue a young woman was released from Richland Springs Mental Health Facility under a Court Order issued by the Richland County Probate Court. In this order is stated that the young woman is to reside with her Aunt until placement for this young woman could be found to seek her help.

After the Aunt picked the young woman up, she returned her to her mother’s where the issues seem to begin for the young woman. From there the mother allowed a man to retrieve the young woman and reside with him. The order was based on the assessment of the psychiatrist at Richland Springs. A concerned friend contacted the Probate Court to inform them of this fact and was placed on hold for the Commitment office. He received their voicemail and was never given a return call!

The young woman was listed as having psychosis and an undefined personality disorder. Which made her unstable and potentially suicidal. The friend spoke with a secretary at the Probate Court voicing his concerns and mentioning the Court Order.

Understanding that these types of Orders come under very strict privacy laws, he was shocked to the fact that no one in the office seemed to care that the Court Order was not being followed and this young woman was in a dangerous state of mind.

Law Enforcement, informed the friend that there was nothing they could do until the Probate Court contacted them. Once again placing any assistance to ensure this young woman’s safety a miss.

In most cases when a Court Order is not followed then serious consequences occur, but it seems in these situations that deal with potential life and death situation the Courts take a backseat.

The man who the mother released the young woman to is a known Domestic Abuser. And it is suspected that this man also gave the young woman pill, which were found in her system.

In a society that constantly deals and speaks with mental health issues it is shocking that the judicial system that is charged with ensuring the safety of individuals with mental health issues shows such a lack of caring.

Should the Probate Courts be more vigilant in ensuring the following of such orders and prevent the loss of life?

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