If a patient needs mental health treatment and is a danger to himself or others, but refuses to seek treatment, there are options. The attachments below provide guidance and step-by-step instructions to begin the process. Please call 281-341-4555 for more information.
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Mental Health Warrants Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
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Call 9-1-1 if the person is attempting suicide or is violent.
If the person is actively attempting to commit suicide or has become violent, immediately call 9-1-1 so that law enforcement can respond.
For a Mental Health Warrant to be issued in Fort Bend County, the proposed patient must reside or currently be in Fort Bend County.
The applicant MUST be able to present current, specific information that shows the prospective patient is suffering from a mental illness and constitutes an IMMEDIATE danger to him/herself or to others.
IMPORTANT: PAST BEHAVIOR, EVEN FROM A WEEK PRIOR, MAY NOT SATISFY THE CRITERIA IF THE BEHAVIOR IS NOT CURRENTLY BEING SHOWN.
If the proposed patient is incarcerated for a violent offense, no commitment can take place until the proposed patient is released from jail.
A person may file an application for a Mental Health Warrant if:
- He or she is over 18 years of age; and
- He or she has witnessed the proposed patient’s behavior.
It is a criminal offense to knowingly falsify any information in the Application for a Mental Health Warrant. Therefore, only first-hand information should be included on the application. Any information given from one person to another is not sufficient and will not be considered when the application is evaluated by a judge.
- Locate a facility that will accept the patient and patient’s insurance. The County cannot provide a referral to a specific facility, but some of the hospitals that have treated patients from Fort Bend County are listed in our Mental Health Commitment Procedures [PDF]
- If arrangements are made with a facility to accept the proposed patient, take down the name and telephone number for the facility admitting department. When completing the Application for Mental Health Warrant at the Justice of the Peace, this information will be necessary.
If the facility is in Harris County, the commitment will most likely take place in Harris County because it is difficult for the doctors in Harris County to travel to Fort Bend County for the required hearings. Therefore, you may be referred to the Harris County Attorney’s Office for further handling.
- If there is no insurance, you may try to locate a facility with an indigent bed available. If no private facility will accept the proposed patient, contact Texana Center at 1-800-633-5686 (available 24 hours a day/seven days a week). Notify Texana that you are seeking a commitment to Austin State Hospital (ASH). Ask if there is space available for a proposed patient from Fort Bend County.
- If the only facility available to the proposed patient is Austin State Hospital, the commitment will take place in the City of Austin and Travis County courts will handle the proceedings.
Call the Justice of the Peace for the precinct where the proposed patient lives and let them know you will be coming in to complete an Application for a Mental Health Warrant. Some Justice of the Peace offices close at 4:00 PM; it is recommended to start the process as early in the day as possible.
- JP 1, Place 1 – 3114 Rosenberg St., Needville: 281-342-7807 or 979-793-3403
- JP 1, Place 2 – 1517 Eugene Heiman Circle, Ste. 100, Richmond: 281-341-3742
- JP 2 – 303 Texas Parkway (FM 2234), Rm. 107, Missouri City: 281-403-8080
- JP 3 – 22333 Grand Corner Drive, Katy: 281-238-1460
- JP 4 – 12919 Dairy Ashford, Ste. 100, Sugar Land: 281-491-6016
If you have located a facility and are calling after hours, you may call the Sheriff’s Office Dispatch at 281-341-4665. Let the dispatcher know that you need to contact the Justice of Peace on call regarding a mental health commitment.
When completing the Application, make certain to put the name and telephone number for the facility admitting department, for confirmation by the Sheriff’s Office that the facility is expecting this proposed patient.
If the Mental Health Warrant is issued, the warrant will be sent to the Sheriff (or Texana) and arrangements will be made for the transport of the patient to the facility.
Just like with proposed mental health patients, you must apply for a warrant to have a person picked up for evaluation. Only a doctor can determine whether to commit a person for substance abuse treatment.
For more information, contact the County Attorney’s Office of Fort Bend County at 281-341-4555.