Legal Resources


All states and the District of Columbia have laws governing court-ordered hospital (inpatient) treatment of individuals with severe mental illness. Additionally, 45 states and the District have assisted outpatient treatment (AOT) laws authorizing court-ordered treatment in the community (outpatient treatment) for those who meet strict legal criteria. Each state law is distinct from the others, utlizing its own terminology and civil commitment standards.

This section of the Treatment Advocacy Center website provides the following resources for lawmakers and their staffs, advocates working to improve laws and standards, and anyone seeking information about civil commitment law and practice.


Family members and others seeking intervention for someone in crisis will find practical information about laws and standards facilitating court-ordered intervention in Get Help.


Visit Your State