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 one of the below facilities and request an Emergency Commitment, also known as an Order of Detention.
During the Hours of 8:30 AM and 5:00 PM, Monday - Friday please go to Dorchester County Mental Health (DCMH), 106 Springview Lane, Summerville
After Hours: Please go to the closest Emergency Room.
Requirements for a Detention Order:
- 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 suggests 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 an 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, the individual will be admitted to an appropriate treatment facility.
Non-Emergency Commitments - Judicial Orders
Petition for Judicial Admission
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 one of the below facilities and request a Petition for Judicial Admission, between the hours of 8:30 AM and 5:00 PM, Monday - Friday or the After Hours Mobile Crisis Unit at (843) 414-2350.
Mental Health - (843) 873-5063
Dorchester County Mental Health (DCMH), 106 Springview Lane, Summerville
Chemical Dependency - (843) 871-4790
Dorchester Alcohol and Drug Commission (DADC), 500 N. Main Street, Summerville
The facility will send the Judicial Petition to the Probate Court to 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.
Note: 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 canceled.
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, please contact Nikki Collins with the Dorchester County Probate Court at ACollins@DorchesterCountySC.gov for more information.