So everyone has been having problems with the PG pushing for failed placement on the streets or the shelter before they will pursue full LPS Conservatorship. However, no where in the law does it state that one needs to fail placement in the streets or shelter first before LPS can be initiated (given that the patient is currently gravely disabled).
Homelessness or shelter placement is not a suitable alternative to continued detention (or LPS Conservatorship). Welf & I C § 5354 subdiv (a) dictates that “the officer providing conservatorship investigation shall investigate all available alternatives to conservatorship and shall recommend conservatorship to the court only if no suitable alternatives are available”. If the Public Guardian recommends against LPS Conservatorship, they must set forth all alternatives available in their report. The operative word “suitable” shall be the center point of this argument. The plain and ordinary meaning of suitable is the “right or appropriate [choice] for a particular person, purpose, or situation”. When determining the statutory language of the Welfare and Institutions Code, we start with the statute's words, and rely on the ordinary meanings as a reliable indicator of the legislative intent. If the words themselves are not ambiguous, we shall presume the legislature meant what it said, and the statute's plain meaning governs. If there may be confusion, we shall look to the legislative history consider the consequences of alternative interpretations, and whether its comports with public policy. The LPS Act under Welf. & Inst. Code, § 5001 et seq establishes that the “legislative intent” shall be to
(a) end the inappropriate, indefinite, and involuntary commitment of persons with mental health disorders … and chronic alcoholism, and to eliminate legal disabilities.
(b) provide prompt evaluation and treatment of persons with mental health disorders
(c) To guarantee and protect public safety.
(d) To safeguard individual rights through judicial review.
(e) To provide individualized treatment, supervision, and placement services by a conservatorship program for gravely disabled persons
(i) To provide services in the least restrictive setting appropriate to the needs of each person.
By interpreting discharge to a shelter or the streets, the hospital and doctor shall be ignoring the directives of the Welfare and Institutions Code listed ante. Almost all shelters lack empty beds, have limited treatment programmes, have frequent “fights” and combative clients. None of these are conducive to treatment or stability. Thus we argue that discharge to a “non-suitable” dangerous option; the streets or an already “full” shelter shall be an abuse of the Public Guardian’s discretion.
Juvenile Dependency and