Missouri Revised Statutes

Chapter 552
Criminal Proceedings Involving Mental Illness
Section 552.040

August 28, 2013


Definitions--acquittal based on mental disease or defect, commitment to state hospital required--immediate conditional release--conditional or unconditional release, when--prior commitment, authority to revoke--applications for release, notice, burden of persuasion, criteria--hearings required, when--denial, reapplication--escape, notice--additional criteria for release.

552.040. 1. For the purposes of this section, the following words mean:

(1) "Prosecutor of the jurisdiction", the prosecuting attorney in a county or the circuit attorney of a city not within a county;

(2) "Secure facility", a state mental health facility, state developmental disability facility, private facility under contract with the department of mental health, or a section within any of these facilities, in which persons committed to the department of mental health pursuant to this chapter, shall not be permitted to move about the facility or section of the facility, nor to leave the facility or section of the facility, without approval by the head of the facility or such head's designee and adequate supervision consistent with the safety of the public and the person's treatment, habilitation or rehabilitation plan;

(3) "Tried and acquitted" includes both pleas of mental disease or defect excluding responsibility that are accepted by the court and acquittals on the ground of mental disease or defect excluding responsibility following the proceedings set forth in section 552.030.

2. When an accused is tried and acquitted on the ground of mental disease or defect excluding responsibility, the court shall order such person committed to the director of the department of mental health for custody. The court shall also order custody and care in a state mental health or retardation facility unless an immediate conditional release is granted pursuant to this section. If the accused has not been charged with a dangerous felony as defined in section 556.061, or with murder in the first degree pursuant to section 565.020, or sexual assault pursuant to section 566.040, or the attempts thereof, and the examination contains an opinion that the accused should be immediately conditionally released to the community by the court, the court shall hold a hearing to determine if an immediate conditional release is appropriate pursuant to the procedures for conditional release set out in subsections 10 to 14 of this section. Prior to the hearing, the court shall direct the director of the department of mental health, or the director's designee, to have the accused examined to determine conditions of confinement in accordance with subsection 4 of section 552.020. The provisions of subsection 16 of this section shall be applicable to defendants granted an immediate conditional release and the director shall honor the immediate conditional release as granted by the court. If the court determines that an immediate conditional release is warranted, the court shall order the person committed to the director of the department of mental health before ordering such a release. The court granting the immediate conditional release shall retain jurisdiction over the case for the duration of the conditional release. This shall not limit the authority of the director of the department of mental health or the director's designee to revoke the conditional release or the trial release of any committed person pursuant to subsection 17 of this section. If the accused is committed to a mental health or developmental disability facility, the director of the department of mental health, or the director's designee, shall determine the time, place and conditions of confinement.

3. The provisions of sections 630.110, 630.115, 630.130, 630.133, 630.135, 630.140, 630.145, 630.150, 630.180, 630.183, 630.192, 630.194, 630.196, 630.198, 630.805, 632.370, 632.395, and 632.435 shall apply to persons committed pursuant to subsection 2 of this section. If the department does not have a treatment or rehabilitation program for a mental disease or defect of an individual, that fact may not be the basis for a release from commitment. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, no person committed to the department of mental health who has been tried and acquitted by reason of mental disease or defect as provided in section 552.030 shall be conditionally or unconditionally released unless the procedures set out in this section are followed. Upon request by an indigent committed person, the appropriate court may appoint the office of the public defender to represent such person in any conditional or unconditional release proceeding under this section.

4. Notwithstanding section 630.115, any person committed pursuant to subsection 2 of this section shall be kept in a secure facility until such time as a court of competent jurisdiction enters an order granting a conditional or unconditional release to a nonsecure facility.

5. The committed person or the head of the facility where the person is committed may file an application in the court that committed the person seeking an order releasing the committed person unconditionally; except that any person who has been denied an application for a conditional release pursuant to subsection 13 of this section shall not be eligible to file for an unconditional release until the expiration of one year from such denial. In the case of a person who was immediately conditionally released after being committed to the department of mental health, the released person or the director of the department of mental health, or the director's designee, may file an application in the same court that released the committed person seeking an order releasing the committed person unconditionally. Copies of the application shall be served personally or by certified mail upon the head of the facility unless the head of the facility files the application, the committed person unless the committed person files the application, or unless the committed person was immediately conditionally released, the director of the department of mental health, and the prosecutor of the jurisdiction where the committed person was tried and acquitted. Any party objecting to the proposed release must do so in writing within thirty days after service. Within a reasonable period of time after any written objection is filed, which period shall not exceed sixty days unless otherwise agreed upon by the parties, the court shall hold a hearing upon notice to the committed person, the head of the facility, if necessary, the director of the department of mental health, and the prosecutor of the jurisdiction where the person was tried. Prior to the hearing any of the parties, upon written application, shall be entitled to an examination of the committed person, by a psychiatrist or psychologist, as defined in section 632.005, or a physician with a minimum of one year training or experience in providing treatment or services to mentally retarded or mentally ill individuals of its own choosing and at its expense. The report of the mental condition of the committed person shall accompany the application. By agreement of all parties to the proceeding any report of the mental condition of the committed person which may accompany the application for release or which is filed in objection thereto may be received by evidence, but the party contesting any opinion therein shall have the right to summon and to cross-examine the examiner who rendered such opinion and to offer evidence upon the issue.

6. By agreement of all the parties and leave of court, the hearing may be waived, in which case an order granting an unconditional release shall be entered in accordance with subsection 8 of this section.

7. At a hearing to determine if the committed person should be unconditionally released, the court shall consider the following factors in addition to any other relevant evidence:

(1) Whether or not the committed person presently has a mental disease or defect;

(2) The nature of the offense for which the committed person was committed;

(3) The committed person's behavior while confined in a mental health facility;

(4) The elapsed time between the hearing and the last reported unlawful or dangerous act;

(5) Whether the person has had conditional releases without incident; and

(6) Whether the determination that the committed person is not dangerous to himself or others is dependent on the person's taking drugs, medicine or narcotics. The burden of persuasion for any person committed to a mental health facility under the provisions of this section upon acquittal on the grounds of mental disease or defect excluding responsibility shall be on the party seeking unconditional release to prove by clear and convincing evidence that the person for whom unconditional release is sought does not have, and in the reasonable future is not likely to have, a mental disease or defect rendering the person dangerous to the safety of himself or others.

8. The court shall enter an order either denying the application for unconditional release or granting an unconditional release. An order denying the application shall be without prejudice to the filing of another application after the expiration of one year from the denial of the last application.

9. No committed person shall be unconditionally released unless it is determined through the procedures in this section that the person does not have, and in the reasonable future is not likely to have, a mental disease or defect rendering the person dangerous to the safety of himself or others.

10. The committed person or the head of the facility where the person is committed may file an application in the court having probate jurisdiction over the facility where the person is detained for a hearing to determine whether the committed person shall be released conditionally. In the case of a person committed to a mental health facility upon acquittal on the grounds of mental disease or defect excluding responsibility for a dangerous felony as defined in section 556.061, murder in the first degree pursuant to section 565.020, or sexual assault pursuant to section 566.040, any such application shall be filed in the court that committed the person. In such cases, jurisdiction over the application for conditional release shall be in the committing court. In the case of a person who was immediately conditionally released after being committed to the department of mental health, the released person or the director of the department of mental health, or the director's designee, may file an application in the same court that released the person seeking to amend or modify the existing release. The procedures for application for unconditional releases set out in subsection 5 of this section shall apply, with the following additional requirements:

(1) A copy of the application shall also be served upon the prosecutor of the jurisdiction where the person is being detained, unless the released person was immediately conditionally released after being committed to the department of mental health, or unless the application was required to be filed in the court that committed the person in which case a copy of the application shall be served upon the prosecutor of the jurisdiction where the person was tried and acquitted and the prosecutor of the jurisdiction into which the committed person is to be released;

(2) The prosecutor of the jurisdiction where the person was tried and acquitted shall use their best efforts to notify the victims of dangerous felonies. Notification by the appropriate person or agency by certified mail to the most current address provided by the victim shall constitute compliance with the victim notification requirement of this section;

(3) The application shall specify the conditions and duration of the proposed release;

(4) The prosecutor of the jurisdiction where the person is being detained shall represent the public safety interest at the hearing unless the prosecutor of the jurisdiction where the person was tried and acquitted decides to appear to represent the public safety interest. If the application for release was required to be filed in the committing court, the prosecutor of the jurisdiction where the person was tried and acquitted shall represent the public safety interest. In the case of a person who was immediately conditionally released after being committed to the department of mental health, the prosecutor of the jurisdiction where the person was tried and acquitted shall appear and represent the public safety interest.

11. By agreement of all the parties, the hearing may be waived, in which case an order granting a conditional release, stating the conditions and duration agreed upon by all the parties and the court, shall be entered in accordance with subsection 13 of this section.

12. At a hearing to determine if the committed person should be conditionally released, the court shall consider the following factors in addition to any other relevant evidence:

(1) The nature of the offense for which the committed person was committed;

(2) The person's behavior while confined in a mental health facility;

(3) The elapsed time between the hearing and the last reported unlawful or dangerous act;

(4) The nature of the person's proposed release plan;

(5) The presence or absence in the community of family or others willing to take responsibility to help the defendant adhere to the conditions of the release; and

(6) Whether the person has had previous conditional releases without incident. The burden of persuasion for any person committed to a mental health facility under the provisions of this section upon acquittal on the grounds of mental disease or defect excluding responsibility shall be on the party seeking release to prove by clear and convincing evidence that the person for whom release is sought is not likely to be dangerous to others while on conditional release.

13. The court shall enter an order either denying the application for a conditional release or granting conditional release. An order denying the application shall be without prejudice to the filing of another application after the expiration of one year from the denial of the last application.

14. No committed person shall be conditionally released until it is determined that the committed person is not likely to be dangerous to others while on conditional release.

15. If, in the opinion of the head of a facility where a committed person is being detained, that person can be released without danger to others, that person may be released from the facility for a trial release of up to ninety-six hours under the following procedure:

(1) The head of the facility where the person is committed shall notify the prosecutor of the jurisdiction where the committed person was tried and acquitted and the prosecutor of the jurisdiction into which the committed person is to be released at least thirty days before the date of the proposed trial release;

(2) The notice shall specify the conditions and duration of the release;

(3) If no prosecutor to whom notice is required objects to the trial release, the committed person shall be released according to conditions and duration specified in the notice;

(4) If any prosecutor objects to the trial release, the head of the facility may file an application with the court having probate jurisdiction over the facility where the person is detained for a hearing under the procedures set out in subsections 5 and 10 of this section with the following additional requirements:

(a) A copy of the application shall also be served upon the prosecutor of the jurisdiction into which the committed person is to be released; and

(b) The prosecutor or prosecutors who objected to the trial release shall represent the public safety interest at the hearing; and

(5) The release criteria of subsections 12 to 14 of this section shall apply at such a hearing.

16. The department shall provide or shall arrange for follow-up care and monitoring for all persons conditionally released under this section and shall make or arrange for reviews and visits with the client at least monthly, or more frequently as set out in the release plan, and whether the client is receiving care, treatment, habilitation or rehabilitation consistent with his needs, condition and public safety. The department shall identify the facilities, programs or specialized services operated or funded by the department which shall provide necessary levels of follow-up care, aftercare, rehabilitation or treatment to the persons in geographical areas where they are released.

17. The director of the department of mental health, or the director's designee, may revoke the conditional release or the trial release and request the return of the committed person if such director or coordinator has reasonable cause to believe that the person has violated the conditions of such release. If requested to do so by the director or coordinator, a peace officer of a jurisdiction in which a patient on conditional release is found shall apprehend and return such patient to the facility. No peace officer responsible for apprehending and returning the committed person to the facility upon the request of the director or coordinator shall be civilly liable for apprehending or transporting such patient to the facility so long as such duties were performed in good faith and without negligence. If a person on conditional release is returned to a facility under the provisions of this subsection, a hearing shall be held within ninety-six hours, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and state holidays, to determine whether the person violated the conditions of the release or whether resumption of full-time hospitalization is the least restrictive alternative consistent with the person's needs and public safety. The director of the department of mental health, or the director's designee, shall conduct the hearing. The person shall be given notice at least twenty-four hours in advance of the hearing and shall have the right to have an advocate present.

18. At any time during the period of a conditional release or trial release, the court which ordered the release may issue a notice to the released person to appear to answer a charge of a violation of the terms of the release and the court may issue a warrant of arrest for the violation. Such notice shall be personally served upon the released person. The warrant shall authorize the return of the released person to the custody of the court or to the custody of the director of mental health or the director's designee.

19. The head of a mental health facility, upon any notice that a committed person has escaped confinement, or left the facility or its grounds without authorization, shall immediately notify the prosecutor and sheriff of the county wherein the committed person is detained of the escape or unauthorized leaving of grounds and the prosecutor and sheriff of the county where the person was tried and acquitted.

20. Any person committed to a mental health facility under the provisions of this section upon acquittal on the grounds of mental disease or defect excluding responsibility for a dangerous felony as defined in section 556.061, murder in the first degree pursuant to section 565.020, or sexual assault pursuant to section 566.040 shall not be eligible for conditional or unconditional release under the provisions of this section unless, in addition to the requirements of this section, the court finds that the following criteria are met:

(1) Such person is not now and is not likely in the reasonable future to commit another violent crime against another person because of such person's mental illness; and

(2) Such person is aware of the nature of the violent crime committed against another person and presently possesses the capacity to appreciate the criminality of the violent crime against another person and the capacity to conform such person's conduct to the requirements of law in the future.

(L. 1963 p. 674 4, A.L. 1969 p. 572, A.L. 1980 H.B. 1724, A.L. 1985 S.B. 265, A.L. 1986 S.B. 618 & 562, A.L. 1991 H.B. 568, A.L. 1994 S.B. 763, A.L. 1996 S.B. 884 & 841, A.L. 1999 H.B. 327, A.L. 2011 H.B. 555 merged with H.B. 648)


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