Probate Court

Mental Health

Mental Health Overview

The Probate Court hears petitions requesting mental health treatment for individuals who are alleged to be a person requiring treatment and are unable or unwilling to seek treatment voluntarily. A "person requiring treatment" under the Mental Health Code (MCL 330.1401) is defined as an individual who has a mental illness, and as a result of that mental illness, is subject to one or more of the following:

  • can reasonably be expected within the near future to intentionally or unintentionally seriously physically injure themselves or others and who has engaged in an act or acts or made significant threats that are substantially supportive of this expectation;
  • is unable to attend to those basic physical needs that must be attended to in order to avoid serious harm in the near future and has demonstrated that inability by failing to attend to those basic physical needs; or
  • whose judgment is so impaired by that mental illness, and whose lack of understanding of the need for treatment has caused him or her to demonstrate an unwillingness to voluntarily participate in or adhere to treatment that is necessary, on the basis of competent clinical opinion, to prevent a relapse or harmful deterioration of his or her condition, and presents a substantial risk of significant physical or mental harm to the individual or others.

Kent County Probate Court has jurisdiction over any resident of the county or an individual found in Kent County. When a petition for mental health treatment is filed with the required documentation (see information on how to file a petition), a hearing will be scheduled and notice will be provided to all interested parties. An attorney will be appointed for the subject of the petition. If the Court determines that the person meets the statutory definition of a “Person Requiring Treatment,” the Court may order that the individual be hospitalized, participate in Assisted Outpatient Treatment, or both.

For specific questions regarding mental health treatment and services in Kent County, please contact our local community mental health organization, Network 180.

Where & How to File a Petition

To file a petition for an individual who is not currently hospitalized, you must first contact Network 180 at (616) 336-3909. Network 180 will assist in the process of filing a petition with the Kent County Probate Court. For a petition to be filed, the alleged mentally ill person must either be a resident of Kent County or presently found in Kent County. Additionally, the petitioner must be at least 18 years of age. There is no filing fee for a Petition/Application for Hospitalization.

If you need further assistance, please reach out to Network 180, and they will guide you through the process of filing a petition.