California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI)
4003. "Gravely Disabled" Minor Explained
The term "gravely disabled" means that a minor is presently unable to use those things that are essential to health, safety, and development, including food, clothing, and shelter, even if they are provided to the minor by others, because of a mental disorder. [The term "gravely disabled" does not include mentally retarded persons by reason of being mentally retarded alone.]
[[Insert one or more of the following:] [physical or mental immaturity/developmental disabilities/epilepsy/alcoholism/drug abuse/ repeated antisocial behavior/psychosis/bizarre or eccentric behavior/delusions/hallucinations/[insert other]] [is/are] not enough, by [itself/themselves], to find that [name of respondent] is gravely disabled. [He/She] must be unable to use those things that are essential to health, safety, or development because of a mental disorder.]
[If you find [name of respondent] will not take [his/her] medication without supervision and that a mental disorder makes [him/her] unable to use those things that are essential to health, safety, or development without such medication, then you may conclude [name of respondent] is presently gravely disabled.
In determining whether [name of respondent] is presently gravely disabled, you may consider evidence that [he/she] did not take prescribed medication in the past. You may consider evidence of [his/her] lack of insight into [his/her] mental condition.]
In considering whether [name of respondent] is presently gravely disabled, you may not consider the likelihood of future deterioration relapse of a condition.
Directions for Use
Read the bracketed sentence at the end of the first paragraph if appropriate to the facts of the case.
The principle regarding the likelihood of future deterioration may not apply in cases where the respondent has no insight into his or her mental isorder. (Conservatorship of Walker (1989) 206 Cal.App.3d 1572, 1576- 1577 [254 Cal.Rptr. 552].)
If there is evidence concerning the availability of third parties that are willing to provide assistance to the proposed conservatee, see CACI No. 4008, Third Party Assistance to Minor.
Sources and Authority
Welfare and Institutions Code section 5585.25 provides: " 'Gravely disabled minor' means a minor who, as a result of a mental disorder, is unable to use the elements of life which are essential to health, safety, and development, including food, clothing, and shelter, even though provided to the minor by others. Mental retardation, epilepsy, or other developmental disabilities, alcoholism, other drug abuse, or repeated antisocial behavior do not, by themselves, constitute a mental disorder."
"[T]he actual commitment of a mentally disordered minor who is also a ward of the juvenile court can be accomplished only in accordance with the LPS Act." (In re Michael E. (1975) 15 Cal.3d 183, 189 [538 P.2d 231, 123 Cal.Rptr. 103].)
"The actual commitment of a minor ward of a juvenile court to a state hospital can be lawfully accomplished only through the appointment of a conservator who is vested with authority to place the minor in such a hospital. Such conservator may be appointed only for a 'gravely disabled' minor who is entitled to a jury trial on the issue whether he is in fact 'gravely disabled.' Conservatorship shall be recommended to the court only if, on investigation, no suitable alternatives are available. The conservator's proposed powers and duties are to be recommended to the court. A conservator may commit the minor to a medical facility, including a state hospital, only when specifically authorized by the court. Conservatorships automatically terminate at the end of one year, and every six months a conservatee may petition for a rehearing as to his status. Finally, the entertainment of a petition for conservatorship is a function of the superior and not the juvenile court." (In re Michael E., supra, 15 Cal.3d at pp. 192-193, internal citations and footnotes omitted.)
"Although a minor may not be legally responsible to provide for his basic personal needs, or may suffer disabilities other than a mental disorder which preclude him from so providing, the [statutory] definition is nevertheless applicable. A minor is 'gravely disabled' ithin the meaning of section 5008, subdivision (h)(1), when the trier of fact, on expert and other testimony, finds that disregarding other disabilities, if any, the minor, because of the further disability of a mental disorder, would be unable to provide for his basic personal needs. Immaturity, either physical or mental when not brought about by a mental disorder, is not a disability which would render a minor 'gravely disabled' within the meaning of section 5008." (In re Michael E., supra, 15 Cal.3d at p. 192, fn. 12.)
2 California Conservatorship Practice (Cont.Ed.Bar 2005), § 23.16
26 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 304, Insane and Other Incompetent Persons, Part I, "Lanterman-Petris-Short Act and Related Proceedings" (Matthew Bender)
(New June 2005)