Upon the filing of the petition the court shall promptly:

(1) Schedule a hearing to determine based on clear and convincing evidence whether the patient is a person in need of treatment and that cause exists for the involuntary treatment of the patient, and if unable to afford counsel, to appoint counsel to represent the involuntary patient. Such hearing shall be held as soon as practicable, but no later than 8 working days from the filing of the petition.

(2) Direct that notice of the hearing and copies of pleadings be supplied to the involuntary patient and the patient’s counsel. In the case of a minor, copies of the pleading will be supplied to the patient’s parents or legal guardian.

(3) Enter such other orders as may be appropriate, including an order authorizing the continued involuntary treatment of the patient until further order of the court.

(4) If the court determines after a hearing that the patient is not a person in need of treatment or that such patient does not need involuntary treatment, the patient shall be discharged in accord with the court’s order. If the court determines that the patient is a person in need of treatment who is unwilling to accept or incapable of accepting voluntary treatment, it may order continued treatment for an additional period not to exceed 30 days. Thereafter, the court shall schedule an additional hearing within 30 days to review the need for continued involuntary treatment unless the court is informed the patient is under voluntary treatment or has been appropriately discharged from treatment. If continued involuntary treatment is warranted beyond the 30 days, the court shall hold hearings to determine the necessity for continued involuntary treatment at intervals of not more than 6 months. A patient involuntarily receiving treatment, if represented by counsel, may waive, orally or in writing, any hearing under this section. The waiver must be submitted in writing to the court or be orally presented in open court.

(5) The court for good cause may order that judicial proceedings under this chapter take place in the Superior Court or Family Court in a county other than the county in which the action was initiated.

73 Del. Laws, c. 358, § 2.;

Terms Used In Delaware Code Title 16 Sec. 2214

  • Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
  • Guardian: A person legally empowered and charged with the duty of taking care of and managing the property of another person who because of age, intellect, or health, is incapable of managing his (her) own affairs.
  • Pleadings: Written statements of the parties in a civil case of their positions. In the federal courts, the principal pleadings are the complaint and the answer.
  • Voluntary treatment: means a person voluntarily taking medications as prescribed and following the recommendations of the attending physician or the Division for the management of tuberculosis. See Delaware Code Title 16 Sec. 520