Persons With Mental Illness

ORS 426.005
Definitions for ORS 426.005 to 426.390


As used in ORS 426.005 (Definitions for ORS 426.005 to 426.390) to 426.390 (Construction), unless the context requires otherwise:


“Community mental health program director” means the director of an entity that provides the services described in ORS 430.630 (Services to be provided by community mental health programs) (3) to (5).


“Director of the facility” means a superintendent of a state mental hospital, the chief of psychiatric services in a community hospital or the person in charge of treatment and rehabilitation programs at other treatment facilities.


“Facility” means a state mental hospital, community hospital, residential facility, detoxification center, day treatment facility or such other facility as the authority determines suitable that provides diagnosis and evaluation, medical care, detoxification, social services or rehabilitation to persons who are in custody during a prehearing period of detention or who have been committed to the Oregon Health Authority under ORS 426.130 (Court determination of mental illness).


“Licensed independent practitioner” means:


A physician, as defined in ORS 677.010 (Definitions for chapter);


A nurse practitioner licensed under ORS 678.375 (Nurse practitioners) and authorized to write prescriptions under ORS 678.390 (Authority of nurse practitioner and clinical nurse specialist to write prescriptions or dispense drugs); or


A naturopathic physician licensed under ORS chapter 685.


“Nonhospital facility” means any facility, other than a hospital, that is approved by the authority to provide adequate security, psychiatric, nursing and other services to persons under ORS 426.232 (Emergency admission) or 426.233 (Authority of community mental health program director and of other individuals).


“Person with mental illness” means a person who, because of a mental disorder, is one or more of the following:


Dangerous to self or others.


Unable to provide for basic personal needs that are necessary to avoid serious physical harm in the near future, and is not receiving such care as is necessary to avoid such harm.


A person:


With a chronic mental illness, as defined in ORS 426.495 (Definitions for ORS 426.490 to 426.500);


Who, within the previous three years, has twice been placed in a hospital or approved inpatient facility by the authority or the Department of Human Services under ORS 426.060 (Commitment to Oregon Health Authority);
(iii) Who is exhibiting symptoms or behavior substantially similar to those that preceded and led to one or more of the hospitalizations or inpatient placements referred to in sub-subparagraph (ii) of this subparagraph; and


Who, unless treated, will continue, to a reasonable medical probability, to physically or mentally deteriorate so that the person will become a person described under either subparagraph (A) or (B) of this paragraph or both.


“Prehearing period of detention” means a period of time calculated from the initiation of custody during which a person may be detained under ORS 426.228 (Custody), 426.231 (Hold by licensed independent practitioner), 426.232 (Emergency admission) or 426.233 (Authority of community mental health program director and of other individuals).


Whenever a community mental health program director, director of the facility, superintendent of a state hospital or administrator of a facility is referred to, the reference includes any designee such person has designated to act on the person’s behalf in the exercise of duties. [1961 c.706 §25; 1973 c.838 §1; 1987 c.903 §5; 1989 c.993 §3; 1993 c.484 §11; 2001 c.900 §125; 2007 c.70 §203; 2009 c.595 §381; 2009 c.828 §23; 2011 c.720 §160; 2013 c.360 §15; 2015 c.433 §1; 2015 c.461 §1; 2017 c.356 §47; 2019 c.358 §11]

Notes of Decisions

Evidence that 19-year-old was disoriented, uncooperative and unable to understand directives of officers during his incarceration in county jail, and that such disorientation may have been result of having taken LSD, was insufficient to support finding that he was "mentally ill person" within meaning of this section, absent evidence that he would be dangerous to himself or others in the future. State v. Lucas, 31 Or App 947, 571 P2d 1274 (1977)

Evidence that petitioner thought he was part of "interplanetary system that placed him above the law," and that he was "angry, curt, aggressive and hostile in his verbal behavior," was insufficient to show that defendant was dangerous to himself or others within meaning of this section. State v. Nelson, 35 Or App 57, 580 P2d 590 (1978)

Evidence with respect to petitioner's prior commitments was relevant for purpose of determining nature and extent of petitioner's mental disorder. State v. Watkins, 35 Or App 87, 581 P2d 90 (1978)

Where individual testified he heard voices talking to him from television and radio, admitted thinking about killing self and others, but denied he ever would, conclusion of one of two professional examiners that individual "could" become dangerous to others fell short of reasonable certainty of predicted dangerous behavior required for commitment under this section. State v. Fry, 36 Or App 297, 585 P2d 354 (1978)

Evidence that defendant suffered from manic depressive psychosis, behaved in bizarre manner, and made threats of violence to others accompanied by violent acts, was sufficient to find him mentally ill under this section. State v. Allmendinger, 36 Or App 381, 584 P2d 773 (1978)

Evidence, inter alia, that woman was sleeping in bus shelter, had her possessions in plastic buckets, was unkempt and dirty, was evasive and disorganized in answering question, did not meet burden of proving her mentally ill beyond reasonable doubt. State v. Phyll, 36 Or App 627, 585 P2d 48 (1978)

Where doctors' reports informed court only that individual suffered from "depression" and was "irresponsible" and described mental state as "confused-fears" and there was no showing on what basis doctors reached conclusion patient was danger to self and others and could not care for self, evidence was insufficient for beyond reasonable doubt finding under this section. State v. Arnold, 36 Or App 869, 586 P2d 93 (1978)

Where evidence showed individual engaged in specific violent conduct which endangered others only 48 hours prior to hearing and examiners not only explained in their written reports that he was dangerous to others because of his mental illness but specifically identified the mental illness, evidence was sufficient for finding individual was mentally ill beyond reasonable doubt under this section. State v. Troupe, 36 Or App 875, 586 P2d 95 (1978), Sup Ct review denied

Where evidence indicated that at time of commitment hearing, appellant had place to stay and though she had been given notice to vacate current housing, she was cognizant of necessity to move in near future and of factors involved in moving; it was not sufficient to show she was "mentally ill person" under (2)(b) of this section. State v. Arnston, 47 Or App 477, 614 P2d 1214 (1980)

Where primary evidence to support conclusion concerning petitioner's dangerousness were his statements about "getting things fixed" in Washington, D.C. and he claimed no desire or ability to carry out his concerns, this was not sufficient to find him mentally ill person under this section. State v. Jepson, 48 Or App 411, 617 P2d 284 (1980)

General deterioration in health not accompanied by specific dangerous condition does not establish that person is "dangerous to self." State v. LeHuquet, 54 Or App 895, 636 P2d 467 (1981)

Though appellant was described as being manic-depressive, subject to spending sprees, overly generous and trusting, and refused to take mood controlling medication, this was not sufficient to prove that he was mentally ill within the meaning of this section. State v. Fletcher, 60 Or App 623, 654 P2d 1121 (1982)

Alcoholism, combined with other criteria, can be mental health disorder within meaning of this section. State v. Smith, 71 Or App 205, 692 P2d 120 (1984)

Where trial court found medical examiner's evidence "skimpy" and based determination of plaintiff's mental state on plaintiff's demeanor in court but did not state what that demeanor was, there was not clear and convincing evidence that plaintiff was mentally ill. State v. Waites, 71 Or App 366, 692 P2d 654 (1984)

Where appellant had lived alone for 19 years, her former husband assisted her with groceries and errands, she had adequate food, clothing and shelter, fact that she suffered from sleepless nights and experiences frequent fluctuations in weight did not support conclusion that she was unable to care for her basic needs. State v. Nance, 85 Or App 143, 735 P2d 1271 (1987)

Where appellant led street life and claimed to be mentally unbalanced in order to get into hospital, evidence did not show that he was suffering from mental disorder which justified mental commitment. State v. Billingsley, 85 Or App 387, 736 P2d 611 (1987)

Prank phone call and kicking incident in back of police car were insufficient to meet requirement for clear and convincing evidence that defendant is dangerous. State v. Woolridge, 101 Or App 390, 790 P2d 1192 (1990), as modified by 102 Or App 559, 794 P2d 1258 (1990)

Person is subject to basic needs commitment under this section if clear and convincing evidence demonstrates that, due to mental disorder, there is likelihood person probably would not survive in near future because person is unable to provide for basic personal needs and is not receiving care necessary for health or safety. State v. Bunting, 112 Or App 143, 826 P2d 1060 (1992)

Defendant Was Unable to Meet Her Basic Personal Needs for Food and Shelter Due to Mental Illness Where

Defendant was seriously malnourished when not under doctor's care; she had no credible plan to acquire adequate nutrition in future, minimized danger faced from malnutrition and had history of failing to follow through with plans for care; she had no family or friends who would assist her. State v. Johnson, 117 Or App 237, 843 P2d 985 (1992)

Although medical examiners concluded that defendant could not provide for basic needs and defendant lived homeless lifestyle, evidence was not "highly probable" that defendant could not provide basic needs because testimony indicated that defendant had thought about future care. State v. Stanley, 117 Or App 327, 843 P2d 1018 (1992)

Prior violent behavior is relevant only if evidence shows prior behavior forms foundation for predicting future dangerousness. State v. Tardanico, 119 Or App 166, 849 P2d 564 (1993)

Finding that person was mentally ill, without specific finding that person was dangerous to self or others or was unable to provide for personal needs, was insufficient to support order placing person on conditional release. State v. Gill, 120 Or App 543, 853 P2d 304 (1993)

Establishing that person is "dangerous to self" does not require threat of immediate harm. State v. Jacobson, 142 Or App 371, 922 P2d 670 (1996)

Alleged mentally ill person need not have been twice committed for treatment in order to have been twice "placed" in hospital or approved inpatient facility. State v. Hilliard, 195 Or App 538, 98 P3d 767 (2004), Sup Ct review denied

Where person made vague but threatening statements, including talking about having weapons, wanting to burn down person's workplace and trying to run over person's estranged husband with person's car, but where statements were unaccompanied by any overt act to carry them out or any overt violent act, statements do not establish that person is highly likely to engage in actual future violence and is danger to others. State v. G.A.K., 281 Or App 815, 384 P3d 555 (2016)

Law Review Citations

11 WLJ 327, 328 (1975)

§§ 426.005 to 426.395

Notes of Decisions

The doctor-patient privilege applies under these sections. State v. O'Neill, 274 Or 59, 545 P2d 97 (1976)

Prior to commitment there must be evidence proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the individual is mentally ill as defined. State v. O'Neill, 274 Or 59, 545 P2d 97 (1976)

The Oregon commitment statutes are not unconstitutional on the grounds of vagueness or as an invasion of privacy as protected by the Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. State v. O'Neill, 274 Or 59, 545 P2d 97 (1976)

Oregon Constitution did not require jury in mental commitment hearings. State v. Mills, 36 Or App 727, 585 P2d 1143 (1978), Sup Ct review denied

Alleged mentally ill person does not have right to remain silent in civil commitment proceeding. State v. Matthews, 46 Or App 757, 613 P2d 88 (1980), Sup Ct review denied

Law Review Citations

9 WLJ 63-85 (1973)

Chapter 426

Notes of Decisions

The entire statutory scheme of involuntary commitment provides adequate procedural safeguards which satisfies the requirements of due process and equal protection. Dietrich v. Brooks, 27 Or App 821, 558 P2d 357 (1976), Sup Ct review denied

Atty. Gen. Opinions

County of residence paying mental commitment costs, (1979) Vol 40, p 147; civil commitment to Mental Health Division of person against whom criminal charges are pending, (1980) Vol 41, p 91

Law Review Citations

16 WLR 448 (1979)


Last accessed
Jun. 26, 2021