MIW is short for a mental inquest warrant. An MIW is actually a process by which someone:
A MIW is NOT for someone:
If you need assistance during this process, please contact the Hart County Attorney’s Office at (270) 524-2547.
Process to Obtain an MIW
If you know someone who meets the above criteria, you may petition the Court for an MIW. If it is during regular office hours (8:00 -4:00, M-F), you should come to the Hart County Attorney's office for a petition. If there is an emergency situation involving mental illness during other hours, call your local law enforcement department or dial 911.
What is an MIW?
An MIW is short for a mental inquest warrant (KRS 202A.006 et. seq.). It permits the District Court to order someone who meets certain criteria to be picked up by the police for treatment.
What are the criteria for a MIW?
For the Court to order involuntary treatment, it must find that the person:
Who can file for an MIW?
Any person can file for an MIW. However, the person should be familiar with the mentally ill person so that they can describe the mental illness and the behavior that justifies the MIW.
What is the difference between and MIW and a Casey Law Petition?
MIWs are for persons who are mentally ill. A Casey Law Petition is for someone who suffers from alcohol or drug addiction. Oftentimes, there are symptoms of both mental illness and drug addiction in the same person (sometimes called a dual diagnosis or comorbidity). In those situations, only a mental health professional can determine the right course of action. The presence of drugs or alcohol will make the diagnosis of a mental illness much more difficult. If someone is actively under the influence of drugs or alcohol, a MIW is not advised because even a seasoned mental health professional cannot distinguish between whether the problems are caused by the drugs or the mental illness.
How does the MIW process work?
During normal business hours, please call the County Attorney’s Office:
Outside normal business hours:
How long will the process take?
Once the Petition is filed, the Court will examine the petition to see if it meets the criteria for an MIW. Provided that it does, the Court will immediately ask the police to locate and transport the respondent to LifeSkills for an evaluation. Depending on the results of that evaluation, the respondent may be held for 72 hours or longer, depending on their need for treatment.
Is there a cost to the person filing the petition?
There is no cost to a person filing the petition. However, the petition is filed under oath. If material allegations in the petition are untrue, the petitioner could be charged with a crime.
Justin Baird Hart County Attorney
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