On May 16, 2013, Governor John Hickenlooper signed into law HB13-1296, creating the Civil Commitment Statute Review Task Force under C.R.S. §27-60-102.
Pursuant to C.R.S. §27-60-102 (3), the Civil Commitment Statute Review Task Force studied the definition of “danger to self or others” as set forth in section C.R.S. §27-65-102 (4.5) and, considering the civil liberties and public safety concerns of that definition, ratified the definition by a majority vote.
C.R.S. § 27-65-105, the section that governs mental health emergency procedure, continues to read “imminent danger to others or to himself or herself…”
“Danger to self or others” has been further defined to read:
a) “With respect to an individual, that the individual poses a substantial risk of physical harm
to himself or herself as manifested by evidence of recent threats of or attempts at suicide or
serious bodily harm to himself or herself; or”
b) “With respect to other persons, that the individual poses a substantial risk of physical harm
to another person or persons, as manifested by evidence of recent homicidal or other violent
behavior by the person in question, or by evidence that others are placed in reasonable fear of
violent behavior and serious physical harm to them, as evidenced by a recent overt act,
attempt, or threat to doserious physical harm by the person in question.”
Additionally, the Civil Commitment Statute Review Task Force informally considered the definition and application of the term “imminent” in C.R.S. § 27-65-105. The plain language meaning of “imminent” should be applied, and can be found here. In section 105, the term “imminent” applies to the proximity in time of the dangerousness. More specifically, the term “imminent” applies to a determination of whether the danger to others or himself or herself is current; it does not apply to how soon in time a specific dangerous act may be undertaken.
Click here for the Colorado Revised Statutes, C.R.S. § 27-65-101 - 131