Likelihood of Serious Harm
One of the bases of detention under Washington’s Involuntary Treatment Act is that the person, because of a mental disorder, presents a likelihood of serious harm. The person must present a likelihood of serious harm:
- To themselves,
- To others,
- To the property of others, or
- Because of a history of violent acts.
The statutory definition of “likelihood of serious harm” is:
(a) A substantial risk that:
(i) Physical harm will be inflicted by a person upon his or her own person, as evidenced by threats or attempts to commit suicide or inflict physical harm on oneself;
(ii) physical harm will be inflicted by a person upon another, as evidenced by behavior which has caused such harm or which places another person or persons in reasonable fear of sustaining such harm; or
(iii) physical harm will be inflicted by a person upon the property of others, as evidenced by behavior which has caused substantial loss or damage to the property of others; or
(b) The person has threatened the physical safety of another and has a history of one or more violent acts.
Walla Walla attorney Jeff Burkhart is qualified to assist you with your legal rights and responsibilities regarding civil commitment in Washington.