The ACLU of Maine filed an amicus brief with the Maine Supreme Judicial Court in support of the appellant A.S., who was involuntarily detained by a Maine hospital after experiencing a mental health crisis. The amicus brief argued that the hospital violated A.S.'s due process rights by involuntarily detaining him in its emergency room for 25 days, without seeking judicial review.

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruled in A.S.'s favor -- finding that the hospital was required to obtain judicial review within 24 hours of authorizing A.S.'s emergency hospitalization. The Court also held that hospitals must meet the heightened "clear and convincing evidence" standard to justify any extended detention. Importantly, the Court's decision clarifies the process hospitals much undertake to ensure individuals experiencing a mental health crisis don't lose their due process rights.

Date filed

July 13, 2020


Maine Supreme Judicial Court