Mental Health & Substance Abuse

The Mental Health and Substance Abuse Department of the Clerk's office processes and records applications for Commitment of an individual in need of Mental Health care of Substance Abuse Treatment.

The Clerk provides the Application and Affidavit that the parties (2 people, 18 years or older) must complete and presents the documents to a Judge for consideration.

The Mental Health Clerk can be reached at (563) 326-8657.


Frequently Asked Questions

How do I commit someone?

A commitment may be commenced at the Clerk of Court office by two interested adults, (parties must be at least 18 yrs of age) by filing an application and supporting affidavit with the Clerk. The court will review the Application and issue an Order for Hospitalization if appropriate. The party requesting the commitment must also provide the Clerk with the Respondent's address and/or current location.

How long is the respondent hospitalized?

The respondent is served notice of a hearing date which will not be held less than 48 hours or more than 5 days. The respondent will be evaluated at the hospital during this time. After the hearing, the respondent may or may not be ordered to stay in the hospital for further treatment.

Who pays for the treatment?

If the respondent is insured, most insurance companies pay for limited services. Those services not covered by insurance are assessed to the respondent, if they are of legal age or to the parents of a minor child. In some cases where the respondent is unable to pay the costs of hospitalization, the County may agree to make partial payment. This authorization is done through the single entry point process of the respondents County of legal settlement.

How long will he/she be committed?

Pursuant to Iowa law, the Chief Medical Officer of the facility which the respondent is Court ordered to, shall report to the Court at periodic intervals. These reports shall state whether the patients condition has improved, remains unchanged or has deteriorated, and shall indicate the further length of time the patient will be required to remain under commitment. When the opinion of the chief medical officer is that the patient no longer requires treatment or care for serious mental impairment, he shall discharge the patient and report that fact to the Court. The Court shall issue an order terminating the proceedings.