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CARE: The Community Assistance, Recovery, and Empowerment Act.  The CARE Act seeks to provide mental health services, support, and accountability for Californians living with untreated schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders. The act aims to divert and prevent restrictive conservatorships or incarcerations through a court-ordered CARE plan or court-approved CARE agreement for up to 12 months that is initiated via a petition through the courts.


The CARE Act Court Concept

CARE Act Court will help community members who have been diagnosed with Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders. As a result of these disorders, many people who would benefit from help may not recognize that they need it. CARE Act Court will build a relationship with each participant, motivate the participant to develop a treatment plan, and support them on their journey to a happier, healthier life. Each treatment plan will consider the individual’s needs, preferences, and goals.

When the person who needs the support of CARE Act Court accepts a treatment plan, everyone involved in CARE Act Court will collaborate with that person to succeed. As soon as the person who needs the help reaches a point in treatment where the Court’s involvement is no longer necessary or beneficial, the case will be dismissed.

The CARE Act Court Process

                                                                        CARE Act Court petitions may be filed starting October 2, 2023  

A party that initiates a petition with the court is called the petitioner.  The party that either agrees, or disagrees with the information the petitioner has submitted to the court is called the respondent. Form 050-INFO has more information for CARE Act Court petitioners, and form 060-INFO has additional information for CARE Act Court respondents

CARE Act Court matters will be heard on Mondays at 575 Polk Street.   The Honorable Michael Begert will be presiding over all CARE Act Court matters. Initial hearings will take place from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. All other hearings will take place on Mondays from 2:00 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. Hearings scheduled for the afternoon will include the following issues: Clinical Evaluation, CARE Act Plan Review, Status Review, Progress Report, Case Management Conference, and Graduation.  If Monday is a court holiday, CARE Act Court may take place on a Tuesday. CARE Act Court proceedings are not open to the public. 

The attorneys, Judge, and treatment team will conduct confidential case management conferences from 1:00 p.m. until court starts at 2:00p.m. In other treatment-focused programs, the Court has found that these conferences help everyone adjust treatment effectively, and communicate the plan to everyone clearly.

Filing a New Petition

To start a CARE Act Court case, a petition must be filed by someone who is familiar with the person who needs help. The initial petition, and other forms pertaining to CARE Act Court are available on the California Courts'  website linked here: CA Courts. The petition must be filed using the mandatory petition form.  The petition also must have certain documents attached to it that support the claims made in the petition. Form CARE-100 gives you more information regarding what documents should be submitted with the petition. If you do not use the mandatory form, or if you do not attach the supporting documents, the petition may be rejected or dismissed without a hearing.

The petition and the supporting documents should be filed electronically if you are represented by an attorney. For information on electronic filing please refer to our e-filing page linked here: E-Filing Information.

If you do not have an attorney representing you, you are allowed to file a paper copy of the petition and supporting documents at the courthouse. The window where you should file a paper copy is in the clerk's office in Room 103 on the first floor of 400 McAllister in San Francisco, CA.

The Court has a legal self-help program that provides information and assistance to self-represented litigants. Visit the ACCESS Center for more information about CARE Act Court self-help services.  ACCESS Center

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