Mental health officials can't 'second guess' judges

Mental health officials can't 'second guess' judges

JACKSON, MS (AP/WLOX) - The Mississippi Supreme Court says the state Department of Mental Health can't refuse a judge's order committing patients, even if the department disagrees that a state mental hospital is the right place for a patient.

The court ruled unanimously Thursday that mental health officials can't "second guess" judges. The court did overturn a contempt ruling against the director of South Mississippi State Hospital, saying a judge didn't follow proper procedures.

Mental health officials said they didn't want to take the patients because they needed drug and alcohol treatment that the hospital didn't offer. The Supreme Court says the law they cited in turning the patients away can only be used to refuse patients because of overcrowding.

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