Under M.G.L. c. 123, Section 35, a Massachusetts judge can order the forced treatment (i.e., commitment) of a person who has a severe substance-abuse problem which creates an imminent threat to the person’s safety or the safety of others.
This is commonly referred to as a “Section 35” commitment.
According to the statute an application for such commitment can be made by any of the following parties:
- a police officer
- a physician
- a spouse
- a blood relative
- a guardian, or
- a court official.
For more on Section 35 proceedings, see my post Commitment for Alcohol or Substance-Use Disorder: Section 35 Hearings