Welcome to CARE Court
Under the Community Assistance, Recovery and Empowerment (CARE) Act, qualifying individuals or entities can petition the Superior Court of Los Angeles County to help connect eligible individuals to a broad array of services, including mental health and housing services, via a voluntary CARE Agreement or CARE Plan established and overseen by a judicial officer.
Individuals must meet all the following criteria to be eligible for CARE Court:
- 18 years of age or older.
- Diagnosed with a disorder within the "schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders" class of disorders and currently experiencing symptoms. *View full list of eligible diagnoses.
- Not clinically stabilized in ongoing treatment.
- The individual's mental health is substantially deteriorating, and they are unlikely to survive safely in the community without supervision AND/OR need services and support to prevent relapse and deterioration.
- Participation in a CARE Plan is the least restrictive alternative and the individual is likely to benefit from participation in a CARE Plan.
The person who is subject to the petition for the CARE Court process is referred to as the "respondent." If you do not meet the requirements above, options for assistance are still available at The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health.
- Person with whom respondent resides
- Spouse, parent, sibling, child, grandparent or other individual in place of a parent
- Respondent (i.e., self-petition)
- First responder (e.g., peace officer, firefighter, paramedic, mobile crisis response, homeless outreach worker)
- Director of a hospital, or designee, in which respondent is hospitalized (including for Welfare and Institutions Code 5150 and 5250 holds)
- Licensed behavioral health professional, or designee treating respondent for mental illness
- Director of a public/charitable organization providing behavioral health services to the respondent in whose institution the respondent resides
- County behavioral health director, or designee (e.g., LACDMH CARE-LA team)
- Public guardian, or designee
- Director of adult protective services, or designee
- Director of a California Indian health services program, California tribal behavioral health department, or designee
- Judge of a tribal court located in CA, or designee
Eligible petitioners must complete and submit the following materials to begin the CARE Court process:
- CARE-100 form AND
- CARE-101 Mental Health
Declaration from a licensed behavioral health provider
Attach evidence, to CARE-100 form, that the person in need of services was detained for a minimum of two periods of intensive treatment (WIC 5250 hold process) and the most recent event occurred within the past 60 days.
Please note that the forms are available in Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Vietnamese and English.
The Court will assess and evaluate the petition to determine if there is sufficient information to schedule an initial hearing for the individual or if more information is needed. The eligible individual may be contacted by the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH) and may also be contacted by an appointed attorney.
Determination and Treatment Hearings
Usually after the parties have begun exchanging information, the Court will hold closed hearings to determine whether the individual can participate in CARE Court. At the initial hearing, the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health will become the petitioner in the CARE Court case and will remain the petitioner for the duration of the case.
Oversight and Treatment Implementation Hearings
The Court will schedule hearings, to occur every 60 days at a minimum, to learn about the individual's progress. Progress reports can be scheduled for up to a year, if needed and extended for an additional year under certain circumstances..
Ongoing Monitoring and Evaluation
Throughout the duration of the CARE Court process, specialists monitor the individual's progress and adjustments are made as needed, whether there is a mutually entered into CARE Agreement or CARE Plan order requested by a judicial officer.
CARE Court hearings are held in Department B and Department Z at the Norwalk Courthouse, with plans to relocate CARE Court departments to a more central location in the County in the future.
Participants can attend in person at the Norwalk Courthouse or remotely. Remote appearance options are available from any location with an internet connection. In addition, dedicated private spaces for remote appearances will be available at 11 Self Help Centers across Los Angeles County and at the Hollywood Courthouse. To protect the confidentiality of CARE Court proceedings, instructions on how to appear remotely will be provided to all parties upon notice of hearing.
- Chatsworth Courthouse
9425 Penfield Ave. Chatsworth, CA 91311
- Compton Courthouse
200 West Compton Blvd. Compton, CA 90220
- Governor George Deukmejian Courthouse
275 Magnolia Ave. Long Beach, CA 90802
- Hollywood Courthouse
5925 Hollywood Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90028
- Michael Antonovich Antelope Valley Courthouse
42011 4th St. West Lancaster, CA 93534
- Norwalk Courthouse
12720 Norwalk Blvd. Norwalk, CA 90650
- Pasadena Courthouse
300 East Walnut St. Pasadena, CA 91101
- Pomona Courthouse South
400 Civic Center Plaza Pomona, CA 91766
- Stanley Mosk Courthouse
111 North Hill St. Los Angeles, CA 90012
- Torrance Courthouse
825 Maple Ave. Torrance, CA 90503
- Van Nuys Courthouse East
6230 Sylmar Ave. Van Nuys, CA 91401
- Whittier Courthouse
7339 South Painter Ave. Whittier, CA 90602
Dedicated Private Spaces for Remote Appearance
Self-Help assistance available for non-represented individuals