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New York City’s new plan to take more mentally ill homeless people to hospitals against their will if they are deemed a danger to themselves met its first legal challenge on Thursday.
In a federal court motion filed in an existing lawsuit, a civil rights law firm argued that the new policy “lowers the standard for involuntary detentions and hospitalization” to such a degree that people could end up being forcibly hospitalized “solely because an N.Y.P.D. officer perceives them to have a mental disability and nothing more.”
The motion said the policy violates constitutional rights to due process and to protection from improper search and seizure. It calls for a temporary restraining order to block the plan from taking effect.Police officers, the filing says, have “little to no expertise” in handling people with mental disabilities who could be “forcefully — often violently — detained.”