Code Section Group

Welfare and Institutions Code - WIC

DIVISION 7. MENTAL INSTITUTIONS [7100 - 7700]

  ( Division 7 repealed and added by Stats. 1967, Ch. 1667. )

CHAPTER 2. State Hospitals for the Mentally Disordered [7200 - 7375]

  ( Heading of Chapter 2 renumbered from Chapter 3 by Stats. 1979, Ch. 373. )

ARTICLE 4. Property and Support of Patients [7275 - 7295]
  ( Article 4 added by Stats. 1967, Ch. 1667. )

7275.
  

(a) A patient in a state hospital, their estate, and the guardian or conservator and administrator of the estate of the patient shall cause the patient to be properly and suitably cared for and maintained, and shall pay the costs and charges for transportation to a state institution. The patient in a state hospital and the administrators of their estate, and the estate of the person shall be liable for their care, support, and maintenance in a state institution of which they are a patient. The liability shall exist whether the person has become a patient of a state institution pursuant to the provisions of this code or pursuant to the provisions of Sections 1026, 1368, 1369, 1370, and 1372 of the Penal Code.

(b) This section does not impose liability for the care of persons with intellectual disabilities in state hospitals.

(Amended by Stats. 2021, Ch. 143, Sec. 356. (AB 133) Effective July 27, 2021.)

7276.
  

(a) The charge for the care and treatment of all persons who have mental health disorders at state hospitals for whom there is liability to pay therefor shall be determined pursuant to Section 4025. The Director of State Hospitals may reduce, cancel, or remit the amount to be paid by the estate liable for the care and treatment of a person who is an alcoholic or who has a mental health disorder and who is a patient at a state hospital, on satisfactory proof that the estate is unable to pay the cost of that care and treatment or that the amount is uncollectible. If there has been a payment under this section, and the payment or any part thereof is refunded because of the death, leave of absence, or discharge of a patient of the hospital, that amount shall be paid by the hospital or the State Department of State Hospitals to the person who made the payment upon demand, and in the statement to the Controller the amounts refunded shall be itemized and the aggregate deducted from the amount to be paid into the State Treasury, as provided by law. If a person dies at any time while their estate is liable for their care and treatment at a state hospital, the claim for the amount due may be presented to the executor or administrator of their estate, and paid as a preferred claim, with the same rank in order of preference, as claims for expenses of last illness.

(b) If the Director of State Hospitals delegates to the county the responsibility for determining the ability of a minor child and their parents to pay for state hospital services, the requirements of Sections 5710 and 7275.1 and the policies and procedures established and maintained by the director, including those relating to the collection and accounting of revenue, shall be followed by each county to which that responsibility is delegated.

(Amended by Stats. 2021, Ch. 143, Sec. 357. (AB 133) Effective July 27, 2021.)

7277.
  

The State Department of State Hospitals shall collect all the costs and charges mentioned in Section 7275, and shall determine, pursuant to Section 7275, and collect the charges for care and treatment rendered persons in community mental health clinics maintained by the department and may take action necessary to effect their collection within or without the state. The Director of State Hospitals may, however, at his or her discretion, refuse to accept payment of charges for the care and treatment in a state hospital of person with a mental health disorder or who has chronic alcoholism and who is eligible for deportation by the federal immigration authorities.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 144, Sec. 120. (AB 1847) Effective January 1, 2015.)

7277.1.
  

In the case of liability for care arising under Section 7275 during the lifetime of a decedent, in which the decedent has been a patient in a state hospital preceding the date of decedent’s death, a claim for costs and charges shall be mailed within four months after written request therefor, in the form required by the department, by the fiduciary of the estate or trust or by any other person liable for the claim or any portion thereof.

(Amended by Stats. 2021, Ch. 143, Sec. 358. (AB 133) Effective July 27, 2021.)

7278.
  

The State Department of State Hospitals shall, following the admission of a patient into a state hospital, cause an investigation to be made to determine the moneys, property, or interest in property, if any, the patient has, and whether the patient has a duly appointed and acting guardian to protect their property and their property interests.

(Amended by Stats. 2021, Ch. 143, Sec. 359. (AB 133) Effective July 27, 2021.)

7279.
  

(a) If any person committed to a state mental hospital has sufficient estate for the purpose, the guardian or conservator of the person’s estate shall pay for his or her care, support, maintenance, and necessary expenses at the mental hospital to the extent of the estate. The payment may be enforced by the order of the judge of the superior court where the guardianship or conservatorship proceedings are pending. On the filing of a petition therein by the department showing that the guardian or conservator has failed, refused, or neglected to pay for such care, support, maintenance, and expenses, the court, by order, shall direct the payment by the guardian or conservator. Such order may be enforced in the same manner as are other orders of the court.

(b) If at any time there is not sufficient money on hand in the estate of a committed person to pay the claim of a state mental hospital for his or her care, support, maintenance, and expenses therein, the court may, on petition of the guardian or conservator of the estate, or if the guardian or conservator fails, refuses, or neglects to apply, on the petition of the department, make an order directing the guardian or conservator to sell so much of the other personal or real property or both, of the person as is necessary to pay for the care, support, maintenance, and expenses of the person at the mental hospital. From the proceeds of such sale, the guardian or conservator shall pay the amount due for the care, support, maintenance, and expenses at the mental hospital, and also such other charges as are allowed by law.

(c) Payment for the care, support, maintenance, and expenses shall not be extracted, however, from a person who has no more than five hundred dollars ($500) of assets.

(Amended by Stats. 1984, Ch. 797, Sec. 3.)

7280.
  

The guardian or conservator of the estate of a person who is confined in a state hospital may, from time to time, pay to the state hospital moneys out of the estate to be used for the future personal needs of the person while in a state hospital and for burial expenses. These sums shall be credited to the patient’s personal deposit account, subject to the provision relating to the deposit of funds in the patients’ personal deposit fund.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 144, Sec. 122. (AB 1847) Effective January 1, 2015.)

7281.
  

There is at each institution under the jurisdiction of the State Department of State Hospitals and at each institution under the jurisdiction of the State Department of Developmental Services, a fund known as the patients’ personal deposit fund. Any funds coming into the possession of the superintendent, belonging to any patient in that institution, shall be deposited in the name of that patient in the patients’ personal deposit fund, except that if a guardian or conservator of the estate is appointed for the patient then he or she shall have the right to demand and receive the funds. Whenever the sum belonging to any one patient, deposited in the patients’ personal deposit fund, exceeds the sum of five hundred dollars ($500), the excess may be applied to the payment of the care, support, maintenance, and medical attention of the patient. After the death of the patient any sum remaining in his or her personal deposit account in excess of burial costs may be applied for payment of care, support, maintenance, and medical attention. Any of the funds belonging to a patient deposited in the patients’ personal deposit fund may be used for the purchase of personal incidentals for the patient or may be applied in an amount not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500) to the payment of his or her burial expenses.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 24, Sec. 170. (AB 1470) Effective June 27, 2012.)

7281.1.
  

A patient of an institution under the jurisdiction of the State Department of State Hospitals who participates in a sheltered workshop or vocational rehabilitation program shall not be required to return or remit any earnings received during the patient’s participation to the institution for the cost of care, support, maintenance, and medical attention pursuant to Section 7281.

(Added by Stats. 2019, Ch. 38, Sec. 45. (SB 78) Effective June 27, 2019.)

7282.
  

The State Department of State Hospitals with respect to a state hospital under its jurisdiction, or the State Department of Developmental Services with respect to a state hospital under its jurisdiction, may, in its own name, bring an action to enforce payment for the cost and charges of transportation of a person to a state hospital against any person, guardian, or conservator liable for transportation. The department also may, in its own name, bring an action to recover for the use and benefit of any state hospital or for the state the amount due for the care, support, maintenance, and expenses of any patient therein, against any county, or officer thereof, or against any person, guardian, or conservator liable for the care, support, maintenance, or expenses.

(Amended by Stats. 2021, Ch. 143, Sec. 360. (AB 133) Effective July 27, 2021.)

7282.1.
  

If a person who is or has been a recipient of services provided by the State Department of Developmental Services or the State Department of State Hospitals in a state hospital, or the guardian, conservator, or personal representative of the person, brings an action or claim against a third party for an injury, disorder, or disability, which resulted in the need for care, maintenance, or treatment in a state hospital, the person or the guardian, conservator, or personal representative shall within 30 days of filing the action or claim give to the Director of Developmental Services, for hospitals under the jurisdiction of the State Department of Developmental Services, or the Director of State Hospitals, for hospitals under the jurisdiction of the State Department of State Hospitals, written notice of the action or claim and of the name of the court or agency in which the action or claim is to be brought. Proof of the notice shall be filed in the action or claim. For pending actions or claims filed prior to January 1, 1986, proof of the notice shall be filed by February 1, 1986.

Any judgment, award, or settlement arising out of the action or claim shall be subject to a lien in favor of the Director of Developmental Services or the Director of State Hospitals, for hospitals under the jurisdiction of that department, for the cost of state hospital care and treatment furnished with respect to the subject of the action or claim, however:

(a) A lien shall not attach to that portion of a money judgment awarded for pain and suffering.

(b) A lien shall not attach if over 180 days has elapsed between the time when notice was given to the department and the time when the department has filed its lien with the court or agency in which the action or claim has been brought.

(c) A lien authorized by this section shall not be placed for services which have been paid through the state Medi-Cal program.

(d) This section shall not apply to actions or claims in which a final judgment, award, or settlement has been entered into prior to January 1, 1986.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 24, Sec. 172. (AB 1470) Effective June 27, 2012.)

7283.
  

All moneys collected by the State Department of State Hospitals and the State Department of Developmental Services for the cost and charges of transportation of persons to state hospitals shall be remitted by the department to the State Treasury for credit to, and shall become a part of, the current appropriation from the General Fund of the state for the transportation of persons with mental health disorders, correctional school, or other state hospital patients and shall be available for expenditure for those purposes. In lieu of exact calculations of moneys collected for transportation charges the department may determine the amount of collections by the use of those estimates or formula as approved by the Department of Finance.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 144, Sec. 123. (AB 1847) Effective January 1, 2015.)

7284.
  

(a) If a person who lacks legal capacity to make decisions, who has no guardian or conservator of the estate, and who has been admitted or committed to the State Department of State Hospitals for placement in a state hospital, is the owner of any property, the State Department of State Hospitals, acting through its designated officer, may apply to the superior court of the proper county for its appointment as guardian or conservator of the person’s estate.

(b) For the purposes of this section, the State Department of State Hospitals is hereby made a corporation and may act as executor, administrator, guardian or conservator of estates, assignee, receiver, depositary, or trustee, under appointment of any court or by authority of any law of this state, and may transact business in that capacity in like manner as an individual, and for this purpose may sue and be sued in any of the courts of this state.

(c) If a person admitted or committed to the State Department of State Hospitals dies, leaving an estate, and having no relatives at the time residing within this state, the State Department of State Hospitals may apply for letters of administration of his or her estate and, in the discretion of the court, letters of administration may be issued to the department. When the State Department of State Hospitals is appointed as guardian, conservator, or administrator, the department shall be appointed as guardian, conservator, or administrator without bond. The officer designated by the department shall be required to give a surety bond in an amount deemed necessary from time to time by the director, but in no event shall the initial bond be less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), which bond shall be for the joint benefit of the several estates and the State of California. The State Department of State Hospitals shall receive any reasonable fees for its services as the guardian, conservator, or administrator as the court allows. The fees paid to the State Department of State Hospitals for its services as guardian, conservator, or administrator of the various estates may be used as a trust account from which may be drawn expenses for filing fees, bond premiums, court costs, and other expenses required in the administration of the various estates. Whenever the balance remaining in the trust fund account shall exceed a sum deemed necessary by the department for the payment of expenses, the excess shall be paid quarterly by the department into the State Treasury to the credit of the General Fund.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 144, Sec. 124. (AB 1847) Effective January 1, 2015.)

7285.
  

The State Department of State Hospitals may invest funds held as executor, administrator, guardian or conservator of estates, or trustee, in bonds or obligations issued or guaranteed by the United States or the State of California. Such investments may be made and such bonds or obligations may be sold or exchanged for similar bonds or obligations without notice or court authorization.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 24, Sec. 175. (AB 1470) Effective June 27, 2012.)

7286.
  

The State Department of State Hospitals may establish one or more common trusts for investment of funds held as executor, administrator, guardian or conservator of estates, or trustee and may designate from time to time the amount of participation of each estate in such trusts. The funds in such trusts may be invested only in bonds or obligations issued or guaranteed by the United States or the State of California.

The income and profits of each trust shall be the property of the estates participating and shall be distributed, when received, in proportion to the amount of participation of each estate in such trust. The losses of each trust shall be the losses of the estates participating and shall be apportioned, as the same occur, upon the same basis as income and profits.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 24, Sec. 176. (AB 1470) Effective June 27, 2012.)

7287.
  

Upon the death of an incompetent person over whom the State Department of State Hospitals has obtained jurisdiction pursuant to Section 7284, the department may make proper disposition of the remains, and pay for the disposition of the remains together with any indebtedness existing at the time of the death of the person from the assets of the guardianship or conservatorship estate, and thereupon it shall file its final account with the court or otherwise close its administration of the estate of the person.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 24, Sec. 177. (AB 1470) Effective June 27, 2012.)

7288.
  

Whenever it appears that a person who has been admitted to a state institution and remains under the jurisdiction of the State Department of State Hospitals or the State Department of Developmental Services does not have a guardian or conservator of the estate and owns personal property which requires safekeeping for the benefit of the patient, the State Department of State Hospitals or the State Department of Developmental Services may remove or cause to be removed the personal property from wherever located to a place of safekeeping.

Whenever it appears that the patient does not own property of a value which would warrant guardianship or conservatorship proceedings, the expenses of removal and safekeeping shall be paid from funds appropriated for the support of the institution in which the patient is receiving care and treatment; provided, however, that if the sum on deposit to the credit of the patient in the patients’ personal deposit fund exceeds the sum of three hundred dollars ($300), the excess may be applied to the payment of the expenses of removal and safekeeping.

When it is determined by the superintendent, at any time after the removal for safekeeping of the personal property, that the patient is incurable or is likely to remain in a state institution indefinitely, then any of those articles of personal property which cannot be used by the patient at the institution may be sold at public auction and the proceeds therefrom shall first be applied in reimbursement of the expenses so incurred, and the balance shall be deposited to the patient’s credit in the patients’ personal deposit fund. All moneys so received as reimbursement shall be deposited in the State Treasury in augmentation of the appropriation from which the expenses were paid.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 24, Sec. 178. (AB 1470) Effective June 27, 2012.)

7289.
  

When a person who is a client of a state hospital or developmental center in the State Department of State Hospitals or the State Department of Developmental Services has no guardian or conservator of the estate and has money due or owing to him or her, the executive director of the institution of which the person is a client may, during the client’s residence at the institution, collect an amount not to exceed three thousand dollars ($3,000) of any money so due or owing upon furnishing to the person, representative, officer, body or corporation in possession of or owing any sums, an affidavit executed by the executive director or acting executive director. The affidavit shall contain the name of the institution of which the person is a client, and the statement that the total amount requested pursuant to the affidavit does not exceed the sum of three thousand dollars ($3,000). Payments from retirement systems and annuity plans which are due or owing to the clients may also be collected by the executive director of the institution of which the person is a client, upon the furnishing of an affidavit executed by the executive director or acting executive director, containing the name of the institution of which the person is a client and the statement that the person is entitled to receive the payments. These sums shall be delivered to the executive director and shall be deposited by him or her in the clients’ personal deposit fund as provided in Section 7281.

The receipt of the executive director shall constitute sufficient acquittance for any payment of money made pursuant to this section and shall fully discharge the person, representative, officer, body or corporation from any further liability with reference to the amount of money so paid.

The executive director of each institution shall render reports and accounts annually or more often as may be required by the department having jurisdiction over the hospital or the Department of Finance of all moneys of clients deposited in the clients’ personal deposit accounts of the institution.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 24, Sec. 179. (AB 1470) Effective June 27, 2012.)

7289.1.
  

(a) The amount of three thousand dollars ($3,000) as set forth in Section 7289, shall be adjusted annually, on January 1 by the State Department of Developmental Services as it applies to state hospitals or developmental centers under its jurisdiction, and by the State Department of State Hospitals as it applies to state hospitals under its jurisdiction, to reflect any increases or decreases in the cost of living occurring after December 31, 1967, so that the first adjustment becomes effective January 1, 1990. The indices of the California Consumer Price Index—All Urban as prepared by the Department of Industrial Relations, shall be used as the basis for determining the changes in the cost of living.

(b) In implementing the cost-of-living provisions of this section, the State Department of Developmental Services and the State Department of State Hospitals shall use the most recent December for computation of the percentage change in the cost of living after December 31, 1967. The amount of this adjustment shall be made by comparing the average index for the most recent December with the average index for December 1967. The product of any percentage increase or decrease in the average index and the amount set forth in Section 7289 shall be the adjusted amount subject to affidavit pursuant to the provisions of Section 7289.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 24, Sec. 180. (AB 1470) Effective June 27, 2012.)

7290.
  

The State Department of State Hospitals or the State Department of Developmental Services may enter into a special agreement, secured by a properly executed bond, with the relatives, guardian, conservator, or friend of any patient therein, for his or her care, support, maintenance, or other expenses at the institution. Such agreement and bond shall be to the people of the State of California and action to enforce the same may be brought thereon by the department. All charges due under the provisions of this section, including the monthly rate for the patient’s care and treatment as established by or pursuant to law, shall be collected monthly. No patient, however, shall be permitted to occupy more than one room in any state institution.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 24, Sec. 181. (AB 1470) Effective June 27, 2012.)

7291.
  

The county from which each person has been committed to an institution for defective or psychopathic delinquents shall pay the state the cost of the care of such person, for the time the person committed remains a patient of the institution, at the monthly rate therefor fixed as provided in Section 7292.

(Added by Stats. 1967, Ch. 1667.)

7292.
  

The cost of such care shall be determined and fixed from time to time by the Director of State Hospitals, but in no case shall it exceed the rate of forty dollars ($40) per month.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 24, Sec. 182. (AB 1470) Effective June 27, 2012.)

7293.
  

The State Department of State Hospitals shall present to the county, not more frequently than monthly, a claim for the amount due the state under Section 7291 which the county shall process and pay pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 29700) of Division 3 of Title 3 of the Government Code.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 24, Sec. 183. (AB 1470) Effective June 27, 2012.)

7294.
  

(a) A person who has been committed as a delinquent with a mental health disorder may be paroled or granted a leave of absence by the medical superintendent of the institution wherein the person is confined whenever the medical superintendent is of the opinion that the person has improved to such an extent that he or she is no longer a menace to the health and safety of others or that the person will receive benefit from the parole or leave of absence, and after the medical superintendent and the Director of State Hospitals have certified the opinion to the committing court.

(b) If, within 30 days after the receipt of the certification, the committing court orders the return of the person, the person shall be returned forthwith to await further action of the court. If, within 30 days after the receipt of the certification, the committing court does not order the return of the person to await the further action of the court, the medical superintendent may thereafter parole the person under the terms and conditions specified by the superintendent. A paroled inmate may, at any time during the parole period, be recalled to the institution. The period of parole shall in no case be less than five years, and shall be on the same general rules and conditions as parole of persons with mental health disorders.

(c) When a person has been paroled for five consecutive years, if in the opinion of the medical superintendent and the Director of State Hospitals the person is no longer a menace to the health, person, or property of himself or herself or of any other person, the medical superintendent, subject to the approval of the Director of State Hospitals, may discharge the person. The committing court shall be furnished with a certified copy of the discharge and shall thereupon dispose of the court case as it deems necessary and proper.

(d) When, in the opinion of the medical superintendent, a person previously committed as a delinquent with a mental health disorder will not benefit by further care and treatment under any facilities of the department and should be returned to the jurisdiction of the court, the superintendent of the institution and the Director of State Hospitals shall certify the opinion to the committing court, including therein a report, diagnosis, and recommendation concerning the person’s future care, supervision, or treatment. Upon receipt of the certification, the committing court shall forthwith order the return of the person to the court. The person shall be entitled to a court hearing and to present witnesses in his or her own behalf, to be represented by counsel and to cross-examine any witness who testifies against him or her. After considering all the evidence before it, the court may make a further order or commitment with reference to the person as may be authorized by law.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 144, Sec. 125. (AB 1847) Effective January 1, 2015.)

7295.
  

(a) To ensure its safety and security, a state hospital that is under the jurisdiction of the State Department of State Hospitals, as listed in Section 4100, may develop a list of items that are deemed contraband and prohibited on hospital grounds and control and eliminate contraband on hospital grounds.

(b) The State Department of State Hospitals shall develop a list of items that shall be deemed contraband at every state hospital.

(c) A state hospital shall form a contraband committee, comprised of hospital management and employees designated by the hospital’s director, to develop the list of contraband items. The committee shall develop the list with the participation of patient representatives, or the patient government of the hospital, if one is available, and the Office of Patients’ Rights.

(d) Each hospital’s list of contraband items developed pursuant to subdivision (a), and the statewide list of contraband items developed pursuant to subdivision (b), are subject to review and approval by the Director of State Hospitals or his or her designee.

(e) A list of contraband items developed pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be updated and subject to review and approval by the director of the department, or his or her designee, no less often than every six months.

(f) If an item presents an emergent danger to the safety and security of a facility, the item may be placed immediately on a contraband list by the Director of State Hospitals or the executive director of the state hospital, but this placement shall be reviewed by the contraband committee, if applicable, and approved by the Director of State Hospitals or his or her designee within six weeks.

(g) The lists of contraband items developed pursuant to this section shall be posted prominently in every unit of the hospital and throughout the hospital, and provided to a patient upon request.

(h) The lists of contraband items developed pursuant to this section shall be posted on the hospital’s Internet Web site.

(i) For the purposes of this section, “contraband” means materials, articles, or goods that a patient is prohibited from having in his or her possession because the materials, articles, or goods present a risk to the safety and security of the facility.

(j) Notwithstanding Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, the hospital and the department may implement, interpret, or make specific this section without taking regulatory action.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 76, Sec. 211. (AB 383) Effective January 1, 2014.)

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