Community Assistance, Recovery and Empowerment (CARE) Act Court
On October 1st, San Francisco launched its CARE Court. This state-mandated court is designed to get people with mental health and substance abuse disorders the support and care they need. CARE Court will help community members who have been diagnosed with Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders.
Who is eligible?
- 18 years and older with a diagnosis of Schizophrenia Spectrum or Other Psychotic Disorders
- The person has symptoms that are severe in degree and persistent in duration
- The person is not stabilized with ongoing voluntary outpatient treatment
- Either the person is unlikely to survive safely/ independently in the community and the condition is deteriorating OR services and support are needed to prevent relapse or deterioration
- Participation in CARE Act is the least restrictive alternative, AND
- The person will likely benefit from participating in a CARE plan or CARE agreement.
Respondents have the right to be informed of the proceedings, the right to take part in the proceedings, the right to be represented in all stages of the process, the right to replace the court-appointed attorney with an attorney of their choosing, the right to have a supporter of their choosing throughout the process, and other rights.
If the respondent requires translation or disability accommodations, requests can be made with the court.
The CARE Court process
CARE Act Court petitions may be filed starting October 2, 2023
A party that starts a petition with the court is called the petitioner. Form 050-INFO has more information for CARE Act Court petitioners.
The party that either agrees, or disagrees with the information the petitioner has submitted to the court is called the respondent. Form 060-INFO has additional information for CARE Act Court respondents.
CARE Act Court matters will be heard on Mondays at 575 Polk Street. Initial hearings will take place from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. All other hearings will take place on Mondays from 2:00 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. If Monday is a court holiday, CARE Act Court may take place on a Tuesday. CARE Act Court proceedings are not open to the public.
The attorneys, Judge, and treatment team will conduct confidential case management conferences from 1:00 p.m. until court starts at 2:00p.m.
Filing a Petition
- To start a CARE Act Court case, a petition must be filed by someone who is familiar with the person who needs help.
The initial petition, and other forms pertaining to CARE Act Court are available on the California Courts' website linked here: CA Courts. The petition must be filed using the mandatory petition form and attaching supporting documents.
Form CARE-100 gives you more information regarding what documents should be submitted with the petition.
The petition and the supporting documents should be filed electronically if you are represented by an attorney. Find more information on electronic filing on the court's e-filing page: E-Filing Information.
If you do not have an attorney representing you, you are allowed to file a paper copy of the petition and supporting documents at the courthouse. The window where you should file a paper copy is in the clerk's office in Room 103 on the first floor of 400 McAllister in San Francisco, CA.
The Court has a legal self-help program that provides information and assistance to self-represented litigants. Visit the ACCESS Center for more information about CARE Act Court self-help services. ACCESS Center.