Only defendants who suffer from a severe and persistent AXIS I mental illness or mental disorder are eligible for the MHC. Examples of eligible mental illnesses include individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders, bipolar disorders, major depression, or other disabling mental illnesses that affect judgment and cause erratic behaviors.
The MHC may accept individuals with dementia, brain injury, or developmental disabilities on a case-by-case basis.
Defendants who have a “state filed” case in King County District Court (e.g., filed by King County Police, Washington State Patrol, Port of Seattle Police, University of Washington Police, King County Jail or any other state enforcement agency) are eligible for a referral to the Regional Mental Health Court (RMHC).
Defendants who have a “city filed” case in any city in King County are eligible for a referral to the RMHC. The referral process is initiated by the city attorney referring the case to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office Mental Health Court unit; email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office approves some cases which have been filed in Superior Court as a felony to be reduced to a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor charge in order for the defendant to access mental health treatment and probation in the RMHC.
OTHER ADMISSION CRITERIA
Defendants must agree to mental health treatment, including medications as required by the prescriber, before they can be accepted into the RMHC.
Defendants must agree to RMHC Conditions of Treatment, including up to 24 months of supervision and monitoring, and frequent court reviews.
Non-King County residents will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
CASES NOT ELIGIBLE FOR KCDC RMHC
- Case in which the defendant does not have a severe and persistent mental illness or mental disorder
- Case in which the defendant is determined to be “not amenable to treatment”
- Case in which the defendant’s primary diagnosis is chemical dependency
- Seattle Municipal Mental Health Court cases will remain within that Court
The KCDC Regional Mental Health Court judge has the discretion to accept or reject any case referred to the court. Exceptions to the above eligibility criteria are considered on a case-by-case basis.