A federal judge has declined to block a plan by Mayor Eric Adams to take seriously mentally ill New Yorkers for hospital evaluations against their will.
A coalition of attorney from the New York Lawyers for the Public Interest and National Alliance on Mental Illness of New York City filed the petition to stay the execution of the new policy as part of a class action lawsuit brought by Steven Greene.
The plaintiff has been involuntarily hospitalized more than three times since 2020 following chaotic interactions with police.
Judge Paul Crotty ruled that the coalition did not prove its case that the policy would cause irreparable harm barring immediate court intervention, writing that it was premature to request emergency relief from the mayor’s new policy.
“We are pleased that the Court agreed there was no basis to freeze this important initiative while the case continues,” Law Department spokesman Nick Paolucci said in a statement.
“When the all the evidence is heard, we are confident that the Court will agree that the City’s compassionate efforts to assist people suffering from homelessness and severe mental illness comply with federal and state law.”
The mayor had cited an existing law at a November 29 news conference that the NYPD, EMS and mobile crisis teams from the Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene were authorized to take people to the emergency room for an evaluation if they appeared to have “untreated psychotic disorders” and who posed “a risk of harm to themselves, even if they are not an imminent threat to the public.”
Further arguments will be heard on the case in 2023.