When Governor George Pataki signedKendra’s Law giving judges the authority to force the mentally ill to eitherundergo assisted outpatient treatment or face involuntary hospitalization,he opened up a new set of problems for the courts.

Since the Aug. 27 passageof the law, lawyers, judges and mental health officials have been workingto establish procedures for filing petitions for court-ordered treatmentby the law’s Nov. 8 effective date. And already concerns are being raisedabout due process in these hearings, and about providing sufficient servicesfor indigents approved for treatment.

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