Disability Rights California Applauds Governor Signing AB 2275 (Wood and Stone), a Bill that Strengthens the Rights of People with Mental Health Disabilities

Which will clarify the rights of people who are involuntarily detained for mental health treatment
Press Release

Disability Rights California Applauds Governor Signing AB 2275 (Wood and Stone), a Bill that Strengthens the Rights of People with Mental Health Disabilities

A man with mental health issues sits on the edge of a hospital bed with his head in his hands looking down.

(Sacramento, CA) – Disability Rights California applauds Governor Newsom for signing AB 2275 (Wood and Stone) into law. This critical bill strengthens safeguards for people who are involuntarily detained for mental health treatment under California’s Lanterman-Petris-Short (LPS) Act.

This bill will address inconsistent interpretations of the LPS Act by counties across the state by making two important changes to the law by creating uniform standards for procedures that counties must follow to ensure that involuntarily detained people have timely access to due process.

Assemblymembers Jim Wood (D-Santa Rosa) and Mark Stone (D-Monterey Bay) introduced the bill following a December 2021 joint informational hearing on the LPS Act held in the Assembly Health and Judiciary Committees.

This bill makes changes to the law that will include:

  1. Clarifying that the time period for a 72-hour hold for mental health evaluation and treatment, also known as a “5150 hold,” begins at the time the person is first detained and placed on a hold.

    This change corrects practices that are followed by some counties that start the 72-hour clock at a later time, (For example, this includes when a person is transferred out of an emergency room and admitted to a psychiatric hospital.) The LPS Act contains strict limits on how long a person can be involuntarily detained for mental health treatment, and this practice results in counties holding people beyond those prescribed timelines.

  2. Strengthening the protections afforded by the LPS Act by explicitly guaranteeing an involuntarily detained person the automatic right to have legal representation and a judicial hearing to contest the hold within seven days of the initial 5150 detention, bringing the law into compliance with federal Constitutional due process requirements.

“I have spent over a decade representing people involuntarily detained on mental health holds under the LPS Act. In this time, I have represented many clients who have been held beyond the LPS Act’s strict timelines without timely access to a hearing to challenge the reasons for their detentions. We are grateful to Assemblymembers Wood and Stone for authoring AB 2275, which makes meaningful changes that protect the liberty interests of people on LPS holds throughout California,” said DRC Senior Attorney, Kim Pederson.

“The appropriate care and treatment for those with serious mental illness must be a top priority in any caring society,” said Assemblymember Wood, chair of the Assembly Health Committee. “AB 2275 is a first step toward improving the LPS system by clarifying the due process rights of individuals detained under it with the long-term goal of better and quicker services and care.”

A 2020 report by the California State Auditor found that the LPS Act provides counties with sufficient authority to provide involuntary mental health treatment to people deemed dangerous to themselves or others or “gravely disabled” due to a mental health disability.

Assemblymember Stone, chair of the Assembly Judiciary Committee stated, “As the pandemic has made clear, protecting and supporting those in our community with mental illness must be a top priority. Sadly, we’ve seen too many cases across the state where people with mental illness are denied community-based supports or are involuntarily detained and denied due process without getting the support and services they so desperately need. AB 2275 will help ensure that those involuntarily detained are provided essential due process protections, as well as timely evaluations and treatments.”

Media Contacts

Melody Pomraning
Communications Director
Disability Rights California
(916) 504-5938


Disability Rights California (DRC) – Is the agency designated under federal law to protect and advocate for the rights of Californians with disabilities. The mission of DRC is to defend, advance, and strengthen the rights and opportunities of people with disabilities. For more information visit: https://www.disabilityrightsca.org.