Casey’s law is the common name given to involuntary treatment for alcohol and drug abuse in Kentucky. Casey’s Law provides a means of intervention with someone who is unable to recognize his or her need for treatment due to their addiction. Casey’s Law allows parents, relatives, and/or friends to petition the court for treatment on behalf of the person who is abusing alcohol and/or drugs. The treatment options available under the law can vary depending on circumstances of each individual case. The petitioner must sign a guaranty of payment, as they are obligated to pay all costs incurred in the process as well as the cost of treatment. Costs incurred can be extensive, something that the petitioner should be aware of before signing the guaranty of payment.

Under Casey’s Law, a person suffering from drug or alcohol abuse, known as the respondent, will not be ordered to undergo involuntary treatment unless that person presents an imminent threat of danger to their self, family or others as a result of alcohol or drug abuse, or there exists a substantial likelihood of such a threat of danger in the near future. Additionally, it must be determined that the person will reasonably benefit from the treatment.

Casey’s Law proceedings are civil in nature, and the purpose is to assist the respondent with getting help.

If you need assistance during this process, please contact the County Attorney’s Office at 270-782-2760.

How to Seek Involuntary Treatment

  • Complete Verified Petition for 60/360 Day Involuntary Treatment (Substance Use Disorder). This petition can be used for a 72-hour hold, 60 day treatment, or 360 day treatment. This petition shall include:
    • Petitioner’s relationship to respondent
    • Respondent’s name, residence, and current location, if known
    • Name and residence of respondent’s parents, if living and if known, or respondent’s legal guardian, if any and if known
    • Name and residence of respondent’s spouse, if any and if known
    • Name and residence of the person having custody of the respondent, if any, or if no person is known, the name and residence of a near relative or that the person is unknown; and
    • Petitioner’s belief, including the factual basis therefor, that the respondent is suffering from an alcohol or other drug disorder and presents a danger or threat of danger to self, family, or others if not treated for substance use disorder
  • File the petition with the Warren Circuit Clerk’s Office at the Warren County Justice Center, First Floor.
  • While filing the petition, petitioner must provide the Clerk with the names of a physician and one qualified mental health professional to evaluate the respondent. A qualified health professional can include a mental health professional, alcohol and drug counselor, or physician.
  • The Court will give a copy of the petition to the petitioner and will mail a copy to the respondent. The Sheriff will also serve the respondent with the petition as well. After the Court reviews the allegations in the petition, the Court will determine whether there is probable cause to believe the respondent presents a danger to self or others as a result of alcohol or drug abuse. If probable cause is established, the Court will order the Respondent to be evaluated by the named qualified health professionals and set the matter for a hearing within fourteen (14) days.
  • Respondent must be examined by the health professionals at least 24 hours prior to hearing date. Each will either file a report with the district court clerk or give report to the petitioner to file with the district court clerk at least 24 hours prior to the hearing date.
  • After filing the petition but before the hearing date, petitioner should contact treatment facilities to arrange for treatment as prescribed by the reports and requested in the petition.
  • Attend a hearing where the reports will be submitted to the Court, and the Court will decide whether the respondent presents an imminent threat of danger as a result or alcohol/drug abuse, and if the respondent can reasonably benefit from treatment. If the Court finds that this is true for the respondent, the Court will order treatment as prescribed by the qualified health professionals.
  • The petitioner will be responsible for obtaining treatment services and transporting the Respondent to the treatment facility.