Who Can Lift a (5150) Hold
Other CA Counties

NOTE: A person CAN STILL meet 5150 criteria and ALSO no longer be holdable if they are able to be served voluntarily…this means that if a person who has been placed on a hold is willing to accept services willingly and voluntarily, they should NOT be admitted under an involuntary 5150 hold (and suffer the potential life-time stigma of that designation, lose their right to bear arms, etc). Just because a person is dangerous to others, self, or gravely disabled does not mean they should be placed on a hold, and does not mean they can’t be released from a hold.


Licensed designees may also, consistent with California law, make a determination prior to admitting a person to a designated facility for 72-hour treatment and evaluation, that the individual can be properly served without being detained and the 5150 application may be withdrawn or dropped.


The mental health crisis worker determines if the individual meets 5150 criteria. If they don’t the mental health crisis worker shall notify Emergency Room of findings. At that time, the individual is free to leave pending medical discharge from the hospital, unless Sheriff Officer has reason to hold the individual for criminal charges. No individual shall be taken to the jail with a 5150 hold still in place. All holds must be dismissed by a mental health crisis worker prior to incarceration.


5150 holds shall be voided by the crisis worker only after consulting with either a Behavioral Health supervisor or with the after-hours lead clinician.

  • During working hours the crisis worker shall contact the systems of care supervisor or designee to consult and concur that voiding the 5150 is appropriate.
  • After hours the crisis worker shall consult with the identified lead clinician and concur that voiding the 5150 is appropriate.
  • Voiding the 5150 shall be the drawing of a line diagonally through the original 5150 form, writing ?”VOID”— along the line, and attaching a signed, dated note identifying the reason or reasons for the void.

If the results of the evaluation do not result in a 5150 admission, the evaluator must document clearly the reasons for not detaining. The evaluator is also responsible for communicating directly with law enforcement or other principal parties concerned with this decision.


Designated Mental Health staff assess if an individual meets 5150 criteria. If the individual does not meet 5150 criteria, debrief staff, and develop follow-up procedures and an aftercare plan which may include outpatient therapy or in-home follow-up.


It is the judgment of the designated County staff member to determine if, the person can be properly served without being detained; he/she will be provided evaluation, crisis intervention, or other services on a voluntary basis.


When an individual is evaluated by Sutter-Yuba Mental Health Services‘ Psychiatric Emergency Services staff and found to not meet the admission criteria under WIC 5150, the WIC 5150 hold may be released in one of the following ways:

  • After evaluation by the Psychiatric Emergency Services-Crisis Counselor and consultation with the on-call psychiatrist, the WIC 5150 hold may be released by the psychiatrist on duty.
  • After normal working hours, the Psychiatric Emergency Services-Crisis Counselor will consult with the on-call psychiatrist regarding the release of the individual.
  • Psychiatric Emergency Services-staff shall make a courtesy call to the law enforcement agency or referring physician who initiated the WIC 5150 hold, informing them of the fact that the individual was not admitted. Information provided is restricted to only the rescinding of the WIC 5150 hold.

Mental Health staff will complete a crisis assessment including a mental status exam stating that the individual was seen, evaluated, and if the individual does or does not meet the criteria for 5150 hold and placement.