After an initial 72-hour involuntary psychiatric hold expired on Thursday night, a California judge granted a request from Amanda Bynes’ parents that their daughter’s hospital stay be extended for up to two more weeks.
According to E! Online, Bynes was represented by a court-appointed attorney at the hearing on Thursday, where Rick and Lynne Bynes asked Amanda’s doctors to recommend that it was in the actress’ best interest to remain hospitalized.
MTV News spoke to psychiatrist Dr. Jody M. Rawles earlier this week about the mechanics of the 5150 psychiatric hold and he said that an extension of the initial order is not that uncommon. “If you are setting fires on someone else’s property and are disorganized and give answers to questions that don’t make sense, a peace officer might put in for a 5150,” said Rawles, who runs the acute inpatient unit at UC-Irvine and has no first-hand knowledge of the Bynes case.
California’s 5150 allows for someone to be involuntarily hospitalized if they are deemed a danger to themselves, others or if they have a grave disability that renders them unable to provide for their food, clothing or shelter needs. If doctors and family members feel that more time is needed to assess the patient’s needs, a hearing is held for an extension of the involuntary hold, which is then coded 5250, according to Rawles.
“If after the 72 hours they feel the patient is still a danger to themselves or other and they won’t stay voluntarily, then you can put them on a 5250,” he said.
The move to extend the hospital stay came as the Bynes’ prepare to go before a judge on Friday morning (July 26) to request a temporary conservatorship that would give them control over Amanda’s affairs for 30 days following her hospitalization on Monday night after a bizarre incident in which she set a fire in a stranger’s driveway near the Bynes family home in Thousand Oak, California.
The legal maneuver, similar to what Britney Spears’ father enacted for the pop singer during a difficult stretch in her life in 2008, would allow the Bynes’ to gain control over the 27-year-old actress’ financial and personal affairs for a month. Though the initial conservatorship would be for only 30 days, if probable cause is found to renew it, the conservatorship could be extended for a year and renewed on an annual basis.