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Sask. woman fights to find out who had her apprehended for a psych. assessment

Saskatoon Provincial Court is pictured in this file photo. (Chad Hills/CTV Saskatoon) Saskatoon Provincial Court is pictured in this file photo. (Chad Hills/CTV Saskatoon)
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A Saskatchewan woman who was taken for an involuntary mental health assessment is entitled to find out who had her committed, a provincial court judge has ruled.

Sometime before September 2023, Kimberly Kraus was taken, against her will, for psychiatric assessment.

The warrant for her apprehension was based on details relayed to a provincial court judge from an informant under terms of the Mental Health Services Act designed to help people who have become a danger to themselves or others find treatment.

“Shortly after Ms. Kraus was conveyed for a mental health assessment, the physician who examined her refused to issue a certificate for her compulsory admission to a mental health centre and she was released,” Judge Sanjeev Anand writes in an April 22 provincial court decision.

According to Anand, Kraus has been fighting to find out who filed for the warrant since Sept. 14.

“Ms. Kraus contends that the informant who initiated the warrant process did so by falsely swearing or affirming the information,” Anand says.

Kraus has filed an application for a copy of the information sworn by the informant “in the hope that disclosure of this court document will assist in holding the informant accountable for his or her actions.”

Under the mental health act, every person who is involuntarily detained for assessment is entitled to receive a copy of the warrant, but according to Anand, it’s not clear whether this includes the information sworn to obtain the warrant.

Anand says the very purpose of the act is to get treatment for people with serious mental health issues while — as much as possible — respecting their autonomy.

Since it’s also against the law to swear false information in order to have someone apprehended under the mental health act, Anand says it would be unfair not to allow people to learn who filed for the warrant about them, and what information they used.

Not allowing patients to learn these details “would seriously hamper the investigation and prosecution of those who swear or affirm false information.”

Anand ultimately ordered that Kraus receive a copy of the form filed by the informant.

“I am cognizant that the informant may have had safety concerns about coming forward and swearing or affirming the information and that these concerns may have been assuaged by assurances of anonymity,” said Anand.

Since the informant will no longer be anonymous, Anand offered them time to apply for a peace bond in case they do fear for their safety.

Kraus will receive a copy of the information she’s looking for by May 20, according to Anand.

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