Placement in a mental health facility may be made through either a voluntary or involuntary commitment. Involuntary commitment usually requires a number of protective safeguards, including a court hearing, the appointment of counsel, and the meeting of a statutory criterion such as danger to self or others. Voluntary commitment is much more informal, with a written application and clinical assessment being all that is normally required. Most voluntary commitments are made upon application.of a patient who has the ability to give informed consent. But in a substantial number of states an individual also may be committed by his or her guardian, in some cases with little or no court oversight.
David M. English,
The Authority of a Guardian to Commit an Adult Ward, 20 Mental and Physical Disability Law Reporter 584
Available at: https://scholarship.law.missouri.edu/facpubs/787