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Thurston County, Washington

The content on the Thurston County website is currently provided in English. We are providing the “Translation” for approximately 10 languages. The goal of the translation is to provide visitors with limited English proficiency to access information on the website in other languages. The translations do not translate all types of documents, and it may not give you an exact translation all the time. The translations are made through an automated process, which may not result in accurate or precise translations, particularly of technical and legal terminology.

Superior Court

​​In 2013, a 28 year old named Joel Reuter was killed in a standoff with police while suffering from a mental health crisis.  When Joel started showing signs of crisis, his parents tried 48 times to get their son the help he needed. After his death his family organized and pushed for legislation to prevent such a situation from happening again. 

Joel's Law was approved by the Legislature in 2015. It allows courts to order involuntary commitment if, after reviewing a family member's petition and statement, the court finds that detention is warranted. The court essentially overrules the designated mental health professional's decision to not commit a family member to a facility.  If the court reviews and finds that there is probable cause, an individual can be picked up and brought to a facility.  The case then follows the usual procedure of the Involuntary Treatment Act.

Instructions and forms are available through the Washington Courts.