‘Civil Insanity’: The New York Treatment of the Issue of Mental Incapacity in Non-Criminal Cases
Sheldon W. Halpern
Albany Law School
Cornell Law Quarterly, Vol. 44, pp. 76-93, 1958
The issue of insanity as it relates to the criminal law has been the subject of exhaustive treatment by both lawyers and psychiatrists. However, while so much interest has been generated and focused upon insanity and crime, scant attention seems to have been paid to the issue of insanity or mental incapacitation in areas other than the criminal law; yet it is in the non-criminal field that the issue more often appears, to trouble the courts, befuddle the lawyers, and irritate the doctors.
The issue of mental incapacity may arise in virtually every type of legal proceeding, but it seems to arise most often in connection with the following situations: (a) actions involving contracts, gifts and deeds; (b) actions for the annulment of marriage; (c) probate proceedings; and (d) proceedings for the appointment of a committee and commitment to institutions. It is the purpose of this comment to examine the way New York has handled this issue in these situations.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 18
Date posted: June 8, 2010