If the court finds that you are partially or totally unable to safeguard your property or personal interests yourself due to a health impairment (mental deficiency, dementia, dependency, psychological disorders), another state of weakness, a temporary incapacity of judgment or absence (disappearance without a death certificate), it establishes a deputyship.
Deputyship means appointing a person, called a deputy, to assist you or act on your behalf in areas where you need support. The deputy acts under the supervision of the court.
When it establishes a deputyship, the court takes into account the extent of the need for assistance and adapts the measures it pronounces to the concrete situation. The court can pronounce 4 types of deputyship, from the most lenient to the most restrictive for your autonomy, which can sometimes be combined:
- Assistance deputyship: you continue to take all steps yourself with the assistance of a deputy appointed at your request.
- Representative deputyship: you continue to take the steps you are capable of taking yourself. For all other acts, the deputy will represent you (for example, to renew a passport, manage an estate, set up home care, represent you in a lawsuit, find an apartment, make certain medical choices, ensure that your expenses are in line with your budget, pay your bills, etc.).
- Advisory deputyship: you continue to undertake the actions that the court deems you are able to undertake alone. For all other acts, you must obtain the authorization of your deputy (for example, to enter into certain contracts, make important expenditures, etc.).
- General deputyship: your deputy represents you and makes decisions in all areas of your life.
When required by law or necessary, such as in the case of inappropriate commitments, compulsive purchases or interactions with malicious third parties that threaten your assets, the court may restrict the exercise of your civil rights and/or block access to certain elements of your income and assets (bank accounts, safe deposit boxes, pensions, real estate, etc.).
The court can modify or terminate a deputyship at any time, either upon request or ex-officio, depending on changes in your situation (for example, loss or regaining of autonomy, change in your place of residence or family situation, etc.).
Care-related hospitalisation (PAFA) is an involuntary committal to a psychiatric hospital or other institution (home, medical-social institution, etc.). It is used to protect and assist a person who is endangering himself/herself due to a mental disorder, mental disability or severe neglect.
Such placement may be ordered by:
- A doctor from outside the placement institution who has a recognized post-graduate degree registered in the register of his/her profession or
- The court
In case of emergency, the police, the emergency service (144) and/or the psychiatric emergency service of the Geneva university Hospitals (HUG) should be contacted.
In addition to the placement for assistance, the court is also competent to:
- Review the merits of a physician's placement decision, treatment without consent, or any other measure limiting freedom of movement
- Extend a physician's placement decision beyond 40 days if necessary
The court can modify or terminate a deputyship at any time, either upon request or ex-officio, depending on changes in the situation (e.g., stabilisation or significant improvement in health status, etc.).