Court-order mental health care OK in Orange County

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — Orange County has become the second California county to move forward on a law that allows a judge to order forced treatment for the severely mentally ill.

The Orange County Register reports ( that the Board of Supervisors approved the program Tuesday despite criticism from some.

The so-called Laura's Law passed in 2002 but the state left it to individual counties to decide whether to adopt it.

Pressure to approve the law increased after the 2011 death of Kelly Thomas, a 37-year-old mentally ill homeless man who died after a fight with police.

Thomas' father says his son could have helped his son had it been in place in Orange County at the time.

Nevada County, in Northern California, is the only other county to implement the law.

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