Ruling: Court-ordered treatment doesn't break benefits laws

PHOENIX - An Arizona court ruling says providing court-ordered inpatient psychiatric treatment to people illegally in the country and ruled incompetent to stand trial in criminal cases doesn't violate laws restricting who can receive public benefits.

The state Court of Appeals ruling Tuesday says court-ordered treatment provided under involuntary commitments doesn't violate state and federal laws because of how the laws define public benefits and because the people involved didn't apply for the services.

The ruling in a consolidated appeal involving two defendants stems from the state mental hospital's argument it couldn't comply with commitment orders because the men couldn't prove they were legally in the United States.

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