Legal question- contract while psychotic?

When I was psychotic I believed my wife was having an affair and that she was trying to kill me, so I went to a divorce attorney. He required that I pay a retainer and sign a contract, which I did, and which was stated that it was non-refundable. When I got treatment and realized that it had all been delusions, I contacted the attorney and attempted to get the retainer back, on the grounds that I was not of sound mind when I signed the contract, besides the fact that he hadn’t done any work on the case yet. He said that since he wasn’t aware that I wasn’t of sound mind, the contract was still valid, and refused to refund my retainer, or even a portion of it. Has any one else had the experience of entering a contract (either with an attorney, a loan, a lease agreement, etc) while psychotic? How was it resolved when you became well again? Thank you

I found this Use Sz to your advantage, contract law and bill collectors from a couple years ago, but it isn’t much help.

You could probably get out of it, but it would require paying yet another lawyer to fight your case for you. How much was it? It’s probably more cost effective for you to just take the loss, unless there is a nonprofit advocacy center near you willing to take on the case.


Wow what a ■■■■■■■ lawyer.

Sorry you are going through this.

Maybe having something in writing from your psychiatrist would help you in your fight?

Is there a legal services hotline in your area you could call and discuss the matter with? Like legal aid or something (that’s what they’re called here).

Legal aid give free legal advice and representation.

Even consumer rights organisations might have some tips or advice they can give you, or lead you in the right path for more help.

Good luck with it @anon68237654

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I’m not sure what type of legal aid is out there, short of hiring another attorney like @cj9556 suggested, but maybe I can look into it and see if there are advocacy groups in the area. Thank you both for the suggestions, it was a decent chunk of change so it would be extremely nice to get it back now that we have all these new expenses with the baby.

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You might be able to fight this case in court on your own without hiring another lawyer. Just send him a letter demanding your money back on the grounds you mentioned and include copies of all the necessary medical etc as proof, and as much proof as you can get together, and demand he refund your money within 7 days or you will take the matter to court and sue him for the money back. It is worth a try anyway, if you are up for it. I know that for me personally, if I take on any kind of fight, regardless, I go psychotic even in spite of my meds, so for me, it is better I cut my losses when I do something crazy and expensive.

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During a period a long time ago when I was a raging psychotic I received a notice that I had been declared “incapacitated”. I don’t know all the legal ramifications of that, but I do know that I cannot register to vote because of that stipulation. I wonder what other restrictions are placed on me. If I am too far gone to vote, I surely can’t enter into a binding contract. I wonder how that would affect things if I decided to get married to someone.
Maybe you could investigate instances in your past where you have been wildly out of control, and if you have witnesses, maybe they can testify that you weren’t in a fit state to enter into a contract.


Don’t know if it’s just CA or what, but since 1996 when I was declared ‘incompetent’,
I’ve signed many legal and binding contracts.

I bought commercial property, x2 mortgages, refinanced 5 times, signed federal loans x2, new vehicle purchase loans x5 (or even more), superior court documents (my own case).

I’ve hired an attorney twice, signed my divorce documents, got re-married but to a different man, signed my mom out of the hospital after 4 surgeries as the “Guardian” of her, and, she has named me her agent in her durable power of attorney.

I cared for my mom from Sep 2015-March 2016 at her home, driving her to all her Dr’s appt’s, shopping, cleaning, cooking…everything, and she survived!
It was super stressful because I wanted to do a good job, despite the fact that I hadn’t up to that point, have never even made a Dt’s appt for myself.

Not one person has challenged anything I’ve signed, not one.
I keep thinking one day my “Normals” suit will fall down and expose me for the Scared Sz I’am.
Go figure.


People would obviously never think to ask or check. Everyone will always naturally assume you have the legal right and legal capacity, and that you are competent. Unless you tell people, they can’t know you have been legally deemed incompetent and therefore not allowed to act in all those capacities or enter into those contracts. As long as you pay and honour contracts, no one will ever know, probably.

Most of them did know, mainly because my ex told them.
As for my mom, what choice did she have, I was the only one that could care for her, but yes, it was also in her records- I actually read it with a tech who showed me why they decided on what they did, so, I’d say 95% of them did know.

They just didn’t care, all the needed was a signature.
As I was told over and over when I questioned something to just shut up and sign the documents.

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So, basically, as long as they get their deal and their money, they don’t care? Why am I not surprised, LOL

However, I’m assuming that legally, it wouldn’t hold up in court in their favour if you did default on a contract, but then that wouldn’t end in your favour either in the long run, because then you’d be black listed for not honouring a contract / payments.

Back the original question this post is about, I think it might well be possible for someone to get their money back if they acted while psychotic, but until someone gives it go, we won’t really know for sure.

Thanks for sharing. It is good to know the general public and businesses don’t care that you’ve been labelled ‘incompetent’ as long as they get their deal and money.

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In Sweden we have a law saying contracts or things you buy, like a car, under influence of psychosis or other severe mental illness are not valid. You can have contracts torn when you are back to your senses.

Don’t you have a law like this?


I thought so, but I’m not completely sure how it works, and because it’s with an attorney it makes it even harder. I’m going to call a number I found for NAMI help line and see what they say about it.

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Your biggest challenge would be finding a lawyer to sue another lawyer.

It’s all about the money, and how to get it out of your pocket and into theirs.

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