South Carolina Code 44-17-410. Emergency admission of person likely to cause serious harm; procedures; court review; assessment by examiners; initiation of emergency commitment procedures; hearing; right t
South Carolina Code > Title 44 > Chapter 17 > § 44-17-410 - Emergency admission of person likely to cause serious harm; procedures; court review; assessment by examiners; initiation of emergency commitment procedures; hearing; right t
Current as of: 2009
A person may be admitted to a public or private hospital, mental health clinic, or mental health facility for emergency admission upon:
(1) written affidavit under oath by a person stating:
(a) a belief that the person is mentally ill and because of this condition is likely to cause serious harm to himself or others if not immediately hospitalized;
(b) the specific type of serious harm thought probable if the person is not immediately hospitalized and the factual basis for this belief;
(2) a certification in triplicate by at least one licensed physician stating that the physician has examined the person and is of the opinion that the person is mentally ill and because of this condition is likely to cause harm to himself through neglect, inability to care for himself, or personal injury, or otherwise, or to others if not immediately hospitalized. The certification must contain the grounds for the opinion. A person for whom a certificate has been issued may not be admitted on the basis of that certificate after the expiration of three calendar days after the date of the examination;
(3) within forty-eight hours after admission, exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays, the place of admission shall forward the affidavit and certification to the probate court of the county in which the person resides or, in extenuating circumstances, where the acts or conduct leading to the hospitalization occurred.
Within forty-eight hours of receipt of the affidavit and certification exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays, the court shall conduct preliminary review of all the evidence to determine if probable cause exists to continue emergency detention of the patient. If the court finds that probable cause does not exist, it shall issue an order of release for the patient. Upon a finding of probable cause, the court shall make a written order detailing its findings and may order the continued detention of the patient.
With each affidavit and certification, the treatment facility shall provide the court with a designated examiner appointment form listing the names of two designated examiners at the treatment facility.
If the court appoints these two designated examiners, the examination must be performed at the treatment facility and a report must be submitted to the court within seven days from the date of admission. The court may appoint independent designated examiners who shall submit a report to the court within the time allotted above. In the process of examination by the designated examiners, previous hospitalization records must be considered. At least one of the examiners appointed by the court must be a licensed physician. The examiners' reports must include the grounds for the examiners' conclusions.
If the report of the designated examiners is that the patient is not mentally ill to the extent that involuntary treatment is required and reasons have been set forth in the report, the court shall dismiss the petition and the patient must be discharged immediately by the facility unless the designated examiners report that the patient is a chemically dependent person in need of emergency commitment and that procedures have been initiated pursuant to Section 44-52-50. In which case, emergency commitment procedures must be complied with in accordance with Chapter 52, and the facility shall transfer the patient to an appropriate treatment facility as defined by Section 44-52-10, provided that confirmation has been obtained from the facility that a bed is available; transportation must be provided by the department.
If the report of the designated examiners is that the patient is mentally ill and involuntary treatment is required, the court may order that the person be detained, appoint counsel for the patient if counsel has not been retained, and fix a date for a full hearing to be held pursuant to Section 44-17-570 within fifteen days from the date of admission. The court shall give notice of the hearing pursuant to Section 44-17-420.
The examiners' report must be available to the person's counsel before the full hearing. The person must be given the opportunity to request an independent designated examiner pursuant to Section 44-17-530.
If before the hearing, the designated examiners determine that the patient is no longer mentally ill to the extent that involuntary treatment is required, they shall cause a supplemental report to be submitted to the court. If the court receives a supplemental report at least forty-eight hours before the hearing stating that the patient is no longer mentally ill to the extent involuntary treatment is required, and setting forth the reasons for the examiners' conclusions, the court shall dismiss the petition and the patient must be discharged immediately by the facility.
South Carolina Laws: Mental Health
U.S. Code Provisions: Mental Health
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