Article 5.

Procedure for Admission and Discharge of Clients.

Part l. General Provisions.

§ 122C-201.  Declaration of policy.

It is State policy to encourage voluntary admissions to facilities.  It is further State policy that no individual shall be involuntarily committed to a 24-hour facility unless that individual is mentally ill or a substance abuser and dangerous to self or others.  All admissions and commitments shall be accomplished under conditions that protect the dignity and constitutional rights of the individual.

It is further State policy that, except as provided in G.S. 122C-212(b), individuals who have been voluntarily admitted shall be discharged upon application and that involuntarily committed individuals shall be discharged as soon as a less restrictive mode of treatment is appropriate. (1973, c. 723, s. 1; c. 726, s. 1; c. 1084; c. 1408, s. 1; 1977, c. 400, s. 1; 1979, c. 915, ss. 2, 11; 1983, c. 638, s. 1; c. 864, s. 4; 1985, c. 589, s. 2; 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 739, s. 2.)

 

§ 122C-202.  Applicability of Article.

This Article applies to all facilities unless expressly provided otherwise. Specific provisions that are delineated by the disability of the client, whether mentally ill, mentally retarded, developmentally disabled, or substance abuser, also apply to all facilities for that client's disability. Provisions that refer to a specific facility or type of facility apply only to the designated facility or facilities. (1985, c. 589, s. 2; 1989, c. 625, s. 20.)

 

§ 122C-202.1.  Hospital privileges.

Nothing in this Article related to admission, commitment, or treatment shall be deemed to mandate hospitals to grant or deny to any individuals privileges to practice in hospitals. (1985, c. 589, s. 2.)

 

§ 122C-203.  Admission or commitment and incompetency proceedings to have no effect on one another.

The admission or commitment to a facility of an alleged mentally ill individual, an alleged substance abuser, or an alleged mentally retarded or developmentally disabled individual under the provisions of this Article shall in no way affect incompetency proceedings as set forth in Chapter 35A or former Chapters 33 or 35 of the General Statutes and incompetency proceedings under those Chapters shall have no effect upon admission or commitment proceedings under this Article. (1963, c. 1184, s. 1; 1985, c. 589, s. 2; 1989, c. 625, s. 21; 1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 1024, s. 26(b).)

 

§ 122C-204.  Civil liability for corruptly attempting admission or commitment.

Nothing in this Article relieves from liability in any suit instituted in the courts of this State any individual who unlawfully, maliciously, and corruptly attempts to admit or commit any individual to any facility under this Article. (1963, c. 1184, s. 1; 1985, c. 589, s. 2.)

 

§ 122C-205.  Return of clients to 24-hour facilities.

(a)        When a client of a 24-hour facility who:

(1)        Has been involuntarily committed;

(2)        Is being detained pending a judicial hearing;

(3)        Has been voluntarily admitted but is a minor or incompetent adult;

(4)        Has been placed on conditional release from the facility; or

(5)        Has been involuntarily committed or voluntarily admitted and is the subject of a detainer placed with the 24-hour facility by an appropriate official

escapes or breaches a condition of his release, if applicable, the responsible professional shall notify or cause to be notified immediately the appropriate law enforcement agency in the county of residence of the client, the appropriate law enforcement agency in the county where the facility is located, and the appropriate law enforcement agency in any county where there are reasonable grounds to believe that the client may be found.  The responsible professional shall determine the amount of personal identifying and background information reasonably necessary to divulge to the law enforcement agency or agencies under the particular circumstances involved in order to assure the expeditious return of the client to the 24-hour facility involved and protect the general public.

(b)        When a competent adult who has been voluntarily admitted to a 24-hour facility escapes or breaches a condition of his release, the responsible professional, in the exercise of accepted professional judgment, practice, and standards, will determine if it is reasonably foreseeable that:

(1)        The client may cause physical harm to others or himself;

(2)        The client may cause damage to property;

(3)        The client may commit a felony or a violent misdemeanor; or

(4)        That the health or safety of the client may be endangered

unless he is immediately returned to the facility.  If the responsible professional finds that any or all of these occurrences are reasonably foreseeable, he will follow the same procedures as those set forth in subsection (a) of this section.

(c)        Upon receipt of notice of an escape or breach of a condition of release as described in subsections (a) and (b) of this section, an appropriate law enforcement officer shall take the client into custody and have the client returned to the 24-hour facility from which the client has escaped or has been conditionally released.  Transportation of the client back to the 24-hour facility shall be provided in the same manner as described in G.S. 122C-251 and G.S. 122C-408(b).  Law enforcement agencies who are notified of a client's escape or breach of conditional release shall be notified of the client's return by the responsible 24-hour facility.  Under the circumstances described in this section, the initial notification by the 24-hour facility of the client's escape or breach of conditional release shall be given by telephone communication to the appropriate law enforcement agency or agencies and, if available and appropriate, by Division of Criminal Information (DCI) message to any law enforcement agency in or out of state and by entry into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) telecommunications system.  As soon as reasonably possible following notification, written authorization to take the client into custody shall also be issued by the 24-hour facility.  Under this section, law enforcement officers shall have the authority to take a client into custody upon receipt of the telephone notification or Division of Criminal Information message prior to receiving written authorization.  The notification of a law enforcement agency does not, in and of itself, render this information public information within the purview of Chapter 132 of the General Statutes.  However, the responsible law enforcement agency shall determine the extent of disclosure of personal identifying and background information reasonably necessary, under the circumstances, in order to assure the expeditious return of a client to the 24-hour facility involved and to protect the general public and is authorized to make such disclosure.  The responsible law enforcement agency may also place any appropriate message or entry into either the Division of Criminal Information System or National Crime Information System, or both, as appropriate.

(d)       In the situations described in subsections (a) and (b) of this section, the responsible professional shall also notify or cause to be notified as soon as practicable:

(1)        The next of kin of the client or legally responsible person for the client;

(2)        The clerk of superior court of the county of commitment of the client;

(3)        The area authority of the county of residence of the client, if appropriate;

(4)        The physician or eligible psychologist who performed the first examination for a commitment of the client, if appropriate; and

(5)        Any official who has placed a detainer on a client as described in subdivision (a)(5) of this section

of the escape or breach of condition of the client's release upon occurrence of either action and of his subsequent return to the facility.  (1899, c. 1, s. 27; Rev., s. 4563; C.S., s. 6175; 1927, c. 114; 1945, c. 952, s. 12; 1953, c. 256, s. 1; 1955, c. 887, s. 3; 1973, c. 673, s. 11; 1983, c. 548; 1985, c. 589, s. 2; c. 695, s. 2; 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 863, ss. 12-14; 1987, c. 749, s. 1.)

 

§ 122C-205.1.  Discharge of clients who escape or breach the condition of release.

(a)        As described in G.S. 122C-205(a), when a client of a 24-hour facility escapes or breaches the condition of his release and does not return to the facility, the facility shall:

(1)        If the client was admitted under Part 2 of this Article or under Parts 3 or 4 of this Article to a nonrestrictive facility, discharge the client based on the professional judgment of the responsible professional;

(2)        If the client was admitted under Part 3 or Part 4 of this Article to a restrictive facility, discharge the client when the period for continued treatment, as specified by the court, expires;

(3)        If the client was admitted pending a district court hearing under Part 7 of this Article, request that the court consider dismissal or continuance of the case at the initial district court hearing; or

(4)        If the client was committed under Part 7 of this Article, discharge the client when the commitment expires.

(b)        As described in G.S. 122C-205(a), when a client of a 24-hour facility who was admitted under Part 8 of this Article escapes or breaches the conditions of his release and does not return to the facility, the facility may discharge the client from the facility based on the professional judgment of the responsible professional and following consultation with the appropriate area authority or physician.

(c)        Upon discharge of the client, the 24-hour facility shall notify all the persons directed to be notified of the client's escape or breach of conditional release under 122C-205(a), (b) and (d) that the client has been discharged.

(d)       If the client is returned to the 24-hour facility subsequent to discharge from the facility, applicable admission or commitment procedures shall be followed, when appropriate. (1987, c. 674, s. 1.)

 

§ 122C-206.  Transfers of clients between 24-hour facilities.

(a)        Before transferring a voluntary adult client from one 24-hour facility to another, the responsible professional at the original facility shall: (i) get authorization from the receiving facility that the facility will admit the client; (ii) get consent from the client; and (iii) if consent to share information is granted by the client, notify the next of kin of the time and location of the transfer. The preceding requirements of this paragraph may be waived if the client has been admitted under emergency procedures to a State facility not serving the client's region of the State. Following an emergency admission, the client may be transferred to the appropriate State facility without consent according to the rules of the Commission.

(b)        Before transferring a respondent held for a district court hearing or a committed respondent from one 24-hour facility to another, the responsible professional at the original facility shall:

(1)        Obtain authorization from the receiving facility that the facility will admit the respondent; and

(2)        Provide reasonable notice to the respondent, or legally responsible person, of the reason for the transfer and document the notice in the client's record.

No later that 24 hours after the transfer, the responsible professional at the original facility shall notify the petitioner, the clerk of court, and, if consent is granted by the respondent, the next of kin, that the transfer is completed. If the transfer is completed before the judicial commitment hearing, these proceedings shall be initiated by the receiving facility.

(c)        Minors and incompetent adults, admitted pursuant to Parts 3 and 4 of this Article, may be transferred from one 24-hour facility to another following the same procedures specified in subsection (b) of this section. In addition, the legally responsible person shall be consulted before the proposed transfer. If the transfer is completed before the judicial determination required in G.S. 122C-223 or G.S. 122C-232, these proceedings shall be initiated by the receiving facility.

(c1)      If a client described in subsections (b) or (c) of this section is to be transferred from one 24-hour facility to another and transportation is needed, the responsible professional at the original facility shall notify the clerk of court or magistrate, and the clerk of court or magistrate shall issue a custody order for transportation of the client as provided by G.S. 122C-251.

(d)       Minors and incompetent adults, admitted pursuant to Part 5 of this Article, may be transferred from one 24-hour facility to another provided that prior to transfer the responsible professional at the original facility shall:

(1)        Obtain authorization from the receiving facility that the facility will admit the client; and

(2)        Provide reasonable notice to the client regarding the reason for transfer and document the notice in the client's record; and

(3)        Provide reasonable notice to and consult with the legally responsible person regarding the reason for the transfer and document the notice and consultation in the client's record.

No later than 24 hours after the transfer, the responsible professional at the original facility shall notify the legally responsible person that the transfer is completed.

(e)        The responsible professional may transfer a client from one facility to another for emergency medical treatment, emergency medical evaluation, or emergency surgery without notice to or consent from the client.  Within a reasonable period of time the responsible professional shall notify the next of kin or the legally responsible person of the client of the transfer.

(f)        When a client is transferred to another facility solely for medical reasons, the client shall be returned to the original facility when the medical care is completed unless the responsible professionals at both facilities concur that discharge of the client who is not subject to G.S. 122C-266(b) is appropriate.

(g)        The Commission may adopt rules to implement this section. (1919, c. 330; C.S., S. 6163; 1925, c. 51, s. 1; 1945, c. 925, s. 5; 1947, c. 537, s. 9; c. 623, s. 1; 1953, c. 675, s. 15; 1955, c. 1274, s. 1; 1959, c. 1002, s. 11; 1963, c. 1166, ss. 10, 12; 1973, c. 475, s. 1; c. 476, s. 133; c. 673, ss. 7, 8; c. 1436, ss. 6, 7; 1977, c. 679, s. 7; 1981, c. 51, s. 3; c. 328, ss. 1, 2; 1985, c. 589, s. 2; 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 863, s. 15; 1991, c. 704, s. 1.)

 

§ 122C-207.  Confidentiality.

Court records made in all proceedings pursuant to this Article are confidential, and are not open to the general public except as provided for by G. S. 122C-54(d). (1977, c. 696, s. 1; 1979, c. 164, s. 2; c. 915, s. 20; 1985, c. 589, s. 2.)

 

§ 122C-208.  Voluntary admission not admissible in involuntary proceeding.

Except when considering treatment history as it pertains to an involuntary outpatient commitment, the fact that an individual has been voluntarily admitted for treatment shall not be competent evidence in an involuntary commitment proceeding. (1985, c. 589, s. 2.)

 

§ 122C-209.  Voluntary admissions acceptance.

Nothing contained in Parts 2 through 5 of this Article requires a private physician or private facility to accept an individual as a client for examination or treatment. Examination or treatment at a private facility or by a private physician is at the expense of the individual to the extent that charges are not disposed of by contract between the area authority and private facility. (1985, c. 589, s. 2.)

 

§ 122C-210.  Guardian to pay expenses out of estate.

It is the duty of the guardian who has legal custody of the estate of an incompetent individual held pursuant to the provisions of this Article in a facility to supply funds for his support in the facility during the stay as long as there are sufficient funds for that purpose over and beyond maintaining and supporting those individuals who may be legally dependent on the estate. (1985, c. 589, s. 2.)

 

§ 122C-210.1.  Immunity from liability.

No facility or any of its officials, staff, or employees, or any physician or other individual who is responsible for the custody, examination, management, supervision, treatment, or release of a client and who follows accepted professional judgment, practice, and standards is civilly liable, personally or otherwise, for actions arising from these responsibilities or for actions of the client.  This immunity is in addition to any other legal immunity from liability to which these facilities or individuals may be entitled and applies to actions performed in connection with, or arising out of, the admission or commitment of any individual pursuant to this Article. (1899, c. 1, s. 31; Rev., s. 4560; C.S., s. 6172; 1961, c. 511, s. 1; 1973, c. 673, s. 10; 1983, c. 638, s. 15; c. 864, s. 4; 1985, c. 589, s. 2; 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 739, s. 3.)

 

§ 122C-210.2.  Research at State facilities for the mentally ill.

(a)        For research purposes, State facilities for the mentally ill may be designated by the Secretary as facilities for the voluntary admission of adults who are not admissible as clients otherwise.  Designation of these facilities shall be made in accordance with rules of the Secretary that assure the protection of those admitted for research purposes.

(b)        Individuals may be admitted to such designated facilities on either an outpatient or inpatient basis.

(c)        The Human Rights Committee of the designated facility shall monitor the care of individuals admitted for research during their participation in any research program.

(d)       For these individuals admitted to such designated facilities for research purposes only, the following provisions shall apply:

(1)        A written application for admission pursuant to G.S. 122C-211(a) and an examination by a physician within 24 hours of admission shall be provided to each of these individuals;

(2)        They shall be exempt from the provisions of G.S. 122C-57(a) governing the rights to treatment and to a treatment plan; the requirements of G.S. 122C-61(2) and G.S. 122C-212(b); and the requirements of any single portal of entry and exit plan; however, nothing in this section shall take away the individual's right to be informed of the potential risks and alleged benefits of their participation in any research program;

(3)        The Secretary shall exempt these individuals from the provisions of Article 7 of Chapter 143 of the General Statutes requiring payment for treatment in a State institution.  The Secretary may also authorize reasonable compensation to be paid to individuals participating in research projects for their services; provided, that the compensation is paid from research grant funds; and

(4)        The Commission shall adopt rules regarding the admission, care and discharge of those individuals admitted for research purposes only. (1987, c. 358, s. 1.)

 

Part 2.  Voluntary Admissions and Discharges, Competent Adults, Facilities for the Mentally Ill and Substance Abusers.

§ 122C-211.  Admissions.

(a)        Except as provided in subsections (b) through (f1) of this section, any individual, including a parent in a family unit, in need of treatment for mental illness or substance abuse may seek voluntary admission at any facility by presenting himself for evaluation to the facility. No physician's statement is necessary, but a written application for evaluation or admission, signed by the individual seeking admission, is required. The application form shall be available at all times at all facilities. However, no one shall be denied admission because application forms are not available. An evaluation shall determine whether the individual is in need of care, treatment, habilitation or rehabilitation for mental illness or substance abuse or further evaluation by the facility. Information provided by family members regarding the individual's need for treatment shall be reviewed in the evaluation. An individual may not be accepted as a client if the facility determines that the individual does not need or cannot benefit from the care, treatment, habilitation, or rehabilitation available and that the individual is not in need of further evaluation by the facility. The facility shall give to an individual who is denied admission a referral to another facility or facilities that may be able to provide the treatment needed by the client.

(b)        In 24-hour facilities the application shall acknowledge that the applicant may be held by the facility for a period of 72 hours after any written request for release that the applicant may make, and shall acknowledge that the 24-hour facility may have the legal right to petition for involuntary commitment of the applicant during that period. At the time of application, the facility shall tell the applicant about procedures for discharge.

(c)        Any individual who voluntarily seeks admission to a 24-hour facility in which medical care is an integral component of the treatment shall be examined and evaluated by a physician of the facility within 24 hours of admission. The evaluation shall determine whether the individual is in need of treatment for mental illness or substance abuse or further evaluation by the facility. If the evaluating physician determines that the individual will not benefit from the treatment available, the individual shall not be accepted as a client.

(d)       Any individual who voluntarily seeks admission to any 24-hour facility, other than one in which medical care is an integral component of the treatment, shall have a medical examination within 30 days before or after admission if it is reasonably expected that the individual will receive treatment for more than 30 days or shall produce a current, valid physical examination report, signed by a physician, completed within 12 months prior to the current admission. When applicable, this examination may be included in an examination conducted to meet the requirements of G.S. 122C-223 or G.S. 122C-232.

(e)        When an individual from a single portal area seeks admission to an area or State 24-hour facility, the admission shall follow the procedures as prescribed in the area plan. When an individual from a single portal area presents himself for admission to the facility directly and is in need of an emergency admission, the individual may be accepted for admission. The facility shall notify the area authority within 24 hours of the admission. Further planning of treatment for the client is the joint responsibility of the area authority and the facility as prescribed in the area plan.

(f)        A family unit may voluntarily seek admission to a 24-hour substance abuse facility that is able to provide, directly or by contract, treatment, habilitation, or rehabilitation services that will specifically address the family unit's needs. These services shall include gender-specific substance abuse treatment, habilitation, or rehabilitation for the parent as well as assessment, well-child care, and, as needed, early intervention services for the child. A family unit that voluntarily seeks admission to a 24-hour substance abuse facility shall be evaluated by the facility to determine whether the family unit would benefit from the services of the facility. A facility shall not accept a family unit as a client if the facility determines that the family unit does not need or cannot benefit from the care, habilitation, or rehabilitation available at the facility. The facility shall give to a family unit that is denied admission a referral to another facility or facilities that may be able to provide treatment needed by the family unit. Except as otherwise provided, this section applies to a parent in a family unit seeking admission under this section.

(f1)      An individual in need of treatment for mental illness may be admitted to a facility pursuant to an advance instruction for mental health treatment or pursuant to the authority of a health care agent named in a valid health care power of attorney, provided that the individual is incapable, as defined in G.S. 122C-72(4) at the time of the need for admission. An individual admitted to a facility pursuant to an advance instruction for mental health treatment may not be retained for more than 10 days, except as provided for in subsection (b) of this section. When a health care power of attorney authorizes a health care agent to seek the admission of an incapable individual, the health care agent shall act for the individual in applying for admission to a facility and in consenting to medical treatment at the facility when consent is required, provided that the individual is incapable.

(g)        As used in this Part, the term "family unit" means a parent and the parent's dependent children under the age of three years. (1945, c. 952, s. 471/2; 1963, c. 1184, s. 22; 1973, c. 723, s. 1; c. 1084; 1983, c. 383, s. 4; 1985, c. 589, s. 2; 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 863, s. 16; 1989, c. 287; 1998-47, s. 1(a); 1998-198, s. 6; 1998-217, s. 53(a)(1), (2); 1999-456, s. 5.)

 

§ 122C-212.  Discharges.

(a)        Except as provided in subsections (b) and (c) of this section, an individual who has been voluntarily admitted to a facility shall be discharged upon his own request. A request for discharge from a 24-hour facility shall be in writing.

(b)        An individual who has been voluntarily admitted to a 24-hour facility may be held for 72 hours  after his written application for discharge is submitted.

(c)        When an individual from a single portal area who has been voluntarily admitted to an area or State 24-hour facility is discharged, the discharge shall follow the procedures as prescribed in the area plan. (1973, c. 723, s. 1; c. 1084; 1983, c. 383, s. 4; 1985, c. 589, s. 2.)

 

§§ 122C-213 through 122C-220.  Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

Part 3.  Voluntary Admissions and Discharges, Minors, Facilities for the Mentally Ill and Substance Abusers.

§ 122C-221.  Admissions.

(a)        Except as otherwise provided in this Part, a minor may be admitted to a facility if the minor is mentally ill or a substance abuser and in need of treatment.  Except as otherwise provided in this Part, the provisions of G.S. 122C-211 shall apply to admissions of minors under this Part.  Except as provided in G.S. 90-21.5, in applying for admission to a facility, in consenting to medical treatment when consent is required, and in any other legal procedure under this Article, the legally responsible person shall act for the minor.  If a minor reaches the age of 18 while in treatment under this Part, further treatment is authorized only on the written authorization of the client or under the provisions of Part 7 or Part 8 of Article 5 of this Chapter.

(b)        The Commission shall adopt rules governing procedures for admission to 24-hour facilities not falling within the category of facilities where freedom of movement is restricted.  These rules shall be designed to ensure that no minor is improperly admitted to or improperly remains in a 24-hour facility. (1973, c. 1084; 1983, c. 302, s. 1; 1985, c. 589, s. 2; 1987, c. 370, s. l.)

 

§ 122C-222.  Admissions to State facilities.

Admission of a minor who is a resident of a county that is not in a single portal area shall be made to a State facility following screening and upon referral by an area authority, a physician, or an eligible psychologist.  Further planning of treatment and discharge for the minor is the joint responsibility of the State facility and the person making the referral. (1987, c. 370, s. 1.)

 

§ 122C-223.  Emergency admission to a 24-hour facility.

(a)        In an emergency situation, when the legally responsible person does not appear with the minor to apply for admission, a minor who is mentally ill or a substance abuser and in need of treatment may be admitted to a 24-hour facility upon his own written application. The application shall serve as the initiating document for the hearing required by G.S. 122C-224.

(b)        Within 24 hours of admission, the facility shall notify the legally responsible person of the admission unless notification is impossible due to an inability to identify, to locate, or to contact him after all reasonable means to establish contact have been attempted.

(c)        If the legally responsible person cannot be located within 72 hours of admission, the responsible professional shall initiate proceedings for juvenile protective services as described in Article 3 of Chapter 7B of the General Statutes in either the minor's county of residence or in the county in which the facility is located.

(d)       Within 24 hours of an emergency admission to a State facility, the State facility shall notify the area authority and, as appropriate, the minor's physician or eligible psychologist. Further planning of treatment and discharge for the minor is the joint responsibility of the State facility and the appropriate person in the community. (1973, c. 1084; 1983, c. 302, s. 1; 1985, c. 589, s. 2; 1987, c. 370, s. 1; 1998-202, s. 13(ff).)

 

§ 122C-224.  Judicial review of voluntary admission.

(a)        When a minor is admitted to a 24-hour facility where the minor will be subjected to the same restrictions on his freedom of movement present in the State facilities for the mentally ill, or to similar restrictions, a hearing shall be held by the district court in the county in which the 24-hour facility is located within 15 days of the day that the minor is admitted to the facility.  A continuance of not more than five days may be granted.

(b)        Before the admission, the facility shall provide the minor and his legally responsible person with written information describing the procedures for court review of the admission and informing them about the discharge procedures.  They shall also be informed that, after a written request for discharge, the facility may hold the minor for 72 hours during which time the facility may apply for a petition for involuntary commitment.

(c)        Within 24 hours after admission, the facility shall notify the clerk of court in the county where the facility is located that the minor has been admitted and that a hearing for concurrence in the admission must be scheduled.  At the time notice is given to schedule a hearing, the facility shall notify the clerk of the names and addresses of the legally responsible person and the responsible professional. (1975, c. 839; 1977, c. 756; 1979, c. 171, s. 1; 1983, c. 889, ss. 1, 2; 1985, c. 589, s. 2; 1987, c. 370, s. 1.)

 

§ 122C-224.1.  Duties of clerk of court.

(a)        Within 48 hours of receipt of notice that a minor has been admitted to a 24-hour facility wherein his freedom of movement will be restricted, an attorney shall be appointed for the minor in accordance with rules adopted by the Office of Indigent Defense Services. When a minor has been admitted to a State facility for the mentally ill, the attorney appointed shall be the attorney employed in accordance with G.S. 122C-270(a) through (c). All minors shall be conclusively presumed to be indigent, and it shall not be necessary for the court to receive from any minor an affidavit of indigency. The attorney shall be paid a reasonable fee in accordance with rules adopted by the Office of Indigent Defense Services. The judge may require payment of the attorney's fee from a person other than the minor as provided in G.S. 7A-450.1 through G.S. 7A-450.4.

(b)        Upon receipt of notice that a minor has been admitted to a 24-hour facility wherein his freedom of movement will be restricted, the clerk shall calendar a hearing to be held within 15 days of admission for the purpose of review of the minor's admission. Notice of the time and place of the hearing shall be given as provided in G.S. 1A-1, Rule 4(j) to the attorney in lieu of the minor, as soon as possible but not later than 72 hours before the scheduled hearing. Notice of the hearing shall be sent to the legally responsible person and the responsible professional as soon as possible but not later than 72 hours before the hearing by first-class mail postage prepaid to the individual's last known address.

(c)        The clerk shall schedule all hearings and rehearings and send all notices as required by this Part. (1987, c. 370, s. 1; 2000-144, s. 37.)

 

§ 122C-224.2.  Duties of the attorney for the minor.

(a)        The attorney shall meet with the minor within 10 days of his appointment but not later than 48 hours before the hearing.  In addition, the attorney shall inform the minor of the scheduled hearing and shall give the minor a copy of the notice of the time and place of the hearing no later than 48 hours before the hearing.

(b)        The attorney shall counsel the minor concerning the hearing procedure and the potential effects of the hearing proceeding on the minor. If the minor does not wish to appear, the attorney shall file a motion with the court before the scheduled hearing to waive the minor's right to be present at the hearing procedure except during the minor's own testimony.  If the attorney determines that the minor does not wish to appear before the judge to provide his own testimony, the attorney shall file a separate motion with the court before the hearing to waive the minor's right to testify.

(c)        In all actions on behalf of the minor, the attorney shall represent the minor until formally relieved of the responsibility by the judge. (1987, c. 370, s. 1.)

 

§ 122C-224.3.  Hearing for review of admission.

(a)        Hearings shall be held at the 24-hour facility in which the minor is being treated, if it is located within the judge's district court district as defined in G.S. 7A-133, unless the judge determines that the court calendar will be disrupted by such scheduling.  In cases where the hearing cannot be held in the 24-hour facility, the judge may schedule the hearing in another location, including the judge's chambers.  The hearing may not be held in a regular courtroom, over objection of the minor's attorney, if in the discretion of the judge a more suitable place is available.

(b)        The minor shall have the right to be present at the hearing unless the judge rules favorably on the motion of the attorney to waive the minor's appearance.  However, the minor shall retain the right to appear before the judge to provide his own testimony and to respond to the judge's questions unless the judge makes a separate finding that the minor does not wish to appear upon motion of the attorney.

(c)        Certified copies of reports and findings of physicians, psychologists and other responsible professionals as well as previous and current medical records are admissible in evidence, but the minor's right, through his attorney, to confront and cross-examine witnesses may not be denied.

(d)       Hearings shall be closed to the public unless the attorney requests otherwise.

(e)        A copy of all documents admitted into evidence and a transcript of the proceedings shall be furnished to the attorney, on request, by the clerk upon the direction of a district court judge.  The copies shall be provided at State expense.

(f)        For an admission to be authorized beyond the hearing, the minor must be (1) mentally ill or a substance abuser and (2) in need of further treatment at the 24-hour facility to which he has been admitted.  Further treatment at the admitting facility should be undertaken only when lesser measures will be insufficient.  It is not necessary that the judge make a finding of dangerousness in order to support a concurrence in the admission.

(g)        The court shall make one of the following dispositions:

(1)        If the court finds by clear, cogent, and convincing evidence that the requirements of subsection (f) have been met, the court shall concur with the voluntary admission and set the length of the authorized admission of the minor for a period not to exceed 90 days; or

(2)        If the court determines that there exist reasonable grounds to believe that the requirements of subsection (f) have been met but that additional diagnosis and evaluation is needed before the court can concur in the admission, the court may make a one time authorization of up to an additional 15 days of stay, during which time further diagnosis and evaluation shall be conducted; or

(3)        If the court determines that the conditions for concurrence or continued diagnosis and evaluation have not been met, the judge shall order that the minor be released.

(h)        The decision of the District Court in all hearings and rehearings is final.  Appeal may be had to the Court of Appeals by the State or by any party on the record as in civil cases.  The minor may be retained and treated in accordance with this Part, pending the outcome of the appeal, unless otherwise ordered by the District Court or the Court of Appeals. (1987, c. 370; 1987 (Reg. Sess., 1988), c. 1037, s. 113.)

 

§ 122C-224.4.  Rehearings.

(a)        A minor admitted to a 24-hour facility upon order of the court for further diagnosis and evaluation shall have the right to a rehearing if the responsible professional determines that the minor is in need of further treatment beyond the time authorized by the court for diagnosis and evaluation.

(b)        A minor admitted to a 24-hour facility upon the concurrence of the court shall have the right to a rehearing for further concurrence in continued treatment before the end of the period authorized by the court.  The court shall review the continued admission in accordance with the hearing procedures in this Part.  The court may order discharge of the minor if the minor no longer meets the criteria for admission.  If the minor continues to meet the criteria for admission the court shall concur with the continued admission of the minor and set the length of the authorized admission for a period not to exceed 180 days.  Subsequent rehearings shall be scheduled at the end of each subsequent authorized treatment period, but no longer than every 180 days.

(c)        The responsible professional shall notify the clerk, no later than 15 days before the end of the authorized admission, that continued stay beyond the authorized admission is recommended for the minor.  The clerk shall calendar the rehearing to be held before the end of the current authorized admission. (1987, c. 370, s. 1.)

 

§ 122C-224.5.  Transportation.

When it is necessary for a minor to be transported to a location other than the treating facility for the purpose of a hearing, transportation shall be provided under the provisions of G.S. 122C-251.  However, the 24-hour facility may obtain permission from the court to routinely provide transportation of minors to and from hearings. (1987, c. 370, s. 1.)

 

§ 122C-224.6.  Treatment pending hearing and after authorization for or concurrence in admission.

(a)        Pending the initial hearing and after authorization for further diagnosis and evaluation, or concurrence in admission, the responsible professional may administer to the minor reasonable and appropriate medication and treatment that is consistent with accepted medical standards and consistent with Article 3 of this Chapter.

(b)        The responsible professional may release the minor conditionally for periods not in excess of 30 days on specified appropriate conditions.  Violation of the conditions is grounds for return of the minor to the 24-hour facility.  A law enforcement officer, on request of the responsible professional, shall take the minor into custody and return him to the facility in accordance with G.S. 122C-205. (1987, c. 370, s. 1.)

 

§ 122C-224.7.  Discharge.

(a)        The responsible professional shall unconditionally discharge a minor from treatment at any time that it is determined that the minor is no longer mentally ill or a substance abuser, or no longer in need of treatment at the facility.

(b)        The legally responsible person may file a written request for discharge from the facility at any time.  The facility may hold the minor in the facility for 72 hours after receipt of the request for discharge.  If the responsible professional believes that the minor is mentally ill and dangerous to himself or others, he may file a petition for involuntary commitment under the provisions of Part 7 of this Article.  If the responsible professional believes that the minor is a substance abuser and dangerous to himself or others, he may file a petition for involuntary commitment under the provisions of Part 8 of this Article.  If an order authorizing the holding of the minor under involuntary commitment procedures is issued, further treatment and holding shall follow the provisions of Part 7 or Part 8 whichever is applicable.  If an order authorizing the holding of the minor under involuntary commitment procedures is not issued, the minor shall be discharged.

(c)        If a client reaches age 18 while in treatment, and the client refuses to sign an authorization for continued treatment within 72 hours of reaching 18, he shall be discharged unless the responsible professional obtains an order to hold the client under the provisions of Part 7 or Part 8 of this Article pursuant to an involuntary commitment. (1975, c. 839; 1977, c. 756; 1979, c. 171, s. 1; 1983, c. 889, ss. 1, 2; 1985, c. 589, s. 2; 1987, c. 370, s. 1.)

 

§§ 122C-225 through 122C-230.  Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

Part 4. Voluntary Admissions and Discharges, Incompetent Adults, Facilities for the Mentally Ill and Substance Abusers.

§ 122C-231.  Admissions.

Except as otherwise provided in this Part an incompetent adult may be admitted to a facility when the individual is mentally ill or a substance abuser and in need of treatment. The provisions of G.S. 122C-211 shall apply to admissions of an incompetent adult under this Part except that the legally responsible person shall act for the individual, in applying for admission to a facility, in consenting to medical treatment when consent is required, in giving or receiving any legal notice, and in any other legal procedure under this Article. (1973, c. 1084; 1983, c. 302, s. 1; 1985, c. 589, s. 2.)

 

§ 122C-232.  Judicial determination.

(a)        When an incompetent adult is admitted to a 24-hour facility where the incompetent adult will be subjected to the same restrictions on his freedom of movement present in the State facilities for the mentally ill, or to similar restrictions, a hearing shall be held in the district court in the county in which the 24-hour facility is located within 10 days of the day that the incompetent adult is admitted to the facility. A continuance of not more than five days may be granted upon motion of:

(1)        The court;

(2)        Respondent's counsel; or

(3)        The responsible professional.

The Commission shall adopt rules governing procedures for admission to other 24-hour facilities not falling within the category of facilities where freedom of movement is restricted; these rules shall be designed to ensure that no incompetent adult is improperly admitted to or remains in a facility.

(b)        In any case requiring the hearing described in subsection (a) of this section, no petition is necessary; the written application for voluntary admission shall serve as the initiating document for the hearing. The court shall determine whether the incompetent adult is mentally ill or a substance abuser and is in need of further treatment at the facility. Further treatment at the facility should be undertaken only when lesser measures will be insufficient. If the court finds by clear, cogent, and convincing evidence that these requirements have been met, the court shall concur with the voluntary admission of the incompetent adult. If the court finds that these requirements have not been met, it shall order that the incompetent adult be released. A finding of dangerousness to self or others is not necessary to support the determination that further treatment should be undertaken.

(c)        Unless otherwise provided in this Part, the hearing specified in subsection (a) of this section, including the provisions for representation of indigent incompetent adults, all subsequent proceedings, and conditional release are governed by the involuntary commitment procedures of Part 7 of this Article.

(d)       In addition to the notice of hearings and rehearings to the incompetent adult and his counsel required under Part 7 of this Article, notice shall be given by the clerk to the legally responsible person, or his successor. The legally responsible person, or his successor may also file with the clerk of court a written waiver of his right to receive notice. (1975, c. 839; 1977, c. 756; 1979, c. 171, s. 1; 1983, c. 889, ss. 1, 2; 1985, c. 589, s. 2.)

 

§ 122C-233.  Discharges.

(a)        Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, an incompetent adult shall be discharged upon the request of the legally responsible person as provided in G.S. 122C-212.

(b)        After the court has concurred in the admission of an incompetent adult to a 24-hour facility as provided in G.S. 122C-232, only the facility or the court may release the incompetent adult at any time when either determines that the incompetent adult does not need further treatment at the facility. If the legally responsible person believes that release is in the best interest of the incompetent adult, and the facility refuses release, the legally responsible person may apply to the court for a hearing for discharge. (1975, c. 839; 1977, c. 756; 1979, c. 171, s. 1; 1983, c. 889, ss. 1, 2; 1985, c. 589, s. 2.)

 

§§ 122C-234 through 122C-240: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

Part 5.  Voluntary Admissions and Discharges, Minors and Adults, Facilities for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities.

§ 122C-241.  Admissions.

(a)        Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section an individual with developmental disabilities may be admitted to a facility for the developmentally disabled in order that he receive care, habilitation, rehabilitation, training, or treatment.  Application for admission is made as follows:

(1)        A minor with developmental disabilities may be admitted upon application by both the father and the mother if they are living together and, if not, by the parent or parents having custody or by the legally responsible person.

(2)        An adult with developmental disabilities who has been adjudicated incompetent under Chapter 35A or former Chapters 33 or 35 of the General Statutes may be admitted upon application by his guardian.

(3)        An adult with developmental disabilities who has not been adjudicated incompetent under Chapter 35A or former Chapters 33 or 35 of the General Statutes may be admitted upon his own application.

(b)        Prior to admission to a 24-hour facility, the individual shall be examined and evaluated by a physician or psychologist to determine whether the individual is developmentally disabled. In addition, the individual shall be examined and evaluated by a qualified developmental disabilities professional no sooner than 31 days prior to admission or within 72 hours after admission to determine whether the individual is in need of care, habilitation, rehabilitation, training or treatment by the facility. If the evaluating professional determines that the individual will not benefit from an admission, the individual shall not be admitted as a client.

(c)        An admission to an area or State 24-hour facility of an individual from a single portal area shall follow the procedures as prescribed in the area plan. When an individual from a single portal area presents himself or is presented for admission to a State facility for the mentally retarded directly and is in need of an emergency admission, he may be accepted for admission. The State facility shall notify the area authority within 24 hours of the admission and further planning of treatment for the individual is the joint responsibility of the area authority and the State facility as prescribed in the area plan. (1963, c. 1184, s. 6; 1965, c. 800, s. 12; 1973, c. 476, s. 133; 1977, c. 679, s. 7; 1981, c. 51, s. 3; 1983, c. 383, s. 7; 1985, c. 589, s. 2; c. 695, s. 14; 1989, c. 625, s. 22; 1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 1024, s. 26(d).)

 

§ 122C-242.  Discharges.

(a)        Except as provided in subsections (b) through (d) of this section, discharges from facilities for individuals with developmental disabilities are made upon request of the individual authorized in G.S. 122C-241(a) to make application for admission or by the director of the facility.

(b)        Any adult who has not been declared incompetent and who is admitted to a 24-hour facility shall be discharged upon his own request, unless the director of the facility has reason to believe that the adult is endangering himself by the discharge. In this case the individual may be held for a period not to exceed five days while the director petitions for the adjudication of incompetency of the individual and the appointment of an interim guardian under Chapter 35A of the General Statutes.

(c)        Any individual admitted to a 24-hour facility may be discharged when in the judgment of the director of the facility the individual is no longer in need of care, treatment, habilitation or rehabilitation by the facility or the individual will no longer benefit from the service available. In the case of an area or State facility rules adopted by the Commission or by the Secretary in accordance with G.S. 122C-63 shall be followed.

(d)       When the individual to be discharged from an area or State 24-hour facility is a resident of a single portal area, the discharge shall follow the procedures described in the area plan. (1963, c. 1184, s. 6; 1973, c. 476, s. 133; 1983, c. 383, s. 8; 1985, c. 589, s. 2; 1989, c. 625, s.22; 1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 1024, s. 26(c).)

 

§§ 122C-243 through 122C-250.  Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

Part 6.  Involuntary Commitment - General Provisions.

§ 122C-251.  Transportation.

(a)        Except as provided in subsections (f) and (g), transportation of a respondent within a county under the involuntary commitment proceedings of this Article, including admission and discharge, shall be provided by the city or county. The city has the duty to provide transportation of a respondent who is a resident of the city or who is taken into custody in the city limits. The county has the duty to provide transportation for a respondent who resides in the county outside city limits or who is taken into custody outside of city limits. However, cities and counties may contract with each other to provide transportation.

(b)        Except as provided in subsections (f) and (g) or in G.S. 122C-408(b), transportation between counties under the involuntary commitment proceedings of this Article for admission to a 24-hour facility shall be provided by the county where the respondent is taken into custody. Transportation between counties under the involuntary commitment proceedings of this Article for respondents held in 24-hour facilities who have requested a change of venue for the district court hearing shall be provided by the county where the petition for involuntary commitment was initiated. Transportation between counties under the involuntary commitment proceedings of this Article for discharge of a respondent from a 24-hour facility shall be provided by the county of residence of the respondent. However, a respondent being discharged from a facility may use his own transportation at his own expense.

(c)        Transportation of a respondent may be by city-or county-owned vehicles or by private vehicle by contract with the city or county. To the extent feasible, law enforcement officers transporting respondents shall dress in plain clothes and shall travel in unmarked vehicles. Further, law enforcement officers, to the extent possible, shall advise respondents when taking them into custody that they are not under arrest and have not committed a crime, but are being transported to receive treatment and for their own safety and that of others.

(d)       In providing transportation of a respondent, a city or county shall provide a driver or attendant who is the same sex as the respondent, unless the law-enforcement officer allows a family member of the respondent to accompany the respondent in lieu of an attendant of the same sex as the respondent.

(e)        In providing transportation required by this section, the law-enforcement officer may use reasonable force to restrain the respondent if it appears necessary to protect himself, the respondent, or others. No law-enforcement officer may be held criminally or civilly liable for assault, false imprisonment, or other torts or crimes on account of reasonable measures taken under the authority of this Article.

(f)        Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (a), (b), and (c) of this section, a clerk, a magistrate, or a district court judge, where applicable, may authorize the family or immediate friends of the respondent, if they so request, to transport the respondent in accordance with the procedures of this Article. This authorization shall only be granted in cases where the danger to the public, the family or friends of the respondent, or the respondent himself is not substantial. The family or immediate friends of the respondent shall bear the costs of providing this transportation.

(g)        The governing body of a city or county may adopt a plan for transportation of respondents in involuntary commitment proceedings in this Article. Law-enforcement personnel, volunteers, or other public or private agency personnel may be designated to provide all or parts of the transportation required by involuntary commitment proceedings. Persons so designated shall be trained and the plan shall assure adequate safety and protections for both the public and the respondent. Law enforcement, other affected agencies, and the area authority shall participate in the planning. If any person other than a law-enforcement agency is designated by a city or county, the person so designated shall provide the transportation and follow the procedures in this Article. References in this Article to a law-enforcement officer apply to this person.

(h)        The cost and expenses of transporting a respondent to or from a 24-hour facility is the responsibility of the county of residence of the respondent. The State (when providing transportation under G.S. 122C-408(b)), a city, or a county is entitled to recover the reasonable cost of transportation from the county of residence of the respondent. The county of residence of the respondent shall reimburse the State, another county, or a city the reasonable transportation costs incurred as authorized by this subsection. The county of residence of the respondent is entitled to recover the reasonable cost of transportation it has paid to the State, a city, or a county. Provided that the county of residence provides the respondent or other individual liable for the respondent's support a reasonable notice and opportunity to object to the reimbursement, the county of residence of the respondent may recover that cost from:

(1)        The respondent, if the respondent is not indigent;

(2)        Any person or entity that is legally liable for the resident's support and maintenance provided there is sufficient property to pay the cost;

(3)        Any person or entity that is contractually responsible for the cost; or

(4)        Any person or entity that otherwise is liable under federal, State, or local law for the cost. (1899, c. 1, s. 32; Rev., s. 4555; 1919, c. 326, s. 4; C.S., ss. 6201, 6202; 1945, c. 952, ss. 29, 30; 1953, c. 256, s. 6; 1961, c. 186; 1963, c. 1184, s. 1; 1969, c. 982; 1973, c. 1408, s. 1; 1979, c. 915, ss. 21, 22; 1983, c. 138, ss. 1, 2; 1985, c. 589, s. 2; 1987, c. 268; 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 739, s. 4; 1999-201, s. 1; 1999-456, s. 36.)

 

§ 122C-252.  Twenty-four hour facilities for custody and treatment of involuntary clients.

State facilities, 24-hour facilities licensed under this Chapter or hospitals licensed under Chapter 131E may be designated by the Secretary as facilities for the custody and treatment of involuntary clients. Designation of these facilities shall be made in accordance with rules of the Secretary that assure the protection of the client and the general public. Facilities so designated may detain a client under the procedures of Parts 7 and 8 of this Article both before a district court hearing and after commitment of the respondent. (1973, c. 726, s. 1; c. 1408, s. 1; 1977, c. 400, s. 4; c. 679, s. 8; c. 739, s. 1; 1979, c. 358, s. 27; c. 915, s. 4; 1983, c. 380, ss. 4, 10; c. 638, ss. 6, 7, 25.1; c. 864, s. 4; 1985, c. 589, s. 2.)

 

§ 122C-253.  Fees under commitment order.

Nothing contained in Parts 6, 7, or 8 of this Article requires a private physician, private psychologist, or private facility to accept a respondent as a client either before or after commitment. Treatment at a private facility or by a private physician or private psychologist is at the expense of the respondent to the extent that the charges are not disposed of by contract between the area authority and the private facility. An area authority and its contract agencies shall set and recover fees for inpatient or outpatient treatment services provided under a commitment order in accordance with G.S. 122C-146. (1973, c. 726, s. 1; c. 1408, s. 1; 1977, c. 400, s. 8; c. 739, s. 2; 1979, c. 358, s. 26; c. 915, ss. 8, 15, 16; 1981, c. 537, s. 1; 1983, c. 380, s. 8; c. 638, s. 14; c. 864, s. 4; 1985, c. 589, s. 2; c. 695, s. 3.)

 

§ 122C-254.  Housing responsibility for certain clients in or escapees from involuntary commitment.

(a)        Any individual who has been involuntarily committed under the provisions of this Article to a 24-hour facility:

(1)        Who escapes from or is absent without authorization from the facility before being discharged; and

(2)        Who is charged with a criminal offense committed after the escape or during the unauthorized absence; and

(3)        Whose involuntary commitment is determined to be still valid by the judge or judicial officer who would make the pretrial release determination regarding the criminal offense under the provisions of G.S. 15A-533 and G.S. 15A-534; or

(4)        Who is charged with committing a crime while still residing in the facility and whose commitment is still valid as prescribed by subdivision (3) of this section;

shall be denied pretrial release pursuant to G.S. 15A-533 and G.S. 15A-534. In lieu of pretrial release, and pending the additional proceedings on the criminal offense, the individual shall be returned to the 24-hour facility in which he was residing at the time of the alleged crime or from which he escaped or absented himself for continuation of his commitment.

(b)        Absent findings of lack of mental responsibility for his criminal offense or lack of competency to stand trial for the criminal offense, the involuntary commitment of an individual as described in subsection (a) of this section shall not be utilized in lieu of nor shall it constitute a bar to proceeding to trial for the criminal offense. At any time that the district court or the responsible professional of the 24-hour facility finds that the individual should be unconditionally discharged, committed for outpatient treatment, or conditionally released, the facility shall notify the clerk of superior court in the county in which the criminal charge is pending before making the change in status. At this time, a pretrial release determination pursuant to the provisions of G.S. 15A-533 and G.S. 15A-534 shall be made. In this event, arrangements for returning the individual for the pretrial release determination shall be the responsibility of the clerk of superior court.

(c)        An individual who has been processed in accordance with subsections (a) and (b) of this section may not later be returned to a 24-hour facility before trial except pursuant to involuntary commitment proceedings by the district court in accordance with Parts 7 and 8 of this Article or after proceedings in accordance with the provisions of G.S. 15A-1002 or G.S. 15A-1321.

(d)       Other involuntarily committed respondents who escape, but do not meet the additional criteria specified in subsection (a) of this section, are handled in accordance with the provisions of G.S. 122C-205. (1981, c. 936, s. 1; 1985, c. 589, s. 2.)

 

§ 122C-255.  Report required.

Beginning January 1, 2012, each 24-hour residential facility that (i) falls under the category of nonhospital medical detoxification, facility-based crisis service, or inpatient hospital treatment, (ii) is not a State facility under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and (iii) is designated by the Secretary of Health and Human Services as a facility for the custody and treatment of individuals under a petition of involuntary commitment pursuant to G.S. 122C-252 and 10A NCAC 26C .0101 shall submit a written report on involuntary commitments each January 1 and each July 1 to the Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services. The report shall include all of the following:

(1)        The number and primary presenting conditions of individuals receiving treatment from the facility under a petition of involuntary commitment.

(2)        The number of individuals for whom an involuntary commitment proceeding was initiated at the facility, who were referred to a different facility or program.

(3)        The reason for referring the individuals described in subdivision (2) of this section to a different facility or program, including the need for more intensive medical supervision.  (2011-346, s. 2.)

 

§ 122C-256.  Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

§ 122C-257.  Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

§ 122C-258.  Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

§ 122C-259.  Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

§ 122C-260.  Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

Part 7. Involuntary Commitment of the Mentally Ill; Facilities for the Mentally Ill.

§ 122C-261.  Affidavit and petition before clerk or magistrate when immediate hospitalization is not necessary; custody order.

(a)        Anyone who has knowledge of an individual who is mentally ill and either (i) dangerous to self, as defined in G.S. 122C-3(11)a., or dangerous to others, as defined in G.S. 122C-3(11)b., or (ii) in need of treatment in order to prevent further disability or deterioration that would predictably result in dangerousness, may appear before a clerk or assistant or deputy clerk of superior court or a magistrate and execute an affidavit to this effect, and petition the clerk or magistrate for issuance of an order to take the respondent into custody for examination by a physician or eligible psychologist. The affidavit shall include the facts on which the affiant's opinion is based. If the affiant has knowledge or reasonably believes that the respondent, in addition to being mentally ill, is also mentally retarded, this fact shall be stated in the affidavit. Jurisdiction under this subsection is in the clerk or magistrate in the county where the respondent resides or is found.

(b)        If the clerk or magistrate finds reasonable grounds to believe that the facts alleged in the affidavit are true and that the respondent is probably mentally ill and either (i) dangerous to self, as defined in G.S. 122C-3(11)a., or dangerous to others, as defined in G.S. 122C-3(11)b., or (ii) in need of treatment in order to prevent further disability or deterioration that would predictably result in dangerousness, the clerk or magistrate shall issue an order to a law enforcement officer or any other person authorized under G.S. 122C-251 to take the respondent into custody for examination by a physician or eligible psychologist. If the clerk or magistrate finds that, in addition to probably being mentally ill, the respondent is also probably mentally retarded, the clerk or magistrate shall contact the area authority before issuing a custody order and the area authority shall designate the facility to which the respondent is to be taken for examination by a physician or eligible psychologist. The clerk or magistrate shall provide the petitioner and the respondent, if present, with specific information regarding the next steps that will occur for the respondent.

(c)        If the clerk or magistrate issues a custody order, the clerk or magistrate shall also make inquiry in any reliable way as to whether the respondent is indigent within the meaning of G.S. 7A-450. A magistrate shall report the result of this inquiry to the clerk.

(d)       If the affiant is a physician or eligible psychologist, all of the following apply:

(1)        The affiant may execute the affidavit before any official authorized to administer oaths. This affiant is not required to appear before the clerk or magistrate for this purpose. This affiant shall file the affidavit with the clerk or magistrate by delivering to the clerk or magistrate the original affidavit or a copy in paper form that is printed through the facsimile transmission of the affidavit. If the affidavit is filed through facsimile transmission, the affiant shall mail the original affidavit no later than five days after the facsimile transmission of the affidavit to the clerk or magistrate to be filed by the clerk or magistrate with the facsimile copy of the affidavit.

(2)        This affiant's examination shall comply with the requirements of the initial examination as provided in G.S. 122C-263(c).

(3)        If the physician or eligible psychologist recommends outpatient commitment and the clerk or magistrate finds probable cause to believe that the respondent meets the criteria for outpatient commitment, the clerk or magistrate shall issue an order that a hearing before a district court judge be held to determine whether the respondent will be involuntarily committed. The physician or eligible psychologist shall provide the respondent with written notice of any scheduled appointment and the name, address, and telephone number of the proposed outpatient treatment physician or center. The physician or eligible psychologist shall contact the local management entity that serves the county where the respondent resides or the local management entity that coordinated services for the respondent to inform the local management entity that the respondent has been scheduled for an appointment with an outpatient treatment physician or center.

(4)        If the physician or eligible psychologist recommends inpatient commitment and the clerk or magistrate finds probable cause to believe that the respondent meets the criteria for inpatient commitment, the clerk or magistrate shall issue an order for transportation to or custody at a 24-hour facility described in G.S. 122C-252, provided that if a 24-hour facility is not immediately available or appropriate to the respondent's medical condition, the respondent may be temporarily detained under appropriate supervision and, upon further examination, released in accordance with G.S. 122C-263(d)(2).

(5)        If the affiant is a physician or eligible psychologist at a 24-hour facility described in G.S. 122C-252 who recommends inpatient commitment; the respondent is physically present on the premises of the same 24-hour facility; and the clerk or magistrate finds probable cause to believe that the respondent meets the criteria for inpatient commitment, then the clerk or magistrate may issue an order by facsimile transmission or may issue an electronically scanned order by electronic transmission to the physician or eligible psychologist at the 24-hour facility, or a designee, to take the respondent into custody at the 24-hour facility and proceed according to G.S. 122C-266. Upon receipt of the custody order, the physician or eligible psychologist at the 24-hour facility, or a designee, shall immediately (i) notify the respondent that the respondent is not under arrest and has not committed a crime but is being taken into custody to receive treatment and for the respondent's own safety and the safety of others, (ii) take the respondent into custody, and (iii) complete and sign the appropriate portion of the custody order and return the order to the clerk or magistrate either by facsimile transmission or by scanning it and sending it by electronic transmission. The physician or eligible psychologist, or a designee, shall mail the original custody order no later than five days after returning it by means of facsimile or electronic transmission to the clerk or magistrate. The clerk or magistrate shall file the original custody order with the copy of the custody order that was electronically returned.

      Notwithstanding the provisions of this subdivision, a clerk or magistrate shall not issue a custody order to a physician or eligible psychologist at a 24-hour facility, or a designee, if the physician or eligible psychologist, or a designee, has not completed training in proper service and return of service. As used in this subdivision, the term "designee" includes the 24-hour facility's on-site police security personnel.

      The Department of Health and Human Services shall cooperate and collaborate with the Administrative Office of the Courts and the UNC School of Government to develop protocols to implement this section, including a procedure for notifying clerks and magistrates of the names of the physicians, psychologists, and designees who have completed the training. The Secretary of the Department shall oversee implementation of these protocols.

(6)        If the clerk or magistrate finds probable cause to believe that the respondent, in addition to being mentally ill, is also mentally retarded, the clerk or magistrate shall contact the area authority before issuing the order and the area authority shall designate the facility to which the respondent is to be transported.

(7)        If a physician or eligible psychologist executes an affidavit for inpatient commitment of a respondent, a second physician shall be required to perform the examination required by G.S. 122C-266.

(e)        Except as provided in subdivision (5) of subsection (d) of this section, upon receipt of the custody order of the clerk or magistrate or a custody order issued by the court pursuant to G.S. 15A-1003, a law enforcement officer or other person designated in the order shall take the respondent into custody within 24 hours after the order is signed, and proceed according to G.S. 122C-263. The custody order is valid throughout the State.

(f)        When a petition is filed for an individual who is a resident of a single portal area, the procedures for examination by a physician or eligible psychologist as set forth in G.S. 122C-263 shall be carried out in accordance with the area plan. Prior to issuance of a custody order for a respondent who resides in an area authority with a single portal plan, the clerk or magistrate shall communicate with the area authority to determine the appropriate 24-hour facility to which the respondent should be admitted according to the area plan or to determine if there are more appropriate resources available through the area authority to assist the petitioner or the respondent. When an individual from a single portal area is presented for commitment at a 24-hour area or State facility directly, the individual may not be accepted for admission until the facility notifies the area authority and the area authority agrees to the admission. If the area authority does not agree to the admission, it shall determine the appropriate 24-hour facility to which the individual should be admitted according to the area plan or determine if there are more appropriate resources available through the area authority to assist the individual. If the area authority agrees to the admission, further planning of treatment for the client is the joint responsibility of the area authority and the facility as prescribed in the area plan.

Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, in no event shall an individual known or reasonably believed to be mentally retarded be admitted to a State psychiatric hospital, except as follows:

(1)        Persons described in G.S. 122C-266(b);

(2)        Persons admitted pursuant to G.S. 15A-1321;

(3)        Respondents who are so extremely dangerous as to pose a serious threat to the community and to other patients committed to non-State hospital psychiatric inpatient units, as determined by the Director of the Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services or his designee; and

(4)        Respondents who are so gravely disabled by both multiple disorders and medical fragility or multiple disorders and deafness that alternative care is inappropriate, as determined by the Director of the Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services or his designee.

Individuals transported to a State facility for the mentally ill who are not admitted by the facility may be transported by law enforcement officers or designated staff of the State facility in State-owned vehicles to an appropriate 24-hour facility that provides psychiatric inpatient care.

No later than 24 hours after the transfer, the responsible professional at the original facility shall notify the petitioner, the clerk of court, and, if consent is granted by the respondent, the next of kin, that the transfer has been completed.  (1973, c. 726, s. 1; c. 1408, s. 1; 1977, c. 400, s. 3; 1979, c. 164, s. 2; c. 915, ss. 3, 18; 1983, c. 383, s. 5; c. 638, ss. 3-5; c. 864, s. 4; 1985, c. 589, s. 2; c. 695, ss. 2, 4; 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 863, s. 17; 1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 823, ss. 1, 2; c. 1024, s. 27.1; 1991, c. 37, s. 7; 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 739, s. 6; 1997-456, s. 47; 2004-23, s. 1(a); 2005-135, s. 1; 2009-315, s. 1; 2009-340, s. 1; 2013-308, ss. 1, 2.)

 

§ 122C-262.  Special emergency procedure for individuals needing immediate hospitalization.

(a)        Anyone, including a law enforcement officer, who has knowledge of an individual who is subject to inpatient commitment according to the criteria of G.S. 122C-261(a) and who requires immediate hospitalization to prevent harm to self or others, may transport the individual directly to an area facility or other place, including a State facility for the mentally ill, for examination by a physician or eligible psychologist in accordance with G.S. 122C-263(c).

(b)        Upon examination by the physician or eligible psychologist, if the individual meets the criteria required in G.S. 122C-261(a), the physician or eligible psychologist shall so certify in writing before any official authorized to administer oaths. The certificate shall also state the reason that the individual requires immediate hospitalization. If the physician or eligible psychologist knows or has reason to believe that the individual is mentally retarded, the certificate shall so state.

(c)        If the physician or eligible psychologist executes the oath, appearance before a magistrate shall be waived. The physician or eligible psychologist shall send a copy of the certificate to the clerk of superior court by the most reliable and expeditious means. If it cannot be reasonably anticipated that the clerk will receive the copy within 24 hours, excluding Saturday, Sunday, and holidays, of the time that it was signed, the physician or eligible psychologist shall also communicate the findings to the clerk by telephone.

(d)       Anyone, including a law enforcement officer if necessary, may transport the individual to a 24-hour facility described in G.S. 122C-252 for examination and treatment pending a district court hearing. If there is no area 24-hour facility and if the respondent is indigent and unable to pay for care at a private 24-hour facility, the law enforcement officer or other designated person providing transportation shall take the respondent to a State facility for the mentally ill designated by the Commission in accordance with G.S. 143B-147(a)(1)a and immediately notify the clerk of superior court of this action. The physician's or eligible psychologist's certificate shall serve as the custody order and the law enforcement officer or other designated person shall provide transportation in accordance with the provisions of G.S. 122C-251.

In the event an individual known or reasonably believed to be mentally retarded is transported to a State facility for the mentally ill, in no event shall that individual be admitted to that facility except as follows:

(1)        Persons described in G.S. 122C-266(b);

(2)        Persons admitted pursuant to G.S. 15A-1321;

(3)        Respondents who are so extremely dangerous as to pose a serious threat to the community and to other patients committed to non-State hospital psychiatric inpatient units, as determined by the Director of the Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services or his designee; and

(4)        Respondents who are so gravely disabled by both multiple disorders and medical fragility or multiple disorders and deafness that alternative care is inappropriate, as determined by the Director of the Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services or his designee.

Individuals transported to a State facility for the mentally ill who are not admitted by the facility may be transported by law enforcement officers or designated staff of the State facility in State-owned vehicles to an appropriate 24-hour facility that provides psychiatric inpatient care.

No later than 24 hours after the transfer, the responsible professional at the original facility shall notify the petitioner, the clerk of court, and, if consent is granted by the respondent, the next of kin, that the transfer has been completed.

(e)        Respondents received at a 24-hour facility under the provisions of this section shall be examined by a second physician in accordance with G.S. 122C-266. After receipt of notification that the district court has determined reasonable grounds for the commitment, further proceedings shall be carried out in the same way as for all other respondents under this Part. (1973, c. 726, s. 1; c. 1408, s. 1; 1985, c. 589, s. 2; c. 695, s. 2; 1987, c. 596, s. 1; 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 739, s. 7.)

 

§ 122C-263.  Duties of law-enforcement officer; first examination by physician or eligible psychologist.

(a)        Without unnecessary delay after assuming custody, the law enforcement officer or the individual designated by the clerk or magistrate under G.S. 122C-251(g) to provide transportation shall take the respondent to an area facility for examination by a physician or eligible psychologist; if a physician or eligible psychologist is not available in the area facility, the person designated to provide transportation shall take the respondent to any physician or eligible psychologist locally available. If a physician or eligible psychologist is not immediately available, the respondent may be temporarily detained in an area facility, if one is available; if an area facility is not available, the respondent may be detained under appropriate supervision in the respondent's home, in a private hospital or a clinic, in a general hospital, or in a State facility for the mentally ill, but not in a jail or other penal facility.

(b)        The examination set forth in subsection (a) of this section is not required if:

(1)        The affiant who obtained the custody order is a physician or eligible psychologist who recommends inpatient commitment;

(2)        The custody order states that the respondent was charged with a violent crime, including a crime involving assault with a deadly weapon, and he was found incapable of proceeding; or

(3)        Repealed by Session Laws 1987, c. 596, s. 3.

In any of these cases, the law-enforcement officer shall take the respondent directly to a 24-hour facility described in G.S. 122C-252.

(c)        The physician or eligible psychologist described in subsection (a) of this section shall examine the respondent as soon as possible, and in any event within 24 hours, after the respondent is presented for examination. When the examination set forth in subsection (a) of this section is performed by a physician or eligible psychologist the respondent may either be in the physical face-to-face presence of the physician or eligible psychologist or may be examined utilizing telemedicine equipment and procedures. A physician or eligible psychologist who examines a respondent by means of telemedicine must be satisfied to a reasonable medical certainty that the determinations made in accordance with subsection (d) of this section would not be different if the examination had been done in the physical presence of the physician or eligible psychologist. A physician or eligible psychologist who is not so satisfied must note that the examination was not satisfactorily accomplished, and the respondent must be taken for a face-to-face examination in the physical presence of a person authorized to perform examinations under this section. As used in this subsection, "telemedicine" is the use of two-way real-time interactive audio and video between places of lesser and greater medical capability or expertise to provide and support health care when distance separates participants who are in different geographical locations. A recipient is referred by one provider to receive the services of another provider via telemedicine.

The examination shall include but is not limited to an assessment of the respondent's:

(1)        Current and previous mental illness and mental retardation including, if available, previous treatment history;

(2)        Dangerousness to self, as defined in G.S. 122C-3(11)a. or others, as defined in G.S. 122C-3(11)b.;

(3)        Ability to survive safely without inpatient commitment, including the availability of supervision from family, friends or others; and

(4)        Capacity to make an informed decision concerning treatment.

(d)       After the conclusion of the examination the physician or eligible psychologist shall make the following determinations:

(1)        If the physician or eligible psychologist finds that:

a.         The respondent is mentally ill;

b.         The respondent is capable of surviving safely in the community with available supervision from family, friends, or others;

c.         Based on the respondent's psychiatric history, the respondent is in need of treatment in order to prevent further disability or deterioration that would predictably result in dangerousness as defined by G.S. 122C-3(11); and

d.         The respondent's current mental status or the nature of the respondent's illness limits or negates the respondent's ability to make an informed decision to seek voluntarily or comply with recommended treatment.

The physician or eligible psychologist shall so show on the examination report and shall recommend outpatient commitment. In addition the examining physician or eligible psychologist shall show the name, address, and telephone number of the proposed outpatient treatment physician or center. The person designated in the order to provide transportation shall return the respondent to the respondent's regular residence or, with the respondent's consent, to the home of a consenting individual located in the originating county, and the respondent shall be released from custody.

(2)        If the physician or eligible psychologist finds that the respondent is mentally ill and is dangerous to self, as defined in G.S. 122C-3(11)a., or others, as defined in G.S. 122C-3(11)b., the physician or eligible psychologist shall recommend inpatient commitment, and shall so show on the examination report. If, in addition to mental illness and dangerousness, the physician or eligible psychologist also finds that the respondent is known or reasonably believed to be mentally retarded, this finding shall be shown on the report. The law enforcement officer or other designated person shall take the respondent to a 24-hour facility described in G.S. 122C-252 pending a district court hearing. If there is no area 24-hour facility and if the respondent is indigent and unable to pay for care at a private 24-hour facility, the law enforcement officer or other designated person shall take the respondent to a State facility for the mentally ill designated by the Commission in accordance with G.S. 143B-147(a)(1)a. for custody, observation, and treatment and immediately notify the clerk of superior court of this action. If a 24-hour facility is not immediately available or appropriate to the respondent's medical condition, the respondent may be temporarily detained under appropriate supervision at the site of the first examination, provided that at anytime that a physician or eligible psychologist determines that the respondent is no longer in need of inpatient commitment, the proceedings shall be terminated and the respondent transported and released in accordance with subdivision (3) of this subsection. However, if the physician or eligible psychologist determines that the respondent meets the criteria for outpatient commitment, as defined in subdivision (1) of this subsection, the physician or eligible psychologist may recommend outpatient commitment, and the respondent shall be transported and released in accordance with subdivision (1) of this subsection. Any decision to terminate the proceedings or to recommend outpatient commitment after an initial recommendation of inpatient commitment shall be documented and reported to the clerk of superior court in accordance with subsection (e) of this section. If the respondent is temporarily detained and a 24-hour facility is not available or medically appropriate seven days after the issuance of the custody order, a physician or psychologist shall report this fact to the clerk of superior court and the proceedings shall be terminated. Termination of proceedings pursuant to this subdivision shall not prohibit or prevent the initiation of new involuntary commitment proceedings when appropriate. Affidavits filed in support of proceedings terminated pursuant to this subdivision may not be submitted in support of any subsequent petitions for involuntary commitment. If the affiant initiating new commitment proceedings is a physician or eligible psychologist, the affiant shall conduct a new examination and may not rely upon examinations conducted as part of proceedings terminated pursuant to this subdivision.

In the event an individual known or reasonably believed to be mentally retarded is transported to a State facility for the mentally ill, in no event shall that individual be admitted to that facility except as follows:

a.         Persons described in G.S. 122C-266(b);

b.         Persons admitted pursuant to G.S. 15A-1321;

c.         Respondents who are so extremely dangerous as to pose a serious threat to the community and to other patients committed to non-State hospital psychiatric inpatient units, as determined by the Director of the Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services or his designee; and

d.         Respondents who are so gravely disabled by both multiple disorders and medical fragility or multiple disorders and deafness that alternative care is inappropriate, as determined by the Director of the Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services or his designee.

Individuals transported to a State facility for the mentally ill who are not admitted by the facility may be transported by law enforcement officers or designated staff of the State facility in State-owned vehicles to an appropriate 24-hour facility that provides psychiatric inpatient care.

No later than 24 hours after the transfer, the responsible professional at the original facility shall notify the petitioner, the clerk of court, and, if consent is granted by the respondent, the next of kin, that the transfer has been completed.

(3)        If the physician or eligible psychologist finds that neither condition described in subdivisions (1) or (2) of this subsection exists, the proceedings shall be terminated. The person designated in the order to provide transportation shall return the respondent to the respondent's regular residence or, with the respondent's consent, to the home of a consenting individual located in the originating county and the respondent shall be released from custody.

(e)        The findings of the physician or eligible psychologist and the facts on which they are based shall be in writing in all cases. The physician or eligible psychologist shall send a copy of the findings to the clerk of superior court by the most reliable and expeditious means. If it cannot be reasonably anticipated that the clerk will receive the copy within 48 hours of the time that it was signed, the physician or eligible psychologist shall also communicate his findings to the clerk by telephone.

(f)        When outpatient commitment is recommended, the examining physician or eligible psychologist, if different from the proposed outpatient treatment physician or center, shall give the respondent a written notice listing the name, address, and telephone number of the proposed outpatient treatment physician or center and directing the respondent to appear at the address at a specified date and time. The examining physician or eligible psychologist before the appointment shall notify by telephone the designated outpatient treatment physician or center and shall send a copy of the notice and his examination report to the physician or center.

(g)        The physician or eligible psychologist, at the completion of the examination, shall provide the respondent with specific information regarding the next steps that will occur.  (1973, c. 726, s. 1; c. 1408, s. 1; 1977, c. 400, s. 4; c. 679, s. 8; c. 739, s. 1; 1979, c. 358, s. 27; c. 915, s. 4; 1983, c. 380, ss. 4, 10; c. 638, ss. 6, 7, 25.1; c. 864, s. 4; 1985, c. 589, s. 2; c. 695, ss. 2, 5, 6; 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 863, s. 18; 1987, c. 596, s. 3; 1989, c. 225, s. 2; c. 770, s. 74; 1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 823, ss. 3, 4; 1991, c. 37, s. 8; c. 636, s. 2(1); c. 761, s. 49; 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 739, s. 8(a)-(d); 2009-315, s. 2; 2009-340, s. 2.)

 

§ 122C-263.1.  Secretary's authority to waive requirement of first examination by physician or eligible psychologist; training of certified providers performing first examinations.

(a)        The Secretary of Health and Human Services may, upon request of an LME, waive the requirements of G.S. 122C-261 through G.S. 122C-263 and G.S. 122C-281 through G.S. 122C-283 pertaining to initial (first-level) examinations by a physician or eligible psychologist of individuals meeting the criteria of G.S. 122C-261(a) or G.S. 122C-281(a), as applicable, as follows:

(1)        The Secretary has received a request from an LME to substitute for a physician or eligible psychologist, a licensed clinical social worker, a master's level psychiatric nurse, or a master's level certified clinical addictions specialist in accordance with subdivision (8) of this subsection to conduct the initial (first-level) examinations of individuals meeting the criteria of G.S. 122C-261(a) or G.S. 122C-281(a). In making this type of request, the LME shall specifically describe all of the following:

a.         How the purpose of the statutory requirement would be better served by waiving the requirement and substituting the proposed change under the waiver.

b.         How the waiver will enable the LME to improve the delivery or management of mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse services.

c.         How the health, safety, and welfare of individuals will continue to be at least as well protected under the waiver as under the statutory requirement.

(2)        The Secretary shall review the request and may approve it upon finding all of the following:

a.         The request meets the requirements of this section.

b.         The request furthers the purposes of State policy under G.S. 122C-2 and mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse services reform.

c.         The request improves the delivery of mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse services in the counties affected by the waiver and also protects the health, safety, and welfare of individuals receiving these services.

(3)        The Secretary shall evaluate the effectiveness, quality, and efficiency of mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse services and protection of health, safety, and welfare under the waiver.

(4)        A waiver granted by the Secretary under this section shall be in effect for a period of up to three years and may be rescinded at any time within this period if the Secretary finds the LME has failed to meet the requirements of this section.

(5)        In no event shall the substitution of a licensed clinical social worker, master's level psychiatric nurse, or master's level certified clinical addictions specialist under a waiver granted under this section be construed as authorization to expand the scope of practice of the licensed clinical social worker, the master's level psychiatric nurse, or the master's level certified clinical addictions specialist.

(6)        The Department shall require that individuals performing initial examinations under the waiver have successfully completed the Department's standardized training program and examination. The Department shall maintain a list of these individuals on its Web site.

(7)        As part of its waiver request, the LME shall document the availability of a physician to provide backup support.

(8)        A master's level certified clinical addiction specialist shall only be authorized to conduct the initial examination of individuals meeting the criteria of G.S. 122C-281(a).

(b)        The Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services shall expand its standardized certification training program to include refresher training for all certified providers performing initial examinations pursuant to subsection (a) of this section.  (2011-346, s. 1.)

 

§ 122C-263.2.  Mental health crisis management: reasonable safety and containment measures.

An acute care hospital licensed under Chapter 131E, a department thereof, or other site of first examination that that uses reasonable safety or containment measures and precautions to manage the population of patients being held under appropriate supervision pending involuntary commitment placement and that does not otherwise operate as a licensable mental health facility shall not be deemed to be acting as a 24-hour facility; operating a psychiatric, substance abuse, or special care unit; offering psychiatric or substance abuse services; or acting as a licensed or unlicensed mental health facility. Actions considered to be reasonable safety or containment measures and precautions shall include the following: (i) altering rooms or removing items to prevent injury; (ii) placing patients in a consolidated location of the hospital; (iii) improvements to security and protection of staff; and (iv) any other reasonable measures that do not violate applicable law.

Reasonable safety or containment measures and precautions shall not be considered a violation of rules regulating acute care hospitals or mental health facilities. Placing patients in a consolidated location of the hospital pursuant to this subsection shall not constitute a special care unit. Nothing in this subsection relieves an acute care hospital or other site of first examination from complying with all other applicable laws or rules.  (2012-128, s. 1.)

 

§ 122C-264.  Duties of clerk of superior court and the district attorney.

(a)        Upon receipt of a physician's or eligible psychologist's finding that the respondent meets the criteria of G.S. 122C-263(d)(1) and that outpatient commitment is recommended, the clerk of superior court of the county where the petition was initiated, upon direction of a district court judge, shall calendar the matter for hearing and shall notify the respondent, the proposed outpatient treatment physician or center, and the petitioner of the time and place of the hearing. The petitioner may file a written waiver of his right to notice under this subsection with the clerk of court.

(b)        Upon receipt of a physician's or eligible psychologist's finding that a respondent meets the criteria of G.S. 122C-263(d)(2) and that inpatient commitment is recommended, the clerk of superior court of the county where the 24-hour facility is located shall, after determination required by G.S. 122C-261(c) and upon direction of a district court judge, assign counsel if necessary, calendar the matter for hearing, and notify the respondent, his counsel, and the petitioner of the time and place of the hearing. The petitioner may file a written waiver of his right to notice under this subsection with the clerk of court.

(b1)      Upon receipt of a physician's or eligible psychologist's certificate that a respondent meets the criteria of G.S. 122C-261(a) and that immediate hospitalization is needed pursuant to G.S. 122C-262, the clerk of superior court of the county where the treatment facility is located shall submit the certificate to the Chief District Court Judge. The court shall review the certificate within 24 hours, excluding Saturday, Sunday, and holidays, for a finding of reasonable grounds in accordance with 122C-261(b). The clerk shall notify the treatment facility of the court's findings by telephone and shall proceed as set forth in subsections (b), (c), and (f) of this section.

(c)        Notice to the respondent, required by subsections (a) and (b) of this section, shall be given as provided in G.S. 1A-1, Rule 4(j) at least 72 hours before the hearing. Notice to other individuals shall be sent at least 72 hours before the hearing by first-class mail postage prepaid to the individual's last known address. G.S. 1A-1, Rule 6 shall not apply.

(d)       In cases described in G.S. 122C-266(b) in addition to notice required in subsections (a) and (b) of this section, the clerk of superior court shall notify the chief district judge and the district attorney in the county in which the defendant was found incapable of proceeding. The notice shall be given in the same way as the notice required by subsection (c) of this section. The judge or the district attorney may file a written waiver of his right to notice under this subsection with the clerk of court.

(d1)     For hearings and rehearings pursuant to G.S. 122C-268.1 and G.S. 122C-276.1, the clerk of superior court shall calendar the hearing or rehearing and shall notify the respondent, his counsel, counsel for the State, and the district attorney involved in the original trial. The notice shall be given in the same manner as the notice required by subsection (c) of this section.  Upon receipt of the notice, the district attorney shall notify any persons he deems appropriate, including anyone who has filed with his office a written request for notification of any hearing or rehearing concerning discharge or conditional release of a respondent. Notice sent by the district attorney shall be by first-class mail to the person's last known address.

(e)        The clerk of superior court of the county where outpatient commitment is to be supervised shall keep a separate list regarding outpatient commitment and shall prepare quarterly reports listing all active cases, the assigned supervisor, and the disposition of all hearings, supplemental hearings, and rehearings.

(f)        The clerk of superior court of the county where inpatient commitment hearings and rehearings are held shall provide all notices, send all records and maintain a record of all proceedings as required by this Part; provided that if the respondent has been committed to a 24-hour facility in a county other than his county of residence and the district court hearing is held in the county of the facility, the clerk of superior court in the county of the facility shall forward the record of the proceedings to the clerk of superior court in the county of respondent's residence, where they shall be maintained by receiving clerk. (1973, c. 1408, s. 1; 1977, c. 400, s. 5; c. 414, s. 1; 1979, c. 915, s. 5; 1983, c. 380, s. 9; c. 638, ss. 8, 16; c. 864, s. 4; 1985, c. 589, s. 2; c. 695, s. 7; 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 863, s. 19; 1987, c. 596, s. 2; 1991, c. 37, s. 4; 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 739, s. 9.)

 

§ 122C-265.  Outpatient commitment; examination and treatment pending hearing.

(a)        If a respondent, who has been recommended for outpatient commitment by an examining physician or eligible psychologist different from the proposed outpatient treatment physician or center, fails to appear for examination by the proposed outpatient treatment physician or center at the designated time, the physician or center shall notify the clerk of superior court who shall issue an order to a law-enforcement officer or other person authorized under G.S. 122C-251 to take the respondent into custody and take him immediately to the outpatient treatment physician or center for evaluation. The custody order is valid throughout the State. The law-enforcement officer may wait during the examination and return the respondent to his home after the examination.

(b)        The examining physician or the proposed outpatient treatment physician or center may prescribe to the respondent reasonable and appropriate medication and treatment that are consistent with accepted medical standards pending the district court hearing.

(c)        In no event may a respondent released on a recommendation that he meets the outpatient commitment criteria be physically forced to take medication or forceably detained for treatment pending a district court hearing.

(d)       If at any time pending the district court hearing the outpatient treatment physician or center determines that the respondent does not meet the criteria of G.S. 122C-263(d)(1), he shall release the respondent and notify the clerk of court and the proceedings shall be terminated.

(e)        If a respondent becomes dangerous to himself, as defined in G.S. 122C-3(11)a., or others, as defined in G.S. 122C-3(11)b.,  pending a district court hearing on outpatient commitment, new proceedings for involuntary inpatient commitment may be initiated.

(f)        If an inpatient commitment proceeding is initiated pending the hearing for outpatient commitment and the respondent is admitted to a 24-hour facility to be held for an inpatient commitment hearing, notice shall be sent by the clerk of court in the county where the respondent is being held to the clerk of court of the county where the outpatient commitment was initiated and the outpatient commitment proceeding shall be terminated. (1983, c. 638, s. 11; c. 864, s. 4; 1985, c. 589, s. 2; c. 695, s. 6; 1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 823, s. 5; 1991, c. 636, s. 2(2); c. 761, s. 49; 2004-23, s. 2(a).)

 

§ 122C-266.  Inpatient commitment; second examination and treatment pending hearing.

(a)        Except as provided in subsections (b) and (e), within 24 hours of arrival at a 24-hour facility described in G.S. 122C-252, the respondent shall be examined by a physician. This physician shall not be the same physician who completed the certificate or examination under the provisions of G.S. 122C-262 or G.S. 122C-263. The examination shall include but is not limited to the assessment specified in G.S. 122C-263(c).

(1)        If the physician finds that the respondent is mentally ill and is dangerous to self, as defined by G.S. 122C-3(11)a., or others, as defined by G.S. 122C-3(11)b., the physician shall hold the respondent at the facility pending the district court hearing.

(2)        If the physician finds that the respondent meets the criteria for outpatient commitment under G.S. 122C-263(d)(1), the physician shall show these findings on the physician's examination report, release the respondent pending the district court hearing, and notify the clerk of superior court of the county where the petition was initiated of these findings. In addition, the examining physician shall show on the examination report the name, address, and telephone number of the proposed outpatient treatment physician or center. The physician shall give the respondent a written notice listing the name, address, and telephone number of the proposed outpatient treatment physician or center and directing the respondent to appear at that address at a specified date and time. The examining physician before the appointment shall notify by telephone and shall send a copy of the notice and the examination report to the proposed outpatient treatment physician or center.

(3)        If the physician finds that the respondent does not meet the criteria for commitment under either G.S. 122C-263(d)(1) or G.S. 122C-263(d)(2), the physician shall release the respondent and the proceedings shall be terminated.

(4)        If the respondent is released under subdivisions (2) or (3) of this subsection, the law enforcement officer or other person designated to provide transportation shall return the respondent to the respondent's residence in the originating county or, if requested by the respondent, to another location in the originating county.

(b)        If the custody order states that the respondent was charged with a violent crime, including a crime involving assault with a deadly weapon, and that he was found incapable of proceeding, the physician shall examine him as set forth in subsection (a) of this section. However, the physician may not release him from the facility until ordered to do so following the district court hearing.

(c)        The findings of the physician and the facts on which they are based shall be in writing, in all cases. A copy of the findings shall be sent to the clerk of superior court by reliable and expeditious means.

(d)       Pending the district court hearing, the physician attending the respondent may administer to the respondent reasonable and appropriate medication and treatment that is consistent with accepted medical standards. Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, if at any time pending the district court hearing, the attending physician determines that the respondent no longer meets the criteria of either G.S. 122C-263(d)(1) or (d)(2), he shall release the respondent and notify the clerk of court and the proceedings shall be terminated.

(e)        If the 24-hour facility described in G.S. 122C-252 or G.S. 122C-262 is the facility in which the first examination by a physician or eligible psychologist occurred and is the same facility in which the respondent is held, the second examination shall occur not later than the following regular working day. (1973, c. 726, s. 1; c. 1408, s. 1; 1977, c. 400, s. 6; 1979, c. 915, s. 6; 1983, c. 380, s. 5; c. 638, ss. 9, 10; c. 864, s. 4; 1985, c. 589, s. 2; c. 695, s. 2; 1987, c. 596, s. 4; 1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 823, s. 6; 1991, c. 37, s. 9; 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 739, s. 10(a), (b).)

 

§ 122C-267.  Outpatient commitment; district court hearing.

(a)        A hearing shall be held in district court within 10 days of the day the respondent is taken into custody pursuant to G.S. 122C-261(e). Upon its own motion or upon motion of the proposed outpatient treatment physician or the respondent, the court may grant a continuance of not more than five days.

(b)        The respondent shall be present at the hearing. A subpoena may be issued to compel the respondent's presence at a hearing. The petitioner and the proposed outpatient treatment physician or his designee may be present and may provide testimony.

(c)        Certified copies of reports and findings of physicians and psychologists and medical records of previous and current treatment are admissible in evidence.

(d)       At the hearing to determine the necessity and appropriateness of outpatient commitment, the respondent need not, but may, be represented by counsel. However, if the court determines that the legal or factual issues raised are of such complexity that the assistance of counsel is necessary for an adequate presentation of the merits or that the respondent is unable to speak for himself, the court may continue the case for not more than five days and order the appointment of counsel for an indigent respondent. Appointment of counsel shall be in accordance with rules adopted by the Office of Indigent Defense Services.

(e)        Hearings may be held at the area facility in which the respondent is being treated, if it is located within the judge's district court district as defined in G.S. 7A-133, or in the judge's chambers. A hearing may not be held in a regular courtroom, over objection of the respondent, if in the discretion of a judge a more suitable place is available.

(f)        The hearing shall be closed to the public unless the respondent requests otherwise.

(g)        A copy of all documents admitted into evidence and a transcript of the proceedings shall be furnished to the respondent on request by the clerk upon the direction of a district court judge. If the client is indigent, the copies shall be provided at State expense.

(h)        To support an outpatient commitment order, the court is required to find by clear, cogent, and convincing evidence that the respondent meets the criteria specified in G.S. 122C-263(d)(1). The court shall record the facts which support its findings and shall show on the order the center or physician who is responsible for the management and supervision of the respondent's outpatient commitment. (1973, c. 726, s. 1; c. 1408, s. 1; 1975, cc. 322, 459; 1977, c. 400, s. 7; c. 1126, s. 1; 1979, c. 915, ss. 7, 13; 1983, c. 380, s. 6; c. 638, ss. 12, 13; c. 864, s. 4; 1985, c. 589, s. 2; c. 695, s. 8; 1987, c. 282, s. 18; 1987 (Reg. Sess., 1988), c. 1037, s. 113.1; 2000-144, s. 38.)

 

§ 122C-268.  Inpatient commitment; district court hearing.

(a)        A hearing shall be held in district court within 10 days of the day the respondent is taken into law enforcement custody pursuant to G.S. 122C-261(e) or G.S. 122C-262. A continuance of not more than five days may be granted upon motion of:

(1)        The court;

(2)        Respondent's counsel; or

(3)        The State, sufficiently in advance to avoid movement of the respondent.

(b)        The attorney, who is a member of the staff of the Attorney General assigned to one of the State's facilities for the mentally ill or the psychiatric service of the University of North Carolina Hospitals at Chapel Hill, shall represent the State's interest at commitment hearings, rehearings, and supplemental hearings held for respondents admitted pursuant to this Part or G.S. 15A-1321 at the facility to which he is assigned.

In addition, the Attorney General may, in his discretion, designate an attorney who is a member of his staff to represent the State's interest at any commitment hearing, rehearing, or supplemental hearing held in a place other than at one of the State's facilities for the mentally ill or the psychiatric service of the University of North Carolina Hospitals at Chapel Hill.

(c)        If the respondent's custody order indicates that he was charged with a violent crime, including a crime involving an assault with a deadly weapon, and that he was found incapable of proceeding, the clerk shall give notice of the time and place of the hearing as provided in G.S. 122C-264(d). The district attorney in the county in which the respondent was found incapable of proceeding may represent the State's interest at the hearing.

(d)       The respondent shall be represented by counsel of his choice; or if he is indigent within the meaning of G.S. 7A-450 or refuses to retain counsel if financially able to do so, he shall be represented by counsel appointed in accordance with rules adopted by the Office of Indigent Defense Services.

(e)        With the consent of the court, counsel may in writing waive the presence of the respondent.

(f)        Certified copies of reports and findings of physicians and psychologists and previous and current medical records are admissible in evidence, but the respondent's right to confront and cross-examine witnesses may not be denied.

(g)        Hearings may be held in an appropriate room not used for treatment of clients at the facility in which the respondent is being treated if it is located within the judge's district court district as defined in G.S. 7A-133 or in the judge's chambers. A hearing may not be held in a regular courtroom, over objection of the respondent, if in the discretion of a judge a more suitable place is available.

(h)        The hearing shall be closed to the public unless the respondent requests otherwise.

(i)         A copy of all documents admitted into evidence and a transcript of the proceedings shall be furnished to the respondent on request by the clerk upon the direction of a district court judge. If the respondent is indigent, the copies shall be provided at State expense.

(j)         To support an inpatient commitment order, the court shall find by clear, cogent, and convincing evidence that the respondent is mentally ill and dangerous to self, as defined in G.S. 122C-3(11)a., or dangerous to others, as defined in G.S. 122C-3(11)b. The court shall record the facts that support its findings. (1985, c. 589, s. 2; c. 695, s. 8; 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 1014, s. 195(b); 1987 (Reg. Sess., 1988), c. 1037, s. 114; 1989, c. 141, s. 11; 1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 823, s. 7; 1991, c. 37, s. 10; c. 257, s. 2; 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 739, s. 11(a), (b); 2000-144, s. 39.)

 

§ 122C-268.1.  Inpatient commitment; hearing following automatic commitment.

(a)        A respondent who is committed pursuant to G.S. 15A-1321 shall be provided a hearing, unless waived, before the expiration of 50 days from the date of his commitment.

(b)        The district attorney in the county in which the respondent was found not guilty by reason of insanity may represent the State's interest at the hearing, rehearings, and supplemental rehearings. Notwithstanding the provisions of G.S. 122C-269, if the district attorney elects to represent the State's interest, upon motion of the district attorney, the venue for the hearing, rehearings, and supplemental rehearings shall be the county in which the respondent was found not guilty by reason of insanity. If the district attorney declines to represent the State's interest, then the representation shall be determined as follows. An attorney, who is a member of the staff of the Attorney General assigned to one of the State's facilities for the mentally ill or the psychiatric service of the University of North Carolina Hospitals at Chapel Hill, may represent the State's interest at commitment hearings, rehearings, and supplemental hearings. Alternatively, the Attorney General may, in his discretion, designate an attorney who is a member of his staff to represent the State's interest at any commitment hearing, rehearing, or supplemental hearing.

(c)        The clerk shall give notice of the time and place of the hearing as provided in G.S. 122C-264(d1).

(d)       The respondent shall be represented by counsel of his choice, or if he is indigent within the meaning of G.S. 7A-450 or refuses to retain counsel if financially able to do so, he shall be represented by counsel appointed in accordance with rules adopted by the Office of Indigent Defense Services.

(e)        With the consent of the court, counsel may in writing waive the presence of the respondent.

(f)        Certified copies of reports and findings of physicians and psychologists and previous and current medical records are admissible in evidence, but the respondent's right to confront and cross-examine witnesses may not be denied.

(g)        The hearing shall take place in the trial division in which the original trial was held. The hearing shall be open to the public. For purposes of this subsection, "trial division" means either the superior court division or the district court division of the General Court of Justice.

(h)        A copy of all documents admitted into evidence and a transcript of the proceedings shall be furnished to the respondent on request by the clerk upon the direction of the presiding judge. If the respondent is indigent, the copies shall be provided at State expense.

(i)         The respondent shall bear the burden to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that he (i) no longer has a mental illness as defined in G.S. 122C-3(21), or (ii) is no longer dangerous to others as defined in G.S. 122C-3(11)b. If the court is so satisfied, then the court shall order the respondent discharged and released. If the court finds that the respondent has not met his burden of proof, then the court shall order that inpatient commitment continue at a 24-hour facility designated pursuant to G.S. 122C-252 for a period not to exceed 90 days. The court shall make a written record of the facts that support its findings.

(j)         Nothing in this section shall limit the respondent's right to habeas corpus relief. (1991, c. 37, s. 2; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 1034, ss. 2, 3; 1995, c. 140, s. 1; 2000-144, s. 40.)

 

§ 122C-269.  Venue of hearing when respondent held at a 24-hour facility pending hearing.

(a)        In all cases where the respondent is held at a 24-hour facility pending hearing as provided in G.S. 122C-268, G.S. 122C-268.1, 122C-276.1, or 122C-277(b1), unless the respondent through counsel objects to the venue, the hearing shall be held in the county in which the facility is located. Upon objection to venue, the hearing shall be held in the county where the petition was initiated, except as otherwise provided in subsection (c) of this section.

(b)        An official of the facility shall immediately notify the clerk of superior court of the county in which the facility is located of a determination to hold the respondent pending hearing. That clerk shall request transmittal of all documents pertinent to the proceedings from the clerk of superior court where the proceedings were initiated. The requesting clerk shall assume all duties set forth in G.S. 122C-264. The counsel provided for in G.S. 122C-268(d) shall be appointed in accordance with rules adopted by the Office of Indigent Defense Services.

(c)        Upon motion of any interested person, the venue of an initial hearing described in G.S. 122C-268(c) or G.S. 122C-268.1 or a rehearing required by G.S. 122C-276(b), G.S. 122C-276.1, or subsections (b) or (b1) of G.S. 122C-277 shall be moved to the county in which the respondent was found not guilty by reason of insanity or incapable of proceeding when the convenience of witnesses and the ends of justice would be promoted by the change. (1975, 2nd Sess., c. 983, s. 133; 1981, c. 537, s. 6; 1983, c. 380, s. 7; 1985, c. 589, s. 2; 1991, c. 37, ss. 11, 12; 1995, c. 140, s. 2; 2000-144, s. 41; 2001-487, s. 29.)

 

§ 122C-270.  Attorneys to represent the respondent and the State.

(a)        In a superior court district or set of districts as defined in G.S. 7A-41.1 in which a State facility for the mentally ill is located, the Commission on Indigent Defense Services shall appoint an attorney licensed to practice in North Carolina as special counsel for indigent respondents who are mentally ill. These special counsel shall serve at the pleasure of the Commission, may not privately practice law, and shall receive annual compensation within the salary range for assistant public defenders as fixed by the Office of Indigent Defense Services. The special counsel shall represent all indigent respondents at all hearings, rehearings, and supplemental hearings held at the State facility. Special counsel shall determine indigency in accordance with G.S. 7A-450(a). Indigency is subject to redetermination by the presiding judge. If the respondent appeals, counsel for the appeal shall be appointed in accordance with rules adopted by the Office of Indigent Defense Services.

(b)        The State facility shall provide suitable office space for the counsel to meet privately with respondents. The Office of Indigent Defense Services shall provide secretarial and clerical service and necessary equipment and supplies for the office.

(c)        In the event of a vacancy in the office of special counsel, counsel's incapacity, or a conflict of interest, counsel for indigents at hearings or rehearings may be assigned in accordance with rules adopted by the Office of Indigent Defense Services. No mileage or compensation for travel time is paid to a counsel appointed pursuant to this subsection. Counsel may also be so assigned when, in the opinion of the Director of the Office of Indigent Defense Services, the volume of cases warrants.

(d)       At hearings held in counties other than those designated in subsection (a) of this section, counsel for indigent respondents shall be appointed in accordance with rules adopted by the Office of Indigent Defense Services.

(e)        If the respondent is committed to a non-State 24-hour facility, assigned counsel remains responsible for the respondent's representation at the trial level until discharged by order of district court, until the respondent is unconditionally discharged from the facility, or until the respondent voluntarily admits himself or herself to the facility. If the respondent is transferred to a State facility for the mentally ill, assigned counsel is discharged. If the respondent appeals, counsel for the appeal shall be appointed in accordance with rules adopted by the Office of Indigent Defense Services.

(f)        The Attorney General may employ four attorneys, one to be assigned by him full-time to each of the State facilities for the mentally ill, to represent the State's interest at commitment hearings, rehearings and supplemental hearings held under this Article at the State facilities for respondents admitted to those facilities pursuant to Part 3, 4, 7, or 8 of this Article or G.S. 15A-1321 and to provide liaison and consultation services concerning these matters. These attorneys are subject to Chapter 126 of the General Statutes and shall also perform additional duties as may be assigned by the Attorney General. The attorney employed by the Attorney General in accordance with G.S. 114-4.2B shall represent the State's interest at commitment hearings, rehearings and supplemental hearings held for respondents admitted to the University of North Carolina Hospitals at Chapel Hill pursuant to Part 3, 4, 7, or 8 of this Article or G.S. 15A-1321. (1973, c. 47, s. 2; c. 1408, s. 1; 1977, c. 400, s. 11; 1979, c. 915, s. 12; 1983, c. 275, ss. 1, 2; 1985, c. 589, s. 2; 1987 (Reg. Sess., 1988), c. 1037, s. 115; 1989, c. 141, s. 12; 1991, c. 257, s. 1; 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 739, s. 12(a); 2000-144, s. 42; 2006-264, s. 61(a).)

 

§ 122C-271.  Disposition.

(a)        If an examining physician or eligible psychologist has recommended outpatient commitment and the respondent has been released pending the district court hearing, the court may make one of the following dispositions:

(1)        If the court finds by clear, cogent, and convincing evidence that the respondent is mentally ill; that he is capable of surviving safely in the community with available supervision from family, friends, or others; that based on respondent's treatment history, the respondent is in need of treatment in order to prevent further disability or deterioration that would predictably result in dangerousness as defined in G.S. 122C-3(11); and that the respondent's current mental status or the nature of his illness limits or negates his ability to make an informed decision to seek voluntarily or comply with recommended treatment, it may order outpatient commitment for a period not in excess of 90 days.

(2)        If the court does not find that the respondent meets the criteria of commitment set out in subdivision (1) of this subsection, the respondent shall be discharged and the facility at which he was last a client so notified.

(b)        If the respondent has been held in a 24-hour facility pending the district court hearing pursuant to G.S. 122C-268, the court may make one of the following dispositions:

(1)        If the court finds by clear, cogent, and convincing evidence that the respondent is mentally ill; that the respondent is capable of surviving safely in the community with available supervision from family, friends, or others; that based on respondent's psychiatric history, the respondent is in need of treatment in order to prevent further disability or deterioration that would predictably result in dangerousness as defined by G.S. 122C-3(11); and that the respondent's current mental status or the nature of the respondent's illness limits or negates the respondent's ability to make an informed decision voluntarily to seek or comply with recommended treatment, it may order outpatient commitment for a period not in excess of 90 days. If the commitment proceedings were initiated as the result of the respondent's being charged with a violent crime, including a crime involving an assault with a deadly weapon, and the respondent was found incapable of proceeding, the commitment order shall so show.

(2)        If the court finds by clear, cogent, and convincing evidence that the respondent is mentally ill and is dangerous to self, as defined in G.S. 122C-3(11)a., or others, as defined in G.S. 122C-3(11)b., it may order inpatient commitment at a 24-hour facility described in G.S. 122C-252 for a period not in excess of 90 days. However, no respondent found to be both mentally retarded and mentally ill may be committed to a State, area or private facility for the mentally retarded. An individual who is mentally ill and dangerous to self, as defined in G.S. 122C-3(11)a., or others, as defined in G.S. 122C-3(11)b., may also be committed to a combination of inpatient and outpatient commitment at both a 24-hour facility and an outpatient treatment physician or center for a period not in excess of 90 days. If the commitment proceedings were initiated as the result of the respondent's being charged with a violent crime, including a crime involving an assault with a deadly weapon, and the respondent was found incapable of proceeding, the commitment order shall so show. If the court orders inpatient commitment for a respondent who is under an outpatient commitment order, the outpatient commitment is terminated; and the clerk of the superior court of the county where the district court hearing is held shall send a notice of the inpatient commitment to the clerk of superior court where the outpatient commitment was being supervised.

(3)        If the court does not find that the respondent meets either of the commitment criteria set out in subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection, the respondent shall be discharged, and the facility in which the respondent was last a client so notified.

(4)        Before ordering any outpatient commitment, the court shall make findings of fact as to the availability of outpatient treatment. The court shall also show on the order the outpatient treatment physician or center who is to be responsible for the management and supervision of the respondent's outpatient commitment. When an outpatient commitment order is issued for a respondent held in a 24-hour facility, the court may order the respondent held at the facility for no more than 72 hours in order for the facility to notify the designated outpatient treatment physician or center of the treatment needs of the respondent. The clerk of court in the county where the facility is located shall send a copy of the outpatient commitment order to the designated outpatient treatment physician or center. If the outpatient commitment will be supervised in a county other than the county where the commitment originated, the court shall order venue for further court proceedings to be transferred to the county where the outpatient commitment will be supervised. Upon an order changing venue, the clerk of superior court in the county where the commitment originated shall transfer the file to the clerk of superior court in the county where the outpatient commitment is to be supervised.

(c)        If the respondent was found not guilty by reason of insanity and has been held in a 24-hour facility pending the court hearing held pursuant to G.S. 122C-268.1, the court may make one of the following dispositions:

(1)        If the court finds that the respondent has not proved by a preponderance of the evidence that he no longer has a mental illness or that he is no longer dangerous to others, it shall order inpatient treatment at a 24-hour facility for a period not to exceed 90 days.

(2)        If the court finds that the respondent has proven by a preponderance of the evidence that he no longer has a mental illness or that he is no longer dangerous to others, the court shall order the respondent discharged and released. (1973, c. 726, s. 1; c. 1408, s. 1; 1977, c. 400, s. 8; c. 739, s. 2; 1979, c. 358, s. 26; c. 915, ss. 8, 15, 16; 1981, c. 537, s. 1; 1983, c. 380, s. 8; c. 638, s. 14; c. 864, s. 4; 1985, c. 589, s. 2; c. 695, s. 2; 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 863, ss. 20-22; 1989, c. 225, s. 1; c. 770, s. 73; 1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 823, s. 8; 1991, c. 37, s. 13; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 1034, s. 5; 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 739, s. 13.)

 

§ 122C-272.  Appeal.

Judgment of the district court is final. Appeal may be had to the Court of Appeals by the State or by any party on the record as in civil cases. Appeal does not stay the commitment unless so ordered by the Court of Appeals. The Attorney General represents the State's interest on appeal. The district court retains limited jurisdiction for the purpose of hearing all reviews, rehearings, or supplemental hearings allowed or required under this Part.  (1973, c. 726, s. 1; c. 1408, s. 1; 1979, c. 915, s. 19; 1985, c. 589, s. 2; 2009-570, s. 27.)

 

§ 122C-273.  Duties for follow-up on commitment order.

(a)        Unless prohibited by Chapter 90 of the General Statutes, if the commitment order directs outpatient treatment, the outpatient treatment physician may prescribe or administer, or the center may administer, to the respondent reasonable and appropriate medication and treatment that are consistent with accepted medical standards.

(1)        If the respondent fails to comply or clearly refuses to comply with all or part of the prescribed treatment, the physician, the physician's designee, or the center shall make all reasonable effort to solicit the respondent's compliance. These efforts shall be documented and reported to the court with a request for a supplemental hearing.

(2)        If the respondent fails to comply, but does not clearly refuse to comply, with all or part of the prescribed treatment after reasonable effort to solicit the respondent's compliance, the physician, the physician's designee, or the center may request the court to order the respondent taken into custody for the purpose of examination. Upon receipt of this request, the clerk shall issue an order to a law-enforcement officer to take the respondent into custody and to take him immediately to the designated outpatient treatment physician or center for examination. The custody order is valid throughout the State. The law-enforcement officer shall turn the respondent over to the custody of the physician or center who shall conduct the examination and then release the respondent. The law-enforcement officer may wait during the examination and return the respondent to his home after the examination. An examination conducted under this subsection in which a physician or eligible psychologist determines that the respondent meets the criteria for inpatient commitment may be substituted for the first examination required by G.S. 122C-263 if the clerk or magistrate issues a custody order within six hours after the examination was performed.

(3)        In no case may the respondent be physically forced to take medication or forcibly detained for treatment unless he poses an immediate danger to himself or others. In such cases inpatient commitment proceedings shall be initiated.

(4)        At any time that the outpatient treatment physician or center finds that the respondent no longer meets the criteria set out in G.S. 122C-263(d)(1), the physician or center shall so notify the court and the case shall be terminated; provided, however, if the respondent was initially committed as a result of conduct resulting in his being charged with a violent crime, including a crime involving an assault with a deadly weapon, and the respondent was found incapable of proceeding, the designated outpatient treatment physician or center shall notify the clerk that discharge is recommended. The clerk shall calendar a supplemental hearing as provided in G.S. 122C-274 to determine whether the respondent meets the criteria for outpatient commitment.

(5)        Any individual who has knowledge that a respondent on outpatient commitment has become dangerous to himself, as defined by G.S. 122C-3(11)a., and others, as defined in G.S. 122C-3(11)b., may initiate a new petition for inpatient commitment as provided in this Part. If the respondent is committed as an inpatient, the outpatient commitment shall be terminated and notice sent by the clerk of court in the county where the respondent is committed as an inpatient to the clerk of court of the county where the outpatient commitment is being supervised.

(b)        If the respondent on outpatient commitment intends to move or moves to another county within the State, the designated outpatient treatment physician or center shall request that the clerk of court in the county where the outpatient commitment is being supervised calendar a supplemental hearing.

(c)        If the respondent moves to another state or to an unknown location, the designated outpatient treatment physician or center shall notify the clerk of superior court of the county where the outpatient commitment is supervised and the outpatient commitment shall be terminated.

(d)       If the commitment order directs inpatient treatment, the physician attending the respondent may administer to the respondent reasonable and appropriate medication and treatment that are consistent with accepted medical standards. The attending physician shall release or discharge the respondent in accordance with G.S. 122C-277. (1983, c. 638, s. 16; c. 864, s. 4; 1985, c. 589, s. 2; 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 863, ss. 23-26; 1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 823, s. 9; 1991, c. 37, s. 14; 2004-23, s. 2(b).)

 

§ 122C-274.  Supplemental hearings.

(a)        Upon receipt of a request for a supplemental hearing, the clerk shall calendar a hearing to be held within 14 days and notify, at least 72 hours before the hearing, the petitioner, the respondent, his attorney, if any, and the designated outpatient treatment physician or center. The respondent shall be notified at least 72 hours before the hearing by personally serving on him an order to appear. Other persons shall be notified as provided in G.S. 122C-264(c).

(b)        The procedures for the hearing shall follow G.S. 122C-267.

(c)        In supplemental hearings for alleged noncompliance, the court shall determine whether the respondent has failed to comply and, if so, the causes for noncompliance. If the court determines that the respondent has failed or refused to comply it may:

(1)        Upon finding probable cause to believe that the respondent is mentally ill and dangerous to himself, as defined in G.S. 122C-3(11)a., or others, as defined in G.S. 122C-3(11)b., order an examination by the same or different physician or eligible psychologist as provided in G.S. 122C-263(c) in order to determine the necessity for continued outpatient or inpatient commitment;

(2)        Reissue or change the outpatient commitment order in accordance with G.S. 122C-271; or

(3)        Discharge the respondent from the order and dismiss the case.

(d)       At the supplemental hearing for a respondent who has moved or intends to move to another county, the court shall determine if the respondent meets the criteria for outpatient commitment set out in G.S. 122C-263(d)(1). If the court determines that the respondent no longer meets the criteria for outpatient commitment, it shall discharge the respondent from the order and dismiss the case. If the court determines that the respondent continues to meet the criteria for outpatient commitment, it shall continue the outpatient commitment but shall designate a physician or center at the respondent's new residence to be responsible for the management or supervision of the respondent's outpatient commitment. The court shall order the respondent to appear for treatment at the address of the newly designated outpatient treatment physician or center and shall order venue for further court proceedings under the outpatient commitment to be transferred to the new county of supervision. Upon an order changing venue, the clerk of court in the county where the outpatient commitment has been supervised shall transfer the records regarding the outpatient commitment to the clerk of court in the county where the commitment will be supervised. Also, the clerk of court in the county where the outpatient commitment has been supervised shall send a copy of the court's order directing the continuation of outpatient treatment under new supervision to the newly designated outpatient treatment physician or center.

(e)        At any time during the term of an outpatient commitment order, a respondent may apply to the court for a supplemental hearing for the purpose of discharge from the order. The application shall be made in writing by the respondent to the clerk of superior court of the county where the outpatient commitment is being supervised. At the supplemental hearing the court shall determine whether the respondent continues to meet the criteria specified in G.S. 122C-263(d)(1). The court may either reissue or change the commitment order or discharge the respondent and dismiss the case.

(f)        At supplemental hearings requested pursuant to G.S. 122C-277(a) for transfer from inpatient to outpatient commitment, the court shall determine whether the respondent meets the criteria for either inpatient or outpatient commitment. If the court determines that the respondent continues to meet the criteria for inpatient commitment, it shall order the continuation of the original commitment order. If the court determines that the respondent meets the criteria for outpatient commitment, it shall order outpatient commitment for a period of time not in excess of 90 days. If the court finds that the respondent does not meet either criteria, the respondent shall be discharged and the case dismissed. (1983, c. 638, s. 17; c. 864, s. 4; 1985, c. 589, s. 2; c. 695, s. 2; 1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 823, s. 10.)

 

§ 122C-275.  Outpatient commitment; rehearings.

(a)        Fifteen days before the end of the initial or subsequent periods of outpatient commitment if the outpatient treatment physician or center determines that the respondent continues to meet the criteria specified in G.S. 122C-263(d)(1), he shall so notify the clerk of superior court of the county where the outpatient commitment is supervised. If the respondent no longer meets the criteria, the physician shall so notify the clerk who shall dismiss the case; provided, however, if the respondent was initially committed as a result of conduct resulting in his being charged with a violent crime, including a crime involving an assault with a deadly weapon, and the respondent was found incapable of proceeding, the physician or center shall notify the clerk that discharge is recommended. The clerk, at least 10 days before the end of the commitment period, on order of the district court, shall calendar the rehearing.

(b)        Notice and procedures of rehearings are governed by the same procedures as initial hearings, and the respondent has the same rights he had at the initial hearing including the right to appeal.

(c)        If the court finds that the respondent no longer meets the criteria of G.S. 122C-263(d)(1), it shall unconditionally discharge him. A copy of the discharge order shall be furnished by the clerk to the designated outpatient treatment physician or center. If the respondent continues to meet the criteria of G.S. 122C-263(d)(1), the court may order outpatient commitment for an additional period not in excess of 180 days. (1983, c. 638, s. 20; c. 864, s. 4; 1985, c. 589, s. 2; 1991, c. 37, s. 15.)

 

§ 122C-276.  Inpatient commitment; rehearings for respondents other than insanity acquittees.

(a)        Fifteen days before the end of the initial inpatient commitment period if the attending physician determines that commitment of a respondent beyond the initial period will be necessary, he shall so notify the clerk of superior court of the county in which the facility is located. The clerk, at least 10 days before the end of the initial period, on order of a district court judge of the district court district as defined in G.S. 7A-133 in which the facility is located, shall calendar the rehearing. If the respondent was initially committed as the result of conduct resulting in his being charged with a violent crime, including a crime involving an assault with a deadly weapon, and respondent was found incapable of proceeding, the clerk shall also notify the chief district court judge, the clerk of superior court, and the district attorney in the county in which the respondent was found incapable of proceeding of the time and place of the hearing.

(b)        Fifteen days before the end of the initial treatment period of a respondent who was initially committed as a result of conduct resulting in his being charged with a violent crime, including a crime involving an assault with a deadly weapon, having been found incapable of proceeding, if the attending physician determines that commitment of the respondent beyond the initial period will not be necessary, he shall so notify the clerk of superior court who shall schedule a rehearing as provided in subsection (a) of this section.

     (c) Subject to the provisions of G.S. 122C-269(c), rehearings shall be held at the facility in which the respondent is receiving treatment. The judge is a judge of the district court of the district court district as defined in G.S. 7A-133 in which the facility is located or a district court judge temporarily assigned to that district.

(d)       Notice and proceedings of rehearings are governed by the same procedures as initial hearings and the respondent has the same rights he had at the initial hearing including the right to appeal.

(e)        At rehearings the court may make the same dispositions authorized in G.S. 122C-271(b) except a second commitment order may be for an additional period not in excess of 180 days.

(f)        Fifteen days before the end of the second commitment period and annually thereafter, the attending physician shall review and evaluate the condition of each respondent; and if he determines that a respondent is in continued need of inpatient commitment or, in the alternative, in need of outpatient commitment, or a combination of both, he shall so notify the respondent, his counsel, and the clerk of superior court of the county, in which the facility is located. Unless the respondent through his counsel files with the clerk a written waiver of his right to a rehearing, the clerk, on order of a district court judge of the district in which the facility is located, shall calendar a rehearing for not later than the end of the current commitment period. The procedures and standards for the rehearing are the same as for the first rehearing. No third or subsequent inpatient recommitment order shall be for a period longer than one year.

(g)        At any rehearings the court has the option to order outpatient commitment for a period not in excess of 180 days in accordance with the criteria specified in G.S. 122C-263(d)(1) and following the procedures as specified in this Article. (1973, c. 726, s. 1; c. 1408, s. 1; 1977, c. 400, s. 9; 1979, c. 915, ss. 9, 17; 1981, c. 537, ss. 2-4; 1983, c. 638, ss. 18, 19; c. 864, s. 4; 1985, c. 589, s. 2; 1987 (Reg. Sess., 1988), c. 1037, s. 116; 1991, c. 37, s. 5.)

 

§ 122C-276.1.  Inpatient commitment; rehearings for respondents who are insanity acquittees.

(a)        At least 15 days before the end of any inpatient commitment period ordered pursuant to G.S. 122C-268.1, the clerk shall calendar the hearing and notify the parties as specified in G.S. 122C-264(d1), unless the hearing is waived by the respondent.

(b)        The proceedings of the rehearing shall be governed by the same procedures provided by G.S. 122C-268.1.

(c)        The respondent shall bear the burden to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that he (i) no longer has a mental illness as defined in G.S. 122C-3(21), or (ii) is no longer dangerous to others as defined in G.S. 122C-3(11)b. If the court is so satisfied, then the court shall order the respondent discharged and released. If the court finds that the respondent has not met his burden of proof, then the court shall order inpatient commitment be continued for a period not to exceed 180 days. The court shall make a written record of the facts that support its findings.

(d)       At least 15 days before the end of any commitment period ordered pursuant to subsection (c) of this section and annually thereafter, the clerk shall calendar the hearing and notify the parties as specified in G.S. 122C-264(d1). The procedures and standards for the rehearing are the same as under this section. No third or subsequent inpatient recommitment order shall be for a period longer than one year. (1991, c. 37, s. 3; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 1034, s. 4.)

 

§ 122C-277.  Release and conditional release; judicial review.

(a)        Except as provided in subsections (b) and (b1) of this section, the attending physician shall discharge a committed respondent unconditionally at any time he determines that the respondent is no longer in need of inpatient commitment. However, if the attending physician determines that the respondent meets the criteria for outpatient commitment as defined in G.S. 122C-263(d)(1), he may request the clerk to calendar a supplemental hearing to determine whether an outpatient commitment order shall be issued. Except as provided in subsections (b) and (b1) of this section, the attending physician may also release a respondent conditionally for periods not in excess of 30 days on specified medically appropriate conditions. Violation of the conditions is grounds for return of the respondent to the releasing facility. A law-enforcement officer, on request of the attending physician, shall take a conditional releasee into custody and return him to the facility in accordance with G.S. 122C-205. Notice of discharge and of conditional release shall be furnished to the clerk of superior court of the county of commitment and of the county in which the facility is located.

(b)        If the respondent was initially committed as the result of conduct resulting in his being charged with a violent crime, including a crime involving an assault with a deadly weapon, and respondent was found incapable of proceeding, 15 days before the respondent's discharge or conditional release the attending physician shall notify the clerk of superior court of the county in which the facility is located of his determination regarding the proposed discharge or conditional release. The clerk shall then schedule a rehearing to determine the appropriateness of respondent's release under the standards of commitment set forth in G.S. 122C-271(b). The clerk shall give notice as provided in G.S. 122C-264(d). The district attorney of the district where respondent was found incapable of proceeding may represent the State's interest at the hearing.

(b1)      If the respondent was initially committed pursuant to G.S. 15A-1321, 15 days before the respondent's discharge or conditional release the attending physician shall notify the clerk of superior court. The clerk shall calendar a hearing and shall give notice as provided by G.S. 122C-264(d1). The district attorney for the original trial may represent the State's interest at the hearing. The hearing shall be conducted under the standards and procedures set forth in G.S. 122C-268.1. Provided, that in no event shall discharge or conditional release under this section be allowed for a respondent during the period from automatic commitment to hearing under G.S. 122C-268.1.

(c)        If a committed respondent under subsections (a), (b), or (b1) of this section is from a single portal area, the attending physician shall plan jointly with the area authority as prescribed in the area plan before discharging or releasing the respondent. (1973, c. 726, s. 1; c. 1408, s. 1; 1981, c. 537, s. 5; 1983, c. 383, s. 6; c. 638, s. 21; c. 864, s. 4; 1985, c. 589, s. 2; 1991, c. 37, s. 6.)

 

§ 122C-278.  Reexamination for capacity to proceed prior to discharge.

Whenever a respondent has been committed to either inpatient or outpatient treatment pursuant to this Chapter after having been found incapable of proceeding and referred by the court for civil commitment proceedings, the respondent shall not be discharged from the custody of the hospital or institution or the outpatient commitment case terminated until the respondent has been examined for capacity to proceed and a report filed with the clerk of court pursuant to G.S. 15A-1002.  (2013-18, s. 8.)

 

§ 122C-279: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

§ 122C-280: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

Part 8. Involuntary Commitment of Substance Abusers, Facilities for Substance Abusers.

§ 122C-281.  Affidavit and petition before clerk or magistrate; custody order.

(a)        Any individual who has knowledge of a substance abuser who is dangerous to himself or others may appear before a clerk or assistant or deputy clerk of superior court or a magistrate, execute an affidavit to this effect, and petition the clerk or magistrate for issuance of an order to take the respondent into custody for examination by a physician or eligible psychologist. The affidavit shall include the facts on which the affiant's opinion is based. Jurisdiction under this subsection is in the clerk or magistrate in the county where the respondent resides or is found.

(b)        If the clerk or magistrate finds reasonable grounds to believe that the facts alleged in the affidavit are true and that the respondent is probably a substance abuser and dangerous to himself or others, he shall issue an order to a law-enforcement officer or any other person authorized by G.S. 122C-251 to take the respondent into custody for examination by a physician or eligible psychologist.

(c)        If the clerk or magistrate issues a custody order, he shall also make inquiry in any reliable way as to whether the respondent is indigent within the meaning of G.S. 7A-450. A magistrate shall report the result of this inquiry to the clerk.

(d)       If the affiant is a physician or eligible psychologist, he may execute the affidavit before any official authorized to administer oaths. He is not required to appear before the clerk or magistrate for this purpose. His examination shall comply with the requirements of the initial examination as provided in G.S. 122C-283(c). If the physician or eligible psychologist recommends commitment and the clerk or magistrate finds probable cause to believe that the respondent meets the criteria for commitment, he shall issue an order for transportation to or custody at a 24-hour facility or release the respondent, pending hearing, as described in G.S. 122C-283(d)(1). If a physician or eligible psychologist executes an affidavit for commitment of a respondent, a second qualified professional shall perform the examination required by G.S. 122C-285.

(e)        Upon receipt of the custody order of the clerk or magistrate, a law-enforcement officer or other person designated in the order shall take the respondent into custody within 24 hours after the order is signed. The custody order is valid throughout the State.

(f)        When a petition is filed for an individual who is a resident of a single portal area, the procedures for examination by a physician or eligible psychologist as set forth in G.S. 122C-283(c) shall be carried out in accordance with the area plan. When an individual from a single portal area is presented for commitment at a facility directly, he may be accepted for admission in accordance with G.S. 122C-285. The facility shall notify the area authority within 24 hours of admission and further planning of treatment for the individual is the joint responsibility of the area authority and the facility as prescribed in the area plan. (1973, c. 726, s. 1; c. 1408, s. 1; 1977, c. 400, s. 3; 1979, c. 164, s. 2; c. 915, ss. 3, 18; 1983, c. 383, s. 5; c. 638, ss. 3-5; c. 864, s. 4; 1985, c. 589, s. 2; c. 695, ss. 2, 4; 2004-23, s. 1(b).)

 

§ 122C-282.  Special emergency procedure for violent individuals.

When an individual subject to commitment under the provisions of this Part is also violent and requires restraint and when delay in taking him to a physician or eligible psychologist for examination would likely endanger life or property, a law-enforcement officer may take the person into custody and take him immediately before a magistrate or clerk. The law-enforcement officer shall execute the affidavit required by G.S. 122C-281 and in addition shall swear that the respondent is violent and requires restraint and that delay in taking the respondent to a physician or eligible psychologist for an examination would endanger life or property.

If the clerk or magistrate finds by clear, cogent, and convincing evidence that the facts stated in the affidavit are true, that the respondent is in fact violent and requires restraint, and that delay in taking the respondent to a physician or eligible psychologist for an examination would endanger life or property, he shall order the law-enforcement officer to take the respondent directly to a 24-hour facility described in G.S. 122C-252.

Respondents received at a 24-hour facility under the provisions of this section shall be examined and processed thereafter in the same way as all other respondents under this Part. (1973, c. 726, s. 1; c. 1408, s. 1; 1985, c. 589, s. 2; c. 695, s. 2.)

 

§ 122C-283.  Duties of law-enforcement officer; first examination by physician or eligible psychologist.

(a)        Without unnecessary delay after assuming custody, the law-enforcement officer or the individual designated by the clerk or magistrate under G.S. 122C-251(g) to provide transportation shall take the respondent to an area facility for examination by a physician or eligible psychologist; if a physician or eligible psychologist is not available in the area facility, he shall take the respondent to any physician or eligible psychologist locally available. If a physician or eligible psychologist is not immediately available, the respondent may be temporarily detained in an area facility if one is available; if an area facility is not available, he may be detained under appropriate supervision, in his home, in a private hospital or a clinic, or in a general hospital, but not in a jail or other penal facility.

(b)        The examination set forth in subsection (a) of this section is not required if:

(1)        The affiant who obtained the custody order is a physician or eligible psychologist; or

(2)        The respondent is in custody under the special emergency procedure described in G.S. 122C-282.

In these cases when it is recommended that the respondent be detained in a 24-hour facility, the law-enforcement officer shall take the respondent directly to a 24-hour facility described in G.S. 122C-252.

(c)        The physician or eligible psychologist described in subsection (a) of this section shall examine the respondent as soon as possible, and in any event within 24 hours, after the respondent is presented for examination. The examination shall include but is not limited to an assessment of the respondent's:

(1)        Current and previous substance abuse including, if available, previous treatment history; and

(2)        Dangerousness to himself or others as defined in G.S. 122C-3(11).

(d)       After the conclusion of the examination the physician or eligible psychologist shall make the following determinations:

(1)        If the physician or eligible psychologist finds that the respondent is a substance abuser and is dangerous to himself or others, he shall recommend commitment and whether the respondent should be released or be held at a 24-hour facility pending hearing and shall so show on [the] his examination report. Based on the physician's or eligible psychologist's recommendation the law-enforcement officer or other designated individual shall take the respondent to a 24-hour facility described in G.S. 122C-252 or release the respondent.

(2)        If the physician or eligible psychologist finds that the condition described in subdivision (1) of this subsection does not exist, the respondent shall be released and the proceedings terminated.

(e)        The findings of the physician or eligible psychologist and the facts on which they are based shall be in writing in all cases. A copy of the findings shall be sent to the clerk of superior court by the most reliable and expeditious means. If it cannot be reasonably anticipated that the clerk will receive the copy within 48 hours of the time that it was signed, the physician or eligible psychologist shall also communicate his findings to the clerk by telephone. (1973, c. 726, s. 1; c. 1408, s. 1; 1977, c. 400, s. 4; c. 679, s. 8; c. 739, s. 1; 1979, c. 358, s. 27; c. 915, s. 4; 1983, c. 380, ss. 4, 10; c. 638, ss. 6, 7, 25.1; c. 864, s. 4; 1985, c. 589, s. 2; c. 695, ss. 2, 9.)

 

§ 122C-284.  Duties of clerk of superior court.

(a)        Upon receipt of a physician's or eligible psychologist's finding that a respondent is a substance abuser and dangerous to himself or others and that commitment is recommended, the clerk of superior court of the county where the facility is located, if the respondent is held in a 24-hour facility, or the clerk of superior court where the petition was initiated shall upon direction of a district court judge assign counsel, calendar the matter for hearing, and notify the respondent, his counsel, and the petitioner of the time and place of the hearing. The petitioner may file a written waiver of his right to notice under this subsection with the clerk of court.

(b)        Notice to the respondent required by subsection (a) of this section shall be given as provided in G.S. 1A-1, Rule 4(j) at least 72 hours before the hearing. Notice to other individuals shall be given by mailing at least 72 hours before the hearing a copy by first-class mail postage prepaid to the individual at his last known address. G.S. 1A-1, Rule 6 shall not apply.

(c)        Upon receipt of notice that transportation is necessary to take a committed respondent to a 24-hour facility pursuant to G.S. 122C-290(b), the clerk shall issue a custody order for the respondent.

(d)       The clerk of superior court shall upon the direction of a district court judge calendar all hearings, supplemental hearings, and rehearings and provide all notices required by this Part. (1973, c. 1408, s. 1; 1977, c. 400, s. 5; c. 414, s. 1; 1979, c. 915, s. 5; 1983, c. 380, s. 9; c. 638, s. 8; c. 864, s. 4; 1985, c. 589, s. 2; c. 695, s. 10; 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 863, s. 27.)

 

§ 122C-285.  Commitment; second examination and treatment pending hearing.

(a)        Within 24 hours of arrival at a 24-hour facility described in G.S. 122C-252, the respondent shall be examined by a qualified professional. This professional shall be a physician if the initial commitment evaluation was conducted by an eligible psychologist. The examination shall include the assessment specified in G.S. 122C-283(c). If the qualified professional finds that the respondent is a substance abuser and is dangerous to himself or others, he shall hold and treat the respondent at the facility or designate other treatment pending the district court hearing. If the qualified professional finds that the respondent does not meet the criteria for commitment under G.S. 122C-283(d)(1), he shall release the respondent and the proceeding shall be terminated. In this case the reasons for the release shall be reported in writing to the clerk of superior court of the county in which the custody order originated. If the respondent is released, the law-enforcement officer or other person designated to provide transportation shall return the respondent to the originating county.

(b)        If the 24-hour facility described in G.S. 122C-252 is the facility in which the first examination by a physician or eligible psychologist occurred and is the same facility in which the respondent is held, the second examination must occur not later than the following regular working day. (1973, c. 726, s. 1; c. 1408, s. 1; 1977, c. 400, s. 6; 1979, c. 915, s. 6; 1983, c. 380, s. 5; c. 638, ss. 9, 10; c. 864, s. 4; 1985, c. 589, s. 2; c. 695, s. 11; 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 863, s. 28.)

 

§ 122C-286.  Commitment; district court hearing.

(a)        A hearing shall be held in district court within 10 days of the day the respondent is taken into custody. Upon its own motion or upon motion of the responsible professional, the respondent, or the State, the court may grant a continuance of not more than five days.

(b)        The respondent shall be present at the hearing. A subpoena may be issued to compel the respondent's presence at a hearing. The petitioner and the responsible professional of the area authority or the proposed treating physician or his designee may be present and may provide testimony.

(c)        Certified copies of reports and findings of physicians and psychologists and medical records of previous and current treatment are admissible in evidence, but the respondent's right to confront and cross-examine witnesses shall not be denied.

(d)       The respondent may be represented by counsel of his choice. If the respondent is indigent within the meaning of G.S. 7A-450, counsel shall be appointed to represent the respondent in accordance with rules adopted by the Office of Indigent Defense Services.

(e)        Hearings may be held at a facility if it is located within the judge's district court district as defined in G.S. 7A-133 or in the judge's chambers. A hearing may not be held in a regular courtroom, over objection of the respondent, if in the discretion of a judge a more suitable place is available.

(f)        The hearing shall be closed to the public unless the respondent requests otherwise.

(g)        A copy of all documents admitted into evidence and a transcript of the proceedings shall be furnished to the respondent on request by the clerk upon the direction of a district court judge. If the respondent is indigent, the copies shall be provided at State expense.

(h)        To support a commitment order, the court shall find by clear, cogent, and convincing evidence that the respondent meets the criteria specified in G.S. 122C-283(d)(1). The court shall record the facts that support its findings and shall show on the order the area authority or physician who is responsible for the management and supervision of the respondent's treatment. (1985, c. 589, s. 2; c. 695, s. 8; 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 863, ss. 29, 30; 1987 (Reg. Sess., 1988), c. 1037, s. 117; 2000-144, s. 43.)

 

§ 122C-286.1.  Venue of district court hearing when respondent held at a 24-hour facility pending hearing.

(a)        In all cases where the respondent is held at a 24-hour facility pending the district court hearing as provided in G.S. 122C-286, unless the respondent through counsel objects to the venue, the hearing shall be held in the county in which the facility is located. Upon objection to venue, the hearing shall be held in the county where the petition was initiated.

(b)        An official of the facility shall immediately notify the clerk of superior court of the county in which the facility is located of a determination to hold the respondent pending hearing. That clerk shall request transmittal of all documents pertinent to the proceedings from the clerk of superior court where the proceedings were initiated. The requesting clerk shall assume all duties set forth in G.S. 122C-284. The counsel provided for in G.S. 122C-286(d) shall be appointed in accordance with rules adopted by the Office of Indigent Defense Services. (1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 863, s. 31; 2000-144, s. 44.)

 

§ 122C-287.  Disposition.

The court may make one of the following dispositions:

(1)        If the court finds by clear, cogent, and convincing evidence that the respondent is a substance abuser and is dangerous to himself or others, it shall order for a period not in excess of 180 days commitment to and treatment by an area authority or physician who is responsible for the management and supervision of the respondent's commitment and treatment.

(2)        If the court finds that the respondent does not meet the commitment criteria set out in subdivision (1) of this subsection, the respondent shall be discharged and the facility in which he was last treated so notified. (1973, c. 726, s. 1; c. 1408, s. 1; 1977, c. 400, s. 8; c. 739, s. 2; 1979, c. 358, s. 26; c. 915, ss. 8, 15, 16; 1981, c. 537, s. 1; 1983, c. 380, s. 8; c. 638, s. 14; c. 864, s. 4; 1985, c. 589, s. 2.)

 

§ 122C-288.  Appeal.

Judgment of the district court is final. Appeal may be had to the Court of Appeals by the State or by any party on the record as in civil cases. Appeal does not stay the commitment unless so ordered by the Court of Appeals. The Attorney General shall represent the State's interest on appeal. The district court retains limited jurisdiction for the purpose of hearing all reviews, rehearings, or supplemental hearings allowed or required under this Part. (1973, c. 726, s. 1; c. 1408, s. 1; 1979, c. 915, s. 19; 1985, c. 589, s. 2.)

 

§ 122C-289.  Duty of assigned counsel; discharge.

If the respondent is committed, assigned counsel remains responsible for the respondent's representation at the trial level until discharged by order of district court or until the respondent is otherwise unconditionally discharged. If the respondent appeals, counsel for the appeal shall be appointed in accordance with rules adopted by the Office of Indigent Defense Services. (1973, c. 1408, s. 1; 1985, c. 589, s. 2; 2006-264, s. 61(b).)

 

§ 122C-290.  Duties for follow-up on commitment order.

(a)        The area authority or physician responsible for management and supervision of the respondent's commitment and treatment may prescribe or administer to the respondent reasonable and appropriate treatment either on an outpatient basis or in a 24-hour facility.

(b)        If the respondent whose treatment is provided on an outpatient basis fails to comply with all or part of the prescribed treatment after reasonable effort to solicit the respondent's compliance or whose treatment is provided on an inpatient basis is discharged in accordance with G.S. 122C-205.1(b), the area authority or physician may request the clerk or magistrate to order the respondent taken into custody for the purpose of examination. Upon receipt of this request, the clerk or magistrate shall issue an order to a law enforcement officer to take the respondent into custody and to take him immediately to the designated area authority or physician for examination. The custody order is valid throughout the State. The law enforcement officer shall turn the respondent over to the custody of the physician or area authority who shall conduct the examination and release the respondent or have the respondent taken to a 24-hour facility upon a determination that treatment in the facility will benefit the respondent. Transportation to the 24-hour facility shall be provided as specified in G.S. 122C-251, upon notice to the clerk or magistrate that transportation is necessary, or as provided in G.S. 122C-408(b). If placement in a 24-hour facility is to exceed 45 consecutive days, the area authority or physician shall notify the clerk of court by the 30th day and request a supplemental hearing as specified in G.S. 122C-291.

(c)        If the respondent intends to move or moves to another county within the State, the area authority or physician shall notify the clerk of court in the county where the commitment is being supervised and request that a supplemental hearing be calendared.

(d)       If the respondent moves to another state or to an unknown location, the designated area authority or physician shall notify the clerk of superior court of the county where the commitment is supervised and the commitment shall be terminated. (1983, c. 638, s. 16; c. 864, s. 4; 1985, c. 589, s. 2; 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 863, s. 32; 1987, c. 674, s. 2; c. 750; 2004-23, s. 2(c).)

 

§ 122C-291.  Supplemental hearings.

(a)        Upon receipt of a request for a supplemental hearing, the clerk shall calendar a hearing to be held within 14 days and notify, at least 72 hours before the hearing, the petitioner, the respondent, his attorney, if any, and the designated area authority or physician. Notice shall be provided in accordance with G.S. 122C-284(b). The procedures for the hearing shall follow G.S. 122C-286.

(b)        At the supplemental hearing for a respondent who has moved or may move to another county, the court shall determine if the respondent meets the criteria for commitment set out in G.S. 122C-283(d)(1). If the court determines that the respondent no longer meets the criteria for commitment, it shall discharge the respondent from the order and dismiss the case. If the court determines that the respondent continues to meet the criteria for commitment, it shall continue the commitment but shall designate an area authority or physician at the respondent's new residence to be responsible for the management or supervision of the respondent's commitment. The court shall order the respondent to appear for treatment at the address of the newly designated area authority or physician and shall order venue for further court proceedings under the commitment to be transferred to the new county of supervision. Upon an order changing venue, the clerk of court in the county where the commitment has been supervised shall transfer the records regarding the commitment to the clerk of court in the county where the commitment will be supervised. Also, the clerk of court in the county where the commitment has been supervised shall send a copy of the court's order directing the continuation of treatment under new supervision to the newly designated area authority or physician.

(c)        At a supplemental hearing for a respondent to be held longer than 45 consecutive days in a 24-hour facility, the court shall determine if the respondent meets the criteria for commitment set out in G.S. 122C-283(d)(1). If the court determines that the respondent continues to meet the criteria and that further treatment in the 24-hour facility is necessary, the court may authorize continued care in the facility for not more than 90 days, after which a rehearing for the purpose of determining the need for continued care in the 24-hour facility shall be held, or the court may order the respondent released from the 24-hour facility and continued on the commitment on an outpatient basis. If the court determines that the respondent no longer meets the criteria for commitment the respondent shall be released and his case dismissed.

(d)       At any time during the term of commitment order, a respondent may apply to the court for a supplemental hearing for the purpose of discharge from the order. The application shall be made in writing to the clerk of superior court. At the supplemental hearing the court shall determine whether the respondent continues to meet the criteria for commitment. The court may reissue or change the commitment order or discharge the respondent and dismiss the case. (1985, c. 589, s. 2.)

 

§ 122C-292.  Rehearings.

(a)        Fifteen days before the end of the initial or subsequent periods of commitment if the area authority or physician determines that the respondent continues to meet the criteria specified in G.S. 122C-283(d)(1), the clerk of superior court of the county where commitment is supervised shall be notified. The clerk, at least 10 days before the end of the commitment period, on order of the district court, shall calendar the rehearing. If the respondent no longer meets the criteria, the area authority or physician shall so notify the clerk who shall dismiss the case.

(b)        Rehearings are governed by the same notice and procedures as initial hearings, and the respondent has the same rights he had at the initial hearing including the right to appeal.

(c)        If the court finds that the respondent no longer meets the criteria of G.S. 122C-283(d)(1), it shall unconditionally discharge him. A copy of the discharge order shall be furnished by the clerk to the designated area authority or physician. If the respondent continues to meet the criteria of G.S. 122C-283(d)(1), the court may order commitment for additional periods not in excess of 365 days each. (1973, c. 726, s. 1; c. 1408, s. 1; 1977, c. 400, s. 9; 1979, c. 915, ss. 9, 17; 1981, c. 537, ss. 2-4; 1983, c. 638, ss. 18-19; 864, s. 4; 1985, c. 589, s. 2.)

 

§ 122C-293.  Release by area authority or physician.

The area authority or physician as designated in the order shall discharge a committed respondent unconditionally at any time he determines that the respondent no longer meets the criteria of G.S. 122C-283(d)(1). Notice of discharge and the reasons for the release shall be reported in writing to the clerk of superior court of the county in which the commitment was ordered. (1973, c. 726, s. 1; c. 1408, s. 1; 1981, c. 537, s. 5; 1983, c. 383, s. 6; c. 638, s. 21; c. 864, s. 4; 1985, c. 589, s. 2.)

 

§ 122C-294.  Local plan.

Each area authority shall develop a local plan with local law-enforcement agencies, local courts, local hospitals, and local medical societies necessary to facilitate implementation of this Part. (1973, c. 1408, s. 1; 1977, c. 679, s. 8; 1979, c. 358, ss. 26, 27; 1985, c. 589, s. 2.)

 

§§ 122C-295 through 122C-300.  Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

Part 9. Public Intoxication.

§ 122C-301.  Assistance to an individual who is intoxicated in public;  procedure for commitment to shelter or facility.

(a)        An officer may assist an individual found intoxicated in a public place by taking any of the following actions:

(1)        The officer may direct or transport the intoxicated individual  home;

(2)        The officer may direct or transport the intoxicated individual to the residence of another individual willing to accept him;

(3)        If the intoxicated individual is apparently in need of and apparently unable to provide for himself food, clothing, or shelter but is not apparently in need of immediate medical care, the officer may direct or transport him to an appropriate public or private shelter facility;

(4)        If the intoxicated individual is apparently in need of but apparently unable to provide for himself immediate medical care, the officer may direct or transport him to an area facility, hospital, or physician's office; or the officer may direct or transport the individual to any other appropriate health care facility; or

(5)        If the intoxicated individual is apparently a substance abuser and is apparently dangerous to himself or others, the officer may proceed as provided in Part 8 of this Article.

(b)        In providing the assistance authorized by subsection (a) of this section, the officer may use reasonable force to restrain the intoxicated individual if it appears necessary to protect himself, the intoxicated individual, or others. No officer may be held criminally or civilly liable for assault, false imprisonment, or other torts or crimes on account of reasonable measures taken under authority of this Part.

(c)        If the officer takes the action described in either subdivision (a)(3) or (a)(4) of this section, the facility to which the intoxicated individual is taken may detain him only until he becomes sober or a maximum of 24 hours. The individual may stay a longer period if he wishes to do so and the facility is able to accommodate him.

(d)       Any individual who has knowledge that a person assisted to a shelter or other facility under subdivisions (a)(3) or (a)(4) of this section is a substance abuser and is dangerous to himself or others may proceed as provided in Part 8 of this Article. (1977, 2nd Sess., c. 1134, s. 2; 1981, c. 519, s. 5; 1985, c. 589, s. 2.)

 

§ 122C-302.  Cities and counties may employ officers to assist intoxicated individuals.

A city or county may employ officers to assist individuals who are intoxicated in public. Officers employed for this purpose shall be trained to give assistance to those who are intoxicated in public including the administration of first aid. An officer employed by a city or county to assist intoxicated individuals has the powers and duties set out in G.S. 122C-301 within the same territory in which criminal laws are enforced by law-enforcement officers of that city or county. (1977, 2nd Sess., c. 1134, s. 2; 1985, c. 589, s. 2.)

 

§ 122C-303.  Use of jail for care for intoxicated individual.

In addition to the actions authorized by G.S. 122C-301(a), an officer may assist an individual found intoxicated in a public place by directing or transporting that individual to a city or county jail. That action may be taken only if the intoxicated individual is apparently in need of and apparently unable to provide for himself food, clothing, or shelter but is not apparently in need of immediate medical care and if no other facility is readily available to receive him. The officer and employees of the jail are exempt from liability as provided in G.S. 122C-301(b). The intoxicated individual may be detained at the jail only until he becomes sober or a maximum of 24 hours and may be released at any time to a relative or other individual willing to be responsible for his care. (1977, 2nd Sess., c. 1134, s. 3; 1985, c. 589, s. 2.)

 

§§ 122C-304 through 122C-310.  Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

Part 10. Voluntary Admissions, Involuntary Commitments and Discharges, Inmates and Parolees, Division of Adult Correction of the Department of Public Safety.

§ 122C-311.  Individuals on parole.

Any individual who has been released from any correctional facility on parole is admitted, committed and discharged from facilities in accordance with the procedures specified in this Article for other individuals.  (1959, c. 1002, s. 24; 1963, c. 1184, s. 28; 1973, c. 253, s. 4; 1985, c. 589, s. 2.)

 

§ 122C-312.  Voluntary admissions and discharges of inmates of the Division of Adult Correction of the Department of Public Safety.

Inmates in the custody of the Division of Adult Correction of the Department of Public Safety may seek voluntary admission to State facilities for the mentally ill or substance abusers. The provisions of Part 2 of this Article shall apply except that an admission may be accomplished only when the Secretary and the Secretary of  Public Safety jointly agree to the inmate's request. When an inmate is admitted he shall be discharged in accordance with the provisions of Part 2 of this Article except that an inmate who is ready for discharge, but still under a term of incarceration, shall be discharged only to an official of the Division of Adult Correction of the Department of Public Safety. The Division of Adult Correction of the Department of Public Safety is responsible for the security and cost of transporting inmates to and from facilities under the provisions of this section.  (1979, c. 547; 1985, c. 589, s. 2; 2011-145, s. 19.1(h), (i).)

 

§ 122C-313.  Inmate becoming mentally ill and dangerous to himself or others.

(a)        An inmate who becomes mentally ill and dangerous to himself or others after incarceration in any facility operated by the Division of Adult Correction of the Department of Public Safety in the State is processed in accordance with Part 7 of this Article, as modified by this section, except when the provisions of Part 7 are manifestly inappropriate. A staff psychiatrist or eligible psychologist of the correctional facility shall execute the affidavit required by G.S. 122C-261 and send it to the clerk of superior court of the county in which the correctional facility is located. Upon receipt of the affidavit, the clerk shall calendar a district court hearing and notify the respondent and his counsel as required by G.S. 122C-284(a). The hearing is conducted in a district courtroom. If the judge finds by clear, cogent, and convincing evidence that the respondent is mentally ill and dangerous to himself or others, he shall order him transferred for treatment to a State facility designated by the Secretary. The judge shall not order outpatient commitment for an inmate-respondent.

(b)        If the sentence of an inmate-respondent expires while he is committed to a State facility, he is considered in all respects as if he had been initially committed under Part 7 of this Article.

(c)        If the sentence of an inmate-respondent has not expired, and if in the opinion of the attending physician of the State facility an inmate-respondent ceases to be mentally ill and dangerous to himself or others, he shall notify the Division of Adult Correction of the Department of Public Safety which shall arrange for the inmate-respondent's return to a correctional facility.

(d)       Special counsel at a State facility shall represent any inmate who becomes mentally ill and dangerous to himself or others while confined in a correctional facility in the same county, otherwise counsel is assigned in accordance with G.S. 122C-270(d).

(e)        The Division of Adult Correction of the Department of Public Safety is responsible for the security and cost of transporting inmates to and from State facilities under the provisions of this section.  (1899, c. 1, s. 66; Rev., s. 4619; C.S., s. 6238; 1923, c. 165, s. 55; 1945, c. 952, s. 55; 1955, c. 887, s. 14; 1957, c. 1232, s. 26; 1963, c. 1184, s. 27; 1965, c. 800, s. 13; 1973, c. 253, s. 3; c. 1433; 1977, c. 679, s. 8; 1979, c. 358, s. 27; c. 915, s. 11; 1985, c. 589, s. 2; c. 695, s. 2; 2011-145, s. 19.1(h).)

 

§§ 122C-314 through 122C-320: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

Part 11. Voluntary Admissions, Involuntary Commitments and Discharges, the Psychiatric Service of the University of North Carolina Hospitals at Chapel Hill.

§ 122C-321.  Voluntary admissions and discharges.

Any individual in need of treatment for mental illness or substance abuse may seek voluntary admission to the psychiatric service of the University of North Carolina Hospitals at Chapel Hill.  Procedures for admission and discharge shall be made in accordance with Parts 2 through 4 of this Article. The applicant may be admitted only upon the approval of the director of the psychiatric service or his designee. (1955, c. 1274, s. 2; 1963, c. 1184, s. 2; 1973, c. 723, s. 3; c. 1084; 1985, c. 589, s. 2; 1989, c. 141, s. 14.)

 

§ 122C-322.  Involuntary commitments.

     (a) Except as otherwise specifically provided in this section references in Parts 6 through 8 of this Article to 24-hour facilities, outpatient treatment centers, or area authorities, or private facilities shall include the psychiatric service of the University of North Carolina Hospitals at Chapel Hill. The psychiatric service may be used for temporary detention pending a district court hearing, for commitment of the respondent after the hearing, or as the manager and supervisor of outpatient commitment. However, no individual may be held at or committed to the psychiatric service without the prior approval of the director of the psychiatric service or his designee.

(b)        Initial hearings, supplemental hearings, and rehearings may be held at the psychiatric service facility or at any place in Orange County where district court can be held under G.S. 7A-133. Legal counsel for the respondent at all hearings and rehearings shall be assigned from among the members of the bar of the same county in accordance with G.S. 122C-270(d). (1977, c. 738, s. 1; 1981, c. 442; 1985, c. 589, s. 2; 1989, c. 141, s. 15.)

 

§§ 122C-323 through 122C-330.  Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

Part 12. Voluntary Admissions, Involuntary Commitments and Discharges, Veterans Administration Facilities.

§ 122C-331.  Voluntary admissions and discharges.

Veterans in need of treatment for mental illness or substance abuse may seek voluntary admission to a facility operated by the Veterans Administration. Procedures for admission and discharge shall be made in accordance with Parts 2 and 4 of this Article. The Veterans Administration may require additional procedures not inconsistent with these Parts. (1973, c. 1408, s. 1; 1985, c. 589, s. 2.)

 

§ 122C-332.  Involuntary commitments.

(a)        Except as otherwise specifically provided in this section, references in Parts 6 through 8 of this Article to 24-hour facilities, outpatient treatment centers, or area authorities, or private facilities shall include the facilities operated by the Veterans Administration. Veterans Administration facilities may be used for temporary detention pending a district court hearing, for commitment of the respondent after the hearing, or as the manager and supervisor of outpatient commitment. Eligibility of the veteran-respondent for treatment at a Veterans Administration facility and the availability of space shall be determined by the Veterans Administration in all cases before sending or committing a veteran-respondent.

(b)        Initial hearings, supplemental hearings, and rehearings for veteran-respondents may be held at the facility or at the county courthouse in the county in which the facility is located, and counsel shall be assigned from among the members of the bar of the same county in accordance with G.S. 122C-270(d). (1985, c. 589, s. 2.)

 

§ 122C-333.  Order of another state.

The judgment or order of commitment by a court of competent jurisdiction of another state, committing a person to the Veterans Administration or another federal agency that is located in this State shall have the same force and effect on the committed person while in this State as in the jurisdiction of the court entering the judgment or making the order. The courts of the committing state shall retain jurisdiction of the person so committed for the purpose of inquiring into the mental condition of the person, and for determining the necessity for continuance of his restraint. Consent is given to the application of the law of the committing state on the authority of the chief officer of any facility of the Veterans Administration or of any institution operated in this State by any other federal agency to retain custody, transfer, parole, or discharge the committed person. (1985, c. 589, s. 2.)

 

§§ 122C-334 through 122C-340.  Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

Part 13. Voluntary Admissions, Involuntary Commitment and Discharge of Non-State Residents and the Return of North Carolina Resident Clients.

§ 122C-341.  Determination of residence.

It is the responsibility of the facility to determine if a client is not a resident of the State. (1899, c. 1, s. 18; Rev., ss. 3591, 4587, 4588; C.S., ss. 6187, 6188; 1945, c. 952, ss. 16, 17; 1947, c. 537, s. 11; 1953, c. 256, s. 3; 1957, c. 1386; 1963, c. 1184, s. 1; 1973, c. 673, s. 13; 1985, c. 589, s. 2.)

 

§ 122C-342.  Voluntary admissions and discharges.

A non-State resident may be admitted to and discharged from a facility on a voluntary basis in accordance with Parts 2 through 5 of this Article at his own expense. If the facility determines that the client should be returned to his own state the provisions of G.S. 122C-345 or G.S. 122C-361, as appropriate, shall apply. (1899, c. 1, s. 16; Rev., s. 4584; C.S., s. 6210; 1945, c. 952, s. 33; 1947, c. 537, s. 18; 1963, c. 1184, s. 1; 1971, c. 1140; 1973, c. 476, s. 133; c. 673, s. 13; 1985, c. 589, s. 2.)

 

§ 122C-343.  Involuntary commitments.

Involuntary commitments of non-State residents are made under the provisions of Parts 6 through 8 of this Article. If after commitment to a 24-hour facility the facility determines that the respondent needs long-term care and should be returned to his state of residence, the provisions of G.S. 122C-345 or G.S. 122C-361, as appropriate, shall apply. (1899, c. 1, s. 16; Rev., s. 4584; C.S., s. 6210; 1945, c. 952, s. 33; 1947, c. 537, s. 18; 1963, c. 1184, s. 1; 1971, c. 1140; 1973, c. 476, s. 133; c. 673, s. 13; 1985, c. 589, s. 2.)

 

§ 122C-344.  Citizens of other countries.

In addition to the provisions of G.S. 122C-341 through G.S. 122C-343, if a 24-hour facility determines that a client is not a citizen of the United States, the facility shall notify the Governor of this State of the name of the client, the country and place of his residence in the country and other facts in the case as can be obtained, together with a copy of pertinent medical records.  The Governor shall send the information to the nearest consular office of the committed foreign national, with the request that the consular office tell the minister resident or plenipotentiary of the country of which the client is alleged to be a citizen. (1899, c. 1, s. 16; Rev., s. 4585; C.S., s. 6211; 1963, c. 1184, s. 1; 1985, c. 589, s. 2; 1993, c. 561, s. 86(a).)

 

§ 122C-345.  Return of a non-State resident client to his resident state.

(a)        Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, it is the responsibility of the director of a facility to arrange for the transfer of a client to his resident state. The cost of returning the client to his resident state is the responsibility of the client or his family.

(b)        A non-State resident client of an area 24-hour facility may be  transferred to a State facility in accordance with G.S. 122C-206 in order for the client to be returned to his resident state.

(c)        A non-State resident client of a State facility may be returned to his resident state under procedures established under G.S. 122C-346 or G.S. 122C-361. The cost of returning a client to his resident state under this subsection shall be the responsibility of the State. (1899, c. 1, s. 16; Rev., s. 4584; C.S., s. 6210; 1945, c. 952, s. 33; 1947, c. 537, ss. 18, 20; 1955, c. 887, s. 13; 1959, c. 1002, s. 22; 1963, c. 1184, s. 1; 1971, c. 1140; 1973, c. 476, s. 133; c. 673, s. 13; 1977, c. 679, s. 7; 1981, c. 51, s. 3; 1985, c. 589, s. 2.)

 

§ 122C-346.  Authority of the Secretary to enter reciprocal agreements.

The Secretary may enter agreements with other states for the return of non-State resident clients to their resident state and for the return of North Carolina residents to North Carolina when under treatment in another state. (1947, c. 537, s. 20; 1955, c. 887, s. 13; 1959, c. 1002, s. 22; 1963, c. 1184, s. 1; 1973, c. 476, s. 133; 1977, c. 679, s. 7; 1981, c. 51, s. 3; 1985, c. 589, s. 2.)

 

§ 122C-347.  Return of North Carolina resident clients from other states.

North Carolina residents who are in treatment in another state may be returned to North Carolina either under an agreement authorized in G.S. 122C-346 or under the provisions of G.S. 122C-361. The cost of returning a North Carolina resident to this State is the responsibility of the sending state. Within 72 hours after admission in a State facility, a returned resident shall be evaluated. The returned resident may agree to a voluntary admission or may be released, or proceedings for an involuntary commitment under this Article may be initiated as necessary by the responsible professional in the facility. (1945, c. 952, s. 34; 1947, c. 537, s. 19; 1959, c. 1002, ss. 20, 21; 1963, c. 1184, s. 1; 1965, c. 800, s. 9; 1969, c. 982; 1973, c. 476, ss. 133, 138; c. 673, s. 13; 1985, c. 589, s. 2.)

 

§ 122C-348.  Residency not affected.

(a)        A nonresident of this State who is under care in a 24-hour facility in this State is not considered a resident. No length of time spent in this State while a client in a 24-hour facility is sufficient to make a nonresident a resident or entitled to care or treatment.

(b)        A North Carolina resident who is under care and treatment in a  24-hour facility in another state shall retain his residency in North Carolina. (1899, c. 1, s. 18; Rev., ss. 3591, 4587, 4588; C.S., ss. 6187, 6188; 1945, c. 952, ss. 16, 17; 1947, c. 537, ss. 11, 20; 1953, c. 256, s. 3; 1955, c. 887, s. 13; 1957, c. 1386; 1959, c. 1002, s. 22; 1963, c. 1184, s. 1; 1973, c. 476, s. 133; c. 673, s. 13; 1977, c. 679, s. 7; 1981, c. 51, s. 3; 1985, c. 589, s. 2.)

 

§§ 122C-349 through 122C-360.  Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

Part 14. Interstate Compact on Mental Health.

§ 122C-361.  Compact entered into; form of Compact.

The Interstate Compact on Mental Health is hereby enacted into law and entered into by this State with all other states legally joining therein in the form substantially as follows: The contracting states solemnly agree that:

 

Article I.

The party states find that the proper and expeditious treatment of the mentally ill and mentally deficient can be facilitated by cooperative action, to the benefit of the patients, their families, and society as a whole. Further, the party states find that the necessity of and desirability for furnishing such care and treatment bears no primary relation to the residence or citizenship of the patient but, that, on the contrary, the controlling factors of community safety and humanitarianism require that facilities and services be made available for all who are in need of them. Consequently, it is the purpose of this Compact and of the party states to provide the necessary legal basis for the institutionalization or other appropriate care and treatment of the mentally ill and mentally deficient under a system that recognizes the paramount importance of patient welfare and to establish the responsibilities of the party states in term of such welfare.

 

Article II.

As used in this Compact:

(a)        "Sending state" shall mean a party state from which a patient is transported pursuant to the provisions of the Compact or from which it is contemplated that a patient may be so sent.

(b)        "Receiving state" shall mean a party state to which a patient is transported pursuant to the provisions of the Compact or to which it is contemplated that a patient may be so sent.

(c)        "Institution" shall mean any hospital or other facility maintained by a party state or political subdivision thereof for the care and treatment of mental illness or mental deficiency.

(d)       "Patient" shall mean any person subject to or eligible as determined by the laws of the sending state, for institutionalization or other care, treatment, or supervision pursuant to the provisions of this Compact.

(e)        "Aftercare" shall mean care, treatment and services provided  a patient, as defined herein, on convalescent status or conditional release.

(f)        "Mental illness" shall mean mental disease to such extent that a person so afflicted requires care and treatment for his own welfare, or the welfare of others, or of the community.

(g)        "Mental deficiency" shall mean mental deficiency as defined by appropriate clinical authorities to such extent that a person so afflicted is incapable of managing himself and his affairs, but shall not include mental illness as defined herein.

(h)        "State" shall mean any state, territory or possession of the  United States, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

 

Article III.

(a)        Whenever a person physically present in any party state shall be in need of institutionalization by reason of mental illness or mental deficiency, he shall be eligible for care and treatment in an institution in that state irrespective of his residence, settlement or citizenship qualifications.

(b)        The provisions of paragraph (a) of this Article to the contrary notwithstanding, any patient may be transferred to an institution in another state whenever there are factors based upon clinical determinations indicating that the care and treatment of said patient would be facilitated or improved thereby. Any such institutionalization may be for the entire period of care and treatment or for any portion or portions thereof. The factors referred to in this paragraph shall include the patient's full record with due regard for the location of the patient's family, character of the illness and probable duration thereof, and such other factors as shall be considered appropriate.

(c)        No state shall be obliged to receive any patient pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (b) of this Article unless the sending state has given advance notice of its intention to send the patient; furnished all available medical and other pertinent records concerning the patient; given the qualified medical or other appropriate clinical authorities of the receiving state an opportunity to examine the patient if said authorities so wish; and unless the receiving state shall agree to accept the patient.

(d)       In the event that the laws of the receiving state establish a system of priorities for the admission of patients, an interstate patient under this Compact shall receive the same priority as a local patient and shall be taken in the same order and at the same time that it would be taken if he were a local patient.

(e)        Pursuant to this Compact, the determination as to the suitable  place of institutionalization for a patient may be reviewed at any time and such further transfer of the patient may be made as seems likely to be in the best interest of the patient.

 

Article IV.

(a)        Whenever, pursuant to the laws of the state in which a patient is physically present, it shall be determined that the patient should receive aftercare or supervision, such care or supervision may be provided in a receiving state. If the medical or other appropriate clinical authorities have responsibility for the care and treatment of the patient in the sending state shall have reason to believe that aftercare in another state would be in the best interest of the patient and would not jeopardize the public safety, they shall request the appropriate authorities in the receiving state to investigate the desirability of affording the patient such aftercare in said receiving state, and such investigation shall be made with all reasonable speed. The request for investigation shall be accompanied by complete information concerning the patient's intended place of residence and the identity of the person in whose charge it is proposed to place the patient, the complete medical history of the patient, and such other documents as may be pertinent.

(b)        If the medical or other appropriate clinical authorities having responsibility for the care and treatment of the patient in the sending state and the appropriate authorities in the receiving state find that the best interest of the patient would be served thereby, and if the public safety would not be jeopardized thereby, the patient may receive aftercare or supervision in the receiving state.

(c)        In supervising, treating, or caring for a patient on aftercare  pursuant to the terms of this Article, a receiving state shall employ the same standards of visitation, examination, care, and treatment that it employs for similar local patients.

 

Article V.

Whenever a dangerous or potentially dangerous patient escapes from an institution in any party state, that state shall promptly notify all appropriate authorities within and without the jurisdiction of the escape in a way reasonably calculated to facilitate the speedy apprehension of the escapee. Immediately upon the apprehension and identification of any such dangerous or potentially dangerous patient, he shall be detained in the state where found pending disposition in accordance with law.

 

Article VI.

The duly accredited officers of any state party to this Compact, upon the establishment of their authority and the identity of the patient, shall be permitted to transport any patient being moved pursuant to this Compact through any and all states party to this Compact, without inferference.

 

Article VII.

(a)        No person shall be deemed a patient of more than one institution at any given time. Completion of transfer of any patient to an institution in a receiving state shall have the effect of making the person a patient of the institution in the receiving state.

(b)        The sending state shall pay all costs of and incidental to the  transportation of any patient pursuant to this Compact, but any two or more party states may, by making a specific agreement for that purpose, arrange for a different allocation of costs as among themselves.

(c)        No provision of this Compact shall be construed to alter or affect any internal relationships among the departments, agencies and officers of and in the government of a party state, or between a party state and its subdivisions, as to the payment of costs, or responsibilities therefor.

(d)       Nothing in this Compact shall be construed to prevent any party state or subdivision thereof from asserting any right against any person, agency or other entity in regard to costs for which such party state or subdivision thereof may be responsible pursuant to any provision of this Compact.

(e)        Nothing in this Compact shall be construed to invalidate any reciprocal agreement between a party state and a nonparty state relating to institutionalization, care or treatment of the mentally ill or mentally deficient, or any statutory authority pursuant to which such agreements may be made.

 

Article VIII.

(a)        Nothing in this Compact shall be construed to abridge, diminish, or in any way impair the rights, duties, and responsibilities of any patient's guardian on his own behalf or in respect of any patient for whom he may serve, except that where the transfer of any patient to another jurisdiction makes advisable the appointment of a supplemental or substitute guardian, any court of competent jurisdiction in the receiving state may make such supplemental or substitute appointment and the court which appointed the previous guardian shall upon being duly advised of the new appointment, and upon the satisfactory completion of such accounting and other acts as such court may by law require, relieve the previous guardian of power and responsibility to whatever extent shall be appropriate in the circumstances; provided, however, that in the case of any patient having settlement in the sending state, the court of competent jurisdiction in the sending state shall have the sole discretion to relieve a guardian appointed by it or continue his power and responsibility, whichever it shall deem advisable. The court in the receiving state may, in its discretion, confirm or reappoint the person or persons previously serving as guardian in the sending state in lieu of making a supplemental or substitute appointment.

(b)        The term "guardian" as used in paragraph (a) of this Article shall include any guardian, trustee, legal committee, conservator, or other person or agency however denominated who is charged by law with power to act for or responsibility for the person or property of a patient.

 

Article IX.

(a)        No provision of this Compact except Article V shall apply to any person institutionalized while under sentence in a penal or correctional institution or while subject to trial on a criminal charge, or whose institutionalization is due to the commission of an offense for which, in the absence of mental illness or mental deficiency, said person would be subject to incarceration in a penal or correctional institution.

(b)        To every extent possible, it shall be the policy of states party to this Compact that no patient shall be placed or detained in any prison, jail or lockup, but such patient shall, with all expedition, be taken to a suitable institutional facility for mental illness or mental deficiency.

 

Article X.

(a)        Each party state shall appoint a "Compact Administrator" who, on behalf of his state, shall act as general coordinator of activities under the Compact in his state and who shall receive copies of all reports, correspondence, and other documents relating to any patient processed under the Compact by his state either in the capacity of sending or receiving state. The Compact Administrator or his duly designated representative shall be the official with whom other party states shall deal in any matter relating to the Compact or any patient processed thereunder.

(b)        The Compact Administrators of the respective party states shall have power to promulgate reasonable rules and regulations to carry out more effectively the terms and provisions of this Compact.

 

Article XI.

The duly constituted administrative authorities of any two or more party states may enter into supplementary agreements for the provision of any service or facility or for the maintenance of any institution on a joint or cooperative basis whenever the states concerned shall find that such agreements will improve services, facilities, or institutional care and treatment in the fields of mental illness or mental deficiency. No such supplementary agreement shall be construed so as to relieve any party state of any obligation which it otherwise would have under other provisions of this Compact.

 

Article XII.

This Compact shall enter into full force and effect as to any state when enacted by it into law and such state shall thereafter be a party thereto with any and all states legally joining therein.

 

Article XIII.

(a)        A state party to this Compact may withdraw therefrom by enacting a statute repealing the same. Such withdrawal shall take effect one year after notice thereof has been communicated officially and in writing to the governors and Compact administrators of all other party states. However, the withdrawal of any state shall not change the status of any patient who has been sent to said state or sent out of said state pursuant to the provisions of the Compact.

(b)        Withdrawal from any agreement permitted by Article VII(b) as to costs or from any supplementary agreement made pursuant to Article XI shall be in accordance with the terms of such agreement.

 

Article XIV.

This Compact shall be liberally construed so as to effectuate the purposes thereof. The provisions of this Compact shall be severable and if any phrase, clause, sentence or provision of this Compact is declared to be contrary to the constitution of any party state or of the United States or the applicability thereof to any government, agency, person or circumstance is held invalid, the validity of the remainder of this Compact and the applicability thereof to any government, agency, person or circumstance shall not be affected thereby. If this Compact shall be held contrary to the constitution of any state party thereto, the Compact shall remain in full force and effect as to the remaining states and in full force and effect as to the state affected as to all severable matters. (1959, c. 1003, s. 1; 1963, c. 1184, s. 12; 1985, c. 589, s. 2.)

 

§ 122C-362.  Compact Administrator.

Pursuant to the Compact, the Secretary is the Compact Administrator and, acting jointly with like officers of other party states, may adopt rules to carry out more effectively the terms of the Compact. The Compact Administrator shall cooperate with all departments, agencies and officers of and in the government of this State and its subdivisions in facilitating the proper administration of the Compact, of any supplementary agreement, or agreements entered into by this State. (1959, c. 1003, s. 2; 1963, c. 1184, s. 12; 1973,  c. 476, s. 133; 1985, c. 589, s. 2.)

 

§ 122C-363.  Supplementary agreements.

The Compact Administrator may enter into supplementary agreements with appropriate officials of other states pursuant to Articles VII and XI of the Compact. In the event that these supplementary agreements shall require or contemplate the use of any institution or facility of this State or require or contemplate the provision of any service by this State, no such agreement shall be effective until approved by the head of the department or agency under whose jurisdiction the institution or facility is operated or whose department or agency will be charged with the rendering of this service. (1959, c. 1003, s. 3; 1963, c. 1184, s. 12; 1985, c. 589, s. 2.)

 

§ 122C-364.  Financial arrangements.

The Compact Administrator, with the approval of the Director of the Budget, may make or arrange for any payments necessary to discharge any financial obligations imposed upon this State by the Compact or by any supplementary agreement entered into under it. (1959, c. 1003, s. 4; 1963, c. 1184, s. 12; 1985, c. 589, s. 2.)

 

§ 122C-365.  Transfer of clients.

The Compact Administrator is directed to consult with the immediate family or legally responsible person of any proposed transferee. (1959, c. 1003, s. 5; 1963, c. 1184, ss. 12, 38; 1985, c. 589, s. 2.)

 

§ 122C-366.  Transmittal of copies of Part.

Copies of this Part shall, upon its approval, be transmitted by the Compact Administrator to the governor of each state, the attorney general of each state, the Administrator of General Services of the United States, and the Council of State Governments. (1959, c. 1003, s. 6; 1963, c. 1184, s. 12; 1985, c. 589, s. 2.)

 

§§ 122C-367 through 122C-400.  Reserved for future codification purposes.