130A-145. Quarantine and isolation authority.

(a) The State Health Director and a local health director are empowered to exercise quarantine and isolation authority. Quarantine and isolation authority shall be exercised only when and so long as the public health is endangered, all other reasonable means for correcting the problem have been exhausted, and no less restrictive alternative exists.

(b) No person other than a person authorized by the State Health Director or local health director shall enter quarantine or isolation premises. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to restrict the access of authorized health care, law enforcement, or emergency medical services personnel to quarantine or isolation premises as necessary in conducting their duties.

(c) Before applying quarantine or isolation authority to livestock or poultry for the purpose of preventing the direct or indirect conveyance of an infectious agent to persons, the State Health Director or a local health director shall consult with the State Veterinarian in the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

(d) When quarantine or isolation limits the freedom of movement of a person or animal or of access to a person or animal whose freedom of movement is limited, the period of limited freedom of movement or access shall not exceed 30 calendar days. Any person substantially affected by that limitation may institute in superior court in Wake County or in the county in which the limitation is imposed an action to review that limitation. The official who exercises the quarantine or isolation authority shall give the persons known by the official to be substantially affected by the limitation reasonable notice under the circumstances of the right to institute an action to review the limitation. If a person or a person's representative requests a hearing, the hearing shall be held within 72 hours of the filing of that request, excluding Saturdays and Sundays. The person substantially affected by that limitation is entitled to be represented by counsel of the person's own choice or if the person is indigent, the person shall be represented by counsel appointed in accordance with Article 36 of Chapter 7A of the General Statutes and the rules adopted by the Office of Indigent Defense Services. The court shall reduce or terminate the limitation unless it determines, by the preponderance of the evidence, that the limitation is reasonably necessary to prevent or limit the conveyance of a communicable disease or condition to others.

If the State Health Director or the local health director determines that a 30-calendar-day limitation on freedom of movement or access is not adequate to protect the public health, the State Health Director or local health director must institute in superior court in the county in which the limitation is imposed an action to obtain an order extending the period of limitation of freedom of movement or access. If the person substantially affected by the limitation has already instituted an action in superior court in Wake County, the State Health Director must institute the action in superior court in Wake County or as a counterclaim in the pending case. Except as provided below for persons with tuberculosis, the court shall continue the limitation for a period not to exceed 30 days if it determines, by the preponderance of the evidence, that the limitation is reasonably necessary to prevent or limit the conveyance of a communicable disease or condition to others. The court order shall specify the period of time the limitation is to be continued and shall provide for automatic termination of the order upon written determination by the State Health Director or local health director that the quarantine or isolation is no longer necessary to protect the public health. In addition, where the petitioner can prove by a preponderance of the evidence that quarantine or isolation was not or is no longer needed for protection of the public health, the person quarantined or isolated may move the trial court to reconsider its order extending quarantine or isolation before the time for the order otherwise expires and may seek immediate or expedited termination of the order. Before the expiration of an order issued under this section, the State Health Director or local health director may move to continue the order for additional periods not to exceed 30 days each. If the person whose freedom of movement has been limited has tuberculosis, the court shall continue the limitation for a period not to exceed one calendar year if it determines, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the limitation is reasonably necessary to prevent or limit the conveyance of tuberculosis to others. The court order shall specify the period of time the limitation is to be continued and shall provide for automatic termination of the order upon written determination by the State Health Director or local health director that the quarantine or isolation is no longer necessary to protect the public health. In addition, where the petitioner can prove by a preponderance of the evidence that quarantine or isolation was not or is no longer needed for protection of the public health, the person quarantined or isolated may move the trial court to reconsider its order extending quarantine or isolation before the time for the order otherwise expires and may seek immediate or expedited termination of the order. Before the expiration of an order limiting the freedom of movement of a person with tuberculosis, the State Health Director or local health director may move to continue the order for additional periods not to exceed one calendar year each. (1957, c. 1357, s. 1; 1983, c. 891, s. 2; 1987, c. 782, s. 15; 2002-179, s. 5; 2004-80, s. 2.)