2006 Code of Virginia § 37.2-808 - Emergency custody; issuance and execution of order

37.2-808. Emergency custody; issuance and execution of order.

A. Any magistrate may issue, upon the sworn petition of any responsibleperson or upon his own motion, an emergency custody order when he hasprobable cause to believe that any person within his judicial district (i)has mental illness, (ii) presents an imminent danger to himself or others asa result of mental illness or is so seriously mentally ill as to besubstantially unable to care for himself, (iii) is in need of hospitalizationor treatment, and (iv) is unwilling to volunteer or incapable of volunteeringfor hospitalization or treatment.

B. Any person for whom an emergency custody order is issued shall be takeninto custody and transported to a convenient location to be evaluated toassess the need for hospitalization or treatment. The evaluation shall bemade by a person designated by the community services board or behavioralhealth authority who is skilled in the diagnosis and treatment of mentalillness and who has completed a certification program approved by theDepartment.

C. The magistrate issuing an emergency custody order shall specify theprimary law-enforcement agency and jurisdiction to execute the emergencycustody order and provide transportation. Transportation under this sectionshall include transportation to a medical facility as may be necessary toobtain emergency medical evaluation or treatment. This evaluation ortreatment shall be conducted immediately in accordance with state and federallaw.

D. The magistrate shall order the primary law-enforcement agency from thejurisdiction served by the community services board or behavioral healthauthority that designated the person to perform the evaluation required insubsection B to execute the order and provide transportation. If thecommunity services board or behavioral health authority serves more than onejurisdiction, the magistrate shall designate the primary law-enforcementagency from the particular jurisdiction within the community services board'sor behavioral health authority's service area where the person who is thesubject of the emergency custody order was taken into custody or, if theperson has not yet been taken into custody, the primary law-enforcementagency from the jurisdiction where the person is presently located to executethe order and provide transportation.

E. A law-enforcement officer may lawfully go to or be sent beyond theterritorial limits of the county, city, or town in which he serves to anypoint in the Commonwealth for the purpose of executing an emergency custodyorder pursuant to this section.

F. A law-enforcement officer who, based upon his observation or the reliablereports of others, has probable cause to believe that a person meets thecriteria for emergency custody as stated in this section may take that personinto custody and transport that person to an appropriate location to assessthe need for hospitalization or treatment without prior authorization. Suchevaluation shall be conducted immediately.

G. Nothing herein shall preclude a law-enforcement officer from obtainingemergency medical treatment or further medical evaluation at any time for aperson in his custody as provided in this section.

H. The person shall remain in custody until a temporary detention order isissued or until the person is released, but in no event shall the period ofcustody exceed four hours.

I. If an emergency custody order is not executed within four hours of itsissuance, the order shall be void and shall be returned unexecuted to theoffice of the clerk of the issuing court or, if such office is not open, toany magistrate thereof.

(1995, c. 844, 37.1-67.01; 1996, c. 893; 1998, c. 611; 2004, c. 737; 2005,c. 716.)


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