2009 West Virginia Code
CHAPTER 27. MENTALLY ILL PERSONS
ARTICLE 5. INVOLUNTARY HOSPITALIZATION.
§27-5-3 Admission under involuntary hospitalization for examination; hearing; release.
(a) Admission to a mental health facility for examination. -- Any individual may be admitted to a mental health facility for examination and treatment upon entry of an order finding probable cause as provided in section two of this article and upon certification by a physician, psychologist, licensed independent clinical social worker practicing in compliance with the provisions of article thirty, chapter thirty of this code or an advanced nurse practitioner with psychiatric certification practicing in compliance with article seven of said chapter that he or she has examined the individual and is of the opinion that the individual is mentally ill or addicted and, because of such mental illness or addiction, is likely to cause serious harm to himself, herself or to others if not immediately restrained: Provided, That the opinions offered by an independent clinical social worker or an advanced nurse practitioner with psychiatric certification must be within their particular areas of expertise, as recognized by the order of the authorizing court.
(b) Three-day time limitation on examination. -- If the examination does not take place within three days from the date the individual is taken into custody, the individual shall be released. If the examination reveals that the individual is not mentally ill or addicted, the individual shall be released.
(c) Three-day time limitation on certification. -- The certification required in subsection (a) of this section shall be valid for three days. Any individual with respect to whom the certification has been issued may not be admitted on the basis of the certification at any time after the expiration of three days from the date of the examination.
(d) Findings and conclusions required for certification. -- A certification under this section must include findings and conclusions of the mental examination, the date, time and place of the examination and the facts upon which the conclusion that involuntary commitment is necessary is based.
(e) Notice requirements. -- When an individual is admitted to a mental health facility pursuant to the provisions of this section, the chief medical officer of the facility shall immediately give notice of the individual's admission to the individual's spouse, if any, and one of the individual's parents or guardians or if there is no spouse and are no parents or guardians, to one of the individual's adult next of kin if the next of kin is not the applicant. Notice shall also be given to the community mental health facility, if any, having jurisdiction in the county of the individual's residence. The notices other than to the community mental health facility shall be in writing and shall be transmitted to the person or persons at his, her or their last known address by certified mail, return receipt requested.
(f) Five-day time limitation for examination and certification at mental health facility. -- After the individual's admission to a mental health facility, he or she may not be detained more than five days, excluding Sundays and holidays, unless, within the period, the individual is examined by a staff physician and the physician certifies that in his or her opinion the patient is mentally ill or addicted and is likely to injure himself, herself or others if allowed to be at liberty.
(g) Fifteen-day time limitation for institution of final commitment proceedings. -- If, in the opinion of the examining physician, the patient is mentally ill or addicted and because of the mental illness or addiction is likely to injure himself, herself or others if allowed to be at liberty, the chief medical officer shall, within fifteen days from the date of admission, institute final commitment proceedings as provided in section four of this article. If the proceedings are not instituted within such fifteen-day period, the patient shall be immediately released. After the request for hearing is filed, the hearing may not be canceled on the basis that the individual has become a voluntary patient unless the mental hygiene commissioner concurs in the motion for cancellation of the hearing.
(h) Thirty-day time limitation for conclusion of all proceedings. -- If all proceedings as provided in articles three and four of this chapter are not completed within thirty days from the date of institution of the proceedings, the patient shall be immediately released.
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