2006 Louisiana Laws - RS 28:454.5 — Involuntary admission; determination of probable cause

§454.5.  Involuntary admission; determination of probable cause

A.  Any interested person, including a representative of the department, may file a petition seeking to have a person with a developmental disability remanded to the custody of the department on the grounds that he is either dangerous to himself or dangerous to others.

B.  The petition shall be filed in the judicial district in which the respondent resides or may be found.  The petition shall contain the facts which are the basis of the assertion that the respondent is a person who has been diagnosed with a developmental disability and is either dangerous to himself or dangerous to others.

C.  The petition shall attach the written report and recommendations prepared by an interdisciplinary team, if available, and any other available medical, educational or psychological records.

D.  Upon the filing of the petition, the court shall:

(1)  Assign a time for a hearing, not later than twenty calendar days after the filing of the petition, excluding weekends and legal holidays.

(2)  Shall assign a place for a hearing upon the petition.

(3)  Shall cause notice thereof to be personally served at least ten days prior to the hearing on the respondent and the attorney for the respondent.  The notice shall satisfy the following requirements:

(a)  The notice shall inform the respondent that he has a right to be present at the hearing.

(b)  The notice shall inform the respondent that he has a right to counsel.

(c)  The notice shall inform the respondent that he, if indigent or otherwise qualified, has the right to have counsel appointed to represent him.

(d)  The notice shall inform the respondent that he has the right to present evidence and cross examine witnesses at any hearing on such application.

E.  The petition shall be served on the department at least ten days prior to the hearing.

F.  Determination of probable cause.

(1)  As soon as practical after the filing of the petition, the court shall review the petition and supporting documents and determine whether there exists probable cause to believe that the respondent has a developmental disability and is either dangerous to himself or dangerous to others.

(2)  If the court determines that there is probable cause to believe that the respondent meets the above criteria for involuntary commitment, the court may notify the department if the person is not currently in a confined setting.  The department may refer appropriate cases to the office for available and temporary supports and services that meet the safety needs of the person or others.

(3)  Before committing any person to the department, the court shall order a diagnosis and evaluation by the department and shall use this interdisciplinary evaluation as an expert recommendation. The written report on the diagnosis and evaluation of the person shall be made available to counsel for the respondent at least three days before the hearing.

(4)  The respondent or his attorney shall have the right to seek additional independent expert opinion when necessary in their discretion.

G.  The respondent shall have the right to privately retained and paid counsel at any time and all respondents must be represented by counsel as early as possible in every proceeding.  If the respondent has no attorney, the court shall appoint an attorney to represent him.  His attorney shall be granted access to all the records belonging to the person.

H.  Entry into the developmental disabilities services system must be established by the department prior to any person being judicially committed to the department under this Chapter.

(1)  Entry is established by a determination of the presence of a developmental disability as defined in this Chapter, through review of the court ordered diagnosis and evaluation, administration of a standardized interview and collection of information, including assessment of substantial functional limitations necessary for determination for entry into the system and for the establishment of legal status.

(2)  No person shall be denied entrance into the system unless:

(a)  The person has had the opportunity to have a face-to-face interview.

(b)  The person has been given notice of his right to submit information in support of a determination for entry into the system including an independent diagnosis and evaluation at his expense.

(c)  There has been an interdisciplinary review of necessary information.

(3)  A written report on the determination for entry shall be made available to counsel for the respondent at least three days before the hearing.

Acts 2005, No. 128, §1, eff. June 22, 2005.

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