2006 Louisiana Laws - RS 28:53.2 — Order for custody; grounds; civil liability; criminal penalty for making a false statement

§53.2.  Order for custody; grounds; civil liability; criminal penalty for making a false statement

A.  Any parish coroner or judge of a court of competent jurisdiction may order a person to be taken into protective custody and transported to a treatment facility or the office of the coroner for immediate examination when a peace officer or other credible person executes a statement under private signature specifying that, to the best of his knowledge and belief, the person is mentally ill or suffering from substance abuse and is in need of immediate treatment to protect the person or others from physical harm.  The statement may include the following information:

(1)  A statement of facts, including the affiant's observations, leading to the conclusion that the person is mentally ill or suffering from substance abuse and dangerous to himself or others or gravely disabled.

(2)  The date and place of any dangerous acts or threats.

(3)  The name and surname, if known, of any other person who is in danger.

(4)  Facts showing that the person sought has been encouraged to seek treatment and is unwilling to be evaluated on a voluntary basis, and

(5)  Facts showing that the affiant has attempted to contact a specific treatment facility or a specific physician in order to obtain an examination of the person sought to be treated.

B.  The order for custody shall be in writing, in the name of the state of Louisiana, signed by the district judge or parish coroner, and shall state the following:

(1)  The date and hour of issuance and the municipality or parish where issued.

(2)  The name of the person to be taken into custody, or if his name is not known a designation of the person by any name or description by which he can be identified with reasonable certainty.

(3)  A description of the acts or threats which have led to the belief that the person is mentally ill or suffering from substance abuse and is in need of immediate hospitalization to protect the person or others from physical harm, and

(4)  That the person shall be taken to a community mental health center, a public or private general hospital, a public or private mental hospital, coroner's office or a detoxification center.

(5)  That law enforcement officers are to use reasonable and necessary precautions when appropriate, in the execution of an order for custody pursuant to Subsection A and Paragraph (F)(1) of this Section, to avoid a  violent encounter with the person being taken into custody.  For the purposes of this Paragraph, "reasonable and necessary precautions" include crisis management strategies.

C.  The order for custody shall be effective for seventy-two hours from its issuance and shall be delivered to the coroner or director of the treatment facility by the individual who has transported the person.  The date and hour that the person is taken into protective custody shall be written on the order.  Without delay, and in no event more than twelve hours after being taken into protective custody, the person shall be delivered to a treatment facility or the office of the coroner or he shall be released.  Upon arrival, the person in custody shall be examined immediately by the coroner or, if at a treatment facility, by a physician, preferably a psychiatrist, medical psychologist or psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, who shall determine if the person shall be voluntarily admitted, admitted by emergency certificate, admitted as a noncontested admission, or discharged.  The person in custody shall be examined within twelve hours of his arrival at the treatment facility or coroner's office or he shall be released.

D.  Coroners and assistant coroners who act in good faith to order persons to be taken into protective custody and transported for examination in accordance with this Section shall not be civilly liable for damages to such persons resulting from those actions.

E.  Any person who is found guilty of executing a statement that another person is mentally ill or suffering from substance abuse and is in need of immediate treatment to protect the person or others that the affiant knows or should know is false may be imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not more than one year, or fined not more than one thousand dollars.

F.(1)  If refused or obstructed from admittance, any elected coroner or his support staff, accompanied by a law enforcement officer, who has announced his authority and purpose, may apply to a court of competent jurisdiction for an order to break open an outer or inner door or window of any vehicle, water craft, aircraft, structure or dwelling in order to restrain and transport the person subject to a request and order for protective custody and examination after a mental health professional has intervened and attempted to counsel the person regarding his voluntary surrender.

(2)  The application for a court order allowing forcible entry pursuant to Paragraph (1) of this Subsection shall be accompanied by a copy of the order for protective custody and an affidavit of the coroner or his support staff reciting facts establishing probable cause for forced entry.  In exceptional circumstances, the facts supporting the order and the exceptional circumstances may be relayed orally, including telephonically, to the judge, and the order of the judge may be issued orally.  In such cases, a copy of the order for protective custody and an affidavit containing the information relayed orally to the judge, including any telephonic communication, shall be provided to the judge within twenty four hours of taking the person into protective custody.  Upon the timely presentation of the copy of the order for protective custody and the affidavit of the oral communications, the judge shall issue a written order acknowledging receipt of the required information and of his oral order allowing forcible entry.

(3)  Any elected coroner or his support staff, accompanied by a law enforcement officer required to make a forceful entry to comply with a request and order for protective custody shall be immune from civil liability for or resulting from any act, decision, omission, communication, or any act or failure to act, made in good faith while engaged in the performance of his duty.

(4)  The civil immunity provided for in this Subsection shall not extend to any action for the serious bodily injury or wrongful death occasioned as a result of the restraint or transportation of the person subject to the request and order for protective custody. Neither shall such immunity from civil liability extend to actions by any third party who is physically injured during the execution of a request and order for protective custody.

G.(1)  Public and private general hospitals and their personnel who provide services in good faith for defined commitments in this Part shall not be liable for damages suffered by the patient as a result of the commitment or damages caused by the patient during the term of the commitment, unless the damage or injury was caused by willful or wanton negligence or gross misconduct.  This limitation of liability shall only apply to public and private general hospital personnel who within the preceding twelve-month period have received appropriate training in nonviolent crisis intervention and such training has been documented in their personnel files.  The training shall be provided by an instructor who has attended a course in crisis intervention taught by a certified instructor.

(2)  The provisions of this Subsection shall not affect the provisions of R.S. 40:2113.6 or the Federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, 42 USC 1395dd.

Added by Acts 1978, No. 782, §1, eff. July 17, 1978.  Acts 1986, No. 768, §1; Acts 1990, No. 516, §1; Acts 1991, No. 907, §1; Acts 1992, No. 293, §1; Acts 2001, No. 466, §1; Acts 2003, No. 793, §1; Acts 2005, No. 409, §1; Acts 2005, No. 480, §1; Acts 2006, No. 664, §1.

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