2013 Mississippi Code
Title 43 - PUBLIC WELFARE
Chapter 47 - MISSISSIPPI VULNERABLE PERSONS ACT
§ 43-47-13 - Provision of services to vulnerable person lacking capacity to consent; petition for injunctive relief, hearing, and order; appointment of guardian or conservator
(1) Every reasonable effort shall be made to secure the consent and participation of the vulnerable person in an evaluation and resolution of the need for protective services. If those efforts fail and if the department has reasonable cause to believe that a vulnerable person is being abused, neglected or exploited and lacks the capacity to consent to protective services, then the department may petition the court for an order for injunctive relief authorizing the provision of protective services. The petition must allege specific facts sufficient to show that the vulnerable person is in need of protective services and lacks the capacity to consent to them.
(2) The court shall set the case for hearing within fourteen (14) days after the filing of the petition. The vulnerable person must receive at least five (5) days notice of the hearing. Where good cause is shown, the court may direct that a shorter notice be given. The vulnerable person has the right to be present and represented by counsel at the hearing. If the person, in the determination of the court, lacks the capacity to waive the right to counsel, then the court shall appoint a guardian ad litem. If the person is indigent, the cost of representation shall be borne by the department or by the court.
(3) If, at the hearing, the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the vulnerable person is in need of protective services and lacks the capacity to consent to those services, the court may issue an order relative thereto. This order may include the designation of an individual, organization or agency to be responsible for the performing or obtaining of essential services on behalf of the vulnerable person or otherwise consenting to protective services in his behalf. The order may provide for protective services for a period not to exceed eighteen (18) months, at which time the vulnerable person's need for protective services may be reviewed by the department filing a petition requesting such review with the court. Should the court determine that the vulnerable person is in further need of protective services, it may order the provision of such protective services as provided herein.
(4) The court may appoint a guardian or conservator for the vulnerable person, but the court shall not appoint the department as a guardian of the vulnerable person. No vulnerable person may be committed to a mental health facility under this chapter. However, nothing contained herein shall prohibit the filing of petitions under other applicable provisions of the laws of this state.
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