2013 Mississippi Code
Title 43 - PUBLIC WELFARE
Chapter 47 - MISSISSIPPI VULNERABLE PERSONS ACT
§ 43-47-9 - Investigations and evaluations; cooperation of physicians and other health and welfare personnel; contracts with agencies and private physicians
(1) Upon receipt of a report pursuant to Section 43-47-7 that a vulnerable person is in need of protective services, the department shall initiate an investigation and/or evaluation within forty-eight (48) hours if immediate attention is needed, or within seventy-two (72) hours if the vulnerable person is not in immediate danger, to determine whether the vulnerable person is in need of protective services and what services are needed. The evaluation shall include any necessary visits and interviews with the person, and if appropriate, with the alleged perpetrator of the vulnerable person abuse and with any person believed to have knowledge of the circumstances of the case. When a caretaker of a vulnerable person refuses to allow the department reasonable access to conduct an investigation to determine if the vulnerable person is in need of protective services, the department may petition the court for an order for injunctive relief enjoining the caretaker from interfering with the investigation.
(2) The staff and physicians of local health departments, mental health clinics and other public or private agencies, including law enforcement agencies, shall cooperate fully with the department in the performance of its duties. These duties include immediate, in-residence evaluations and medical examinations and treatment where the department deems it necessary. However, upon receipt of a report of abuse, neglect or exploitation of a vulnerable person confined in a licensed hospital or licensed nursing home facility in the state, the department shall immediately refer this report to the proper authority at the State Department of Health for investigation under Section 43-47-37.
Upon a showing of probable cause that a vulnerable person has been abused, a court may authorize a qualified third party to make an evaluation to enter the residence of, and to examine the vulnerable person. Upon a showing of probable cause that a vulnerable person has been financially exploited, a court may authorize a qualified third party, also authorized by the department, to make an evaluation, and to gain access to the financial records of the vulnerable person.
(3) The department may contract with an agency or private physician for the purpose of providing immediate, accessible evaluations in the location that the department deems most appropriate.
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