2011 New Mexico Statutes
Chapter 27: Public Assistance
Article 7: Adult Protective Services, 27-7-1 through 27-7-31
Section 27-7-24: Involuntary protective services and protective placement; penalty.
27-7-24. Involuntary protective services and protective placement; penalty.
A. If an adult lacks the ability to consent to receive protective services or protective placement, those services or placement may be ordered by a court on an involuntary basis through an emergency order pursuant to the Adult Protective Services Act [27-7-14 NMSA 1978] or through appointment of a guardian or conservator.
B. In ordering involuntary protective services or protective placement, the court shall authorize only that intervention that it finds to be least restrictive of the adult's liberty and rights consistent with the adult's welfare and safety. The basis for such a finding shall be stated in the record by the court.
C. The incapacitated or protected adult shall not be required to pay for involuntary protective services or protective placement unless that payment is authorized by the court upon a showing that the adult is financially able to pay. In this event, the court shall provide for reimbursement of the reasonable costs of the services or placement.
D. A person who interferes with the provision of involuntary protective services or protective placement to an adult is guilty of a misdemeanor. In the event that interference occurs, the department may petition the court to enjoin interference, may impose a civil penalty or, at the department's discretion, may request criminal prosecution.
E. The Adult Protective Services Act does not affect other state statutes governing treatment of an adult admitted to a mental health care institution for mental illness or involuntary commitment of an adult to a mental health care institution for mental illness or any other involuntary mental health treatment.
F. The department may petition the court for the appointment of a guardian or conservator if the department determines that a no less restrictive course of care or treatment is available that is consistent with the incapacitated adult's welfare and safety.
G. The department and its employees are prohibited from:
(1) taking custody of an adult;
(2) acting as guardian, conservator or surrogate for any adult in need of protective services or protective placement, except that an employee may serve in that role when related by affinity or consanguinity to an adult;
(3) acting as treatment guardian under the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code [43-1-2 NMSA 1978], except that an employee may serve in that role when related by affinity or consanguinity to an adult;
(4) acting as qualified health care professionals pursuant to the Uniform Probate Code [45-1-101 NMSA 1978]; and
(5) acting as visitors under the Uniform Probate Code for any adult in need of protective services or protective placement.
H. The department may assess a civil penalty not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000) per violation against a person that violates the provisions of Subsection D of this section. The department may assess and collect the penalty after notice and an opportunity for hearing, before a hearing officer designated by the department to hear the matter, upon a determination that a person willfully interfered with the department pursuant to this section. The hearing officer has the power to administer oaths on request of any party and issue subpoenas and subpoenas duces tecum. Additionally, if the violation is against a person covered by the Personnel Act [10-9-1 NMSA 1978], the department shall refer the matter to the agency employing the person for disciplinary action. Any party may appeal a final decision by the department to the court pursuant to the provisions of Section 39-3-1.1 NMSA 1978.
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