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2762Ratification Number: 482Act Number: 435Introducing Body: HouseSubject: Relating to emergency admission of potentially dangerous persons who are mentally ill
(A435, R482, H2762)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 44-17-410, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO EMERGENCY ADMISSION OF POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS PERSONS WHO ARE MENTALLY ILL, SO AS TO CHANGE THE PROCEDURE FOR EXAMINING PERSONS TO DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT THEY ARE MENTALLY ILL AND SHOULD BE DETAINED.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
Appointment of examiners, report
SECTION 1. The second and third paragraphs of item (3) of Section 44-17-410 of the 1976 Code are amended to read:
"With each application and certification, the treatment facility shall also provide the court with a designated examiner appointment form listing the names of two designated examiners at the treatment facility.
If the court appoints these two designated examiners, the examination must be performed at the treatment facility and a report must be submitted to the court within seven days, exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays, from the date of admission. The court may appoint independent designated examiners who shall submit a report to the court within the time allotted above. In the process of examination by the designated examiners, previous hospitalization records must be considered. At least one of the examiners appointed by the court shall be a licensed physician.
If the report of the designated examiners is that the patient is not mentally ill, the court shall dismiss the petition and the patient must be immediately discharged by the facility.
If the report of the designated examiners is that the patient is mentally ill, the court may order that the person be detained at the place of his admission, appoint counsel for him if he has not retained counsel, and shall fix a date for a full hearing to be held pursuant to Section 44-17-570 within twenty days from the date of his admission. The court shall give notice of the hearing pursuant to Section 44-17-420.
The examiners's report must be available to the person's counsel prior to the full hearing. The person must be given the opportunity to request an independent designated examiner pursuant to Section 44-17-530."
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon approval by the Governor.