Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 16.1. Courts Not of Record
Chapter 11. Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Courts

§ 16.1-342. Involuntary commitment; clinical evaluation.

A. Upon the filing of a petition for involuntary commitment, the juvenile and domestic relations district court shall direct the community services board serving the area in which the minor is located to arrange for an evaluation by a qualified evaluator, if one has not already been performed pursuant to subsection B of § 16.1-339. All such evaluations shall be conducted in private. In conducting a clinical evaluation of a minor in detention or shelter care, if the evaluator finds, irrespective of the fact that the minor has been detained, that the minor meets the criteria for involuntary commitment in § 16.1-345, the evaluator shall recommend that the minor meets the criteria for involuntary commitment. The petitioner, all public agencies, and all providers or programs which have treated or who are treating the minor, shall cooperate with the evaluator and shall promptly deliver, upon request and without charge, all records of treatment or education of the minor. At least 24 hours before the scheduled hearing, the evaluator shall submit to the court a written report which includes the evaluator's opinion regarding whether the minor meets the criteria for involuntary commitment specified in § 16.1-345. A copy of the evaluator's report shall be provided to the minor's guardian ad litem and to the minor's counsel. The evaluator, if not physically present at the hearing, shall be available for questioning during the hearing through a two-way electronic video and audio or telephonic communication system as authorized in § 16.1-345.1. When the qualified evaluator attends the hearing in person or by electronic communication, he shall not be excluded from the hearing pursuant to an order of sequestration of witnesses.

B. Any evaluation conducted pursuant to this section shall be a comprehensive evaluation of the minor conducted in-person or, if that is not practicable, by a two-way electronic video and audio communication system as authorized in § 16.1-345.1. Translation or interpreter services shall be provided during the evaluation where necessary. The examination shall consist of (i) a clinical assessment that includes a mental status examination; determination of current use of psychotropic and other medications; a medical and psychiatric history; a substance use, abuse, or dependency determination; and a determination of the likelihood that, because of mental illness, the minor is experiencing a serious deterioration of his ability to care for himself in a developmentally age-appropriate manner, as evidenced by delusionary thinking or by a significant impairment of functioning in hydration, nutrition, self-protection, or self-control; (ii) a substance abuse screening, when indicated; (iii) a risk assessment that includes an evaluation of the likelihood that, because of mental illness, the minor presents a serious danger to himself or others to the extent that severe or irremediable injury is likely to result, as evidenced by recent acts or threats; (iv) for a minor 14 years of age or older, an assessment of the minor's capacity to consent to treatment, including his ability to maintain and communicate choice, understand relevant information, and comprehend the situation and its consequences; (v) if prior to the examination the minor has been temporarily detained pursuant to this article, a review of the temporary detention facility's records for the minor, including the treating physician's evaluation, any collateral information, reports of any laboratory or toxicology tests conducted, and all admission forms and nurses' notes; (vi) a discussion of treatment preferences expressed by the minor or his parents or contained in a document provided by the minor or his parents in support of recovery; (vii) an assessment of alternatives to involuntary inpatient treatment; and (viii) recommendations for the placement, care, and treatment of the minor.

1990, c. 975; 2005, c. 346; 2009, cc. 455, 555; 2010, cc. 778, 825.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.