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
10/20/2018

§ 16.1-345. Involuntary commitment; criteria.

After observing the minor and considering (i) the recommendations of any treating or examining physician or psychologist licensed in Virginia, if available, (ii) any past actions of the minor, (iii) any past mental health treatment of the minor, (iv) any qualified evaluator's report, (v) any medical records available, (vi) the preadmission screening report, and (vii) any other evidence that may have been admitted, the court shall order the involuntary commitment of the minor to a mental health facility for treatment for a period not to exceed 90 days if it finds, by clear and convincing evidence, that:

1. Because of mental illness, the minor (i) 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 or (ii) 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;

2. The minor is in need of compulsory treatment for a mental illness and is reasonably likely to benefit from the proposed treatment; and

3. If the court finds that inpatient treatment is not the least restrictive treatment, the court shall consider entering an order for mandatory outpatient treatment pursuant to § 16.1-345.2.

Upon the expiration of an order for involuntary commitment, the minor shall be released unless he is involuntarily admitted by further petition and order of a court, which shall be for a period not to exceed 90 days from the date of the subsequent court order, or the minor or his parent rescinds the objection to inpatient treatment and consents to admission pursuant to § 16.1-338 or subsection D of § 16.1-339 or the minor is ordered to mandatory outpatient treatment pursuant to § 16.1-345.2.

A minor who has been hospitalized while properly detained by a juvenile and domestic relations district court shall be returned to the detention home, shelter care, or other facility approved by the Department of Juvenile Justice by the sheriff serving the jurisdiction where the minor was detained within 24 hours following completion of a period of inpatient treatment, unless the court having jurisdiction over the case orders that the minor be released from custody. However, such a minor shall not be eligible for mandatory outpatient treatment.

In conducting an evaluation of a minor who has been properly detained, if the evaluator finds, irrespective of the fact that the minor has been detained, that the minor meets the criteria for involuntary commitment in this section, the evaluator shall recommend that the minor meets the criteria for involuntary commitment.

If the parent or parents with whom the minor resides are not willing to approve the proposed commitment, the court shall order inpatient treatment only if it finds, in addition to the criteria specified in this section, that such treatment is necessary to protect the minor's life, health, safety, or normal development. If a special justice believes that issuance of a removal order or protective order may be in the child's best interest, the special justice shall report the matter to the local department of social services for the county or city where the minor resides.

Upon finding that the best interests of the minor so require, the court may enter an order directing either or both of the minor's parents to comply with reasonable conditions relating to the minor's treatment.

If the minor is committed to inpatient treatment, such placement shall be in a mental health facility for inpatient treatment designated by the community services board which serves the political subdivision in which the minor was evaluated pursuant to § 16.1-342. If the community services board does not provide a placement recommendation at the hearing, the minor shall be placed in a mental health facility designated by the Commissioner of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.

When a minor has been involuntarily committed pursuant to this section, the judge shall determine, after consideration of information provided by the minor's treating mental health professional and any involved community services board staff regarding the minor's dangerousness, whether transportation shall be provided by the sheriff or may be provided by an alternative transportation provider, including a parent, family member, or friend of the minor, a representative of the community services board, a representative of the facility at which the minor was detained pursuant to a temporary detention order, or other alternative transportation provider with personnel trained to provide transportation in a safe manner. If the judge determines that transportation may be provided by an alternative transportation provider, the judge may consult with the proposed alternative transportation provider either in person or via two-way electronic video and audio or telephone communication system to determine whether the proposed alternative transportation provider is available to provide transportation, willing to provide transportation, and able to provide transportation in a safe manner. If the judge finds that the proposed alternative transportation provider is available to provide transportation, willing to provide transportation, and able to provide transportation in a safe manner, the judge may order transportation by the proposed alternative transportation provider. In all other cases, the judge shall order transportation by the sheriff of the jurisdiction where the minor is a resident unless the sheriff's office of that jurisdiction is located more than 100 road miles from the nearest boundary of the jurisdiction in which the proceedings took place. In cases where the sheriff of the jurisdiction in which the minor is a resident is more than 100 road miles from the nearest boundary of the jurisdiction in which the proceedings took place, it shall be the responsibility of the sheriff of the latter jurisdiction to transport the minor.

If the judge determines that the minor requires transportation by the sheriff, the sheriff, as specified in this section shall transport the minor to the proper facility. In no event shall transport commence later than six hours after notification to the sheriff or alternative transportation provider of the judge's order.

No person who provides alternative transportation pursuant to this section shall be liable to the person being transported for any civil damages for ordinary negligence in acts or omissions that result from providing such alternative transportation.

1990, c. 975; 1992, c. 539; 2005, c. 346; 2009, cc. 112, 455, 555, 697, 813, 840; 2010, cc. 778, 825; 2015, cc. 297, 308.

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.