Code of Virginia

Creating a Report: Check the sections you'd like to appear in the report, then use the "Create Report" button at the bottom of the page to generate your report. Once the report is generated you'll then have the option to download it as a pdf, print or email the report.

Code of Virginia
Title 37.2. Behavioral Health and Developmental Services
Chapter 8. Emergency Custody and Voluntary and Involuntary Civil Admissions
2/24/2024

§ 37.2-817. Involuntary admission.

A. The district court judge or special justice shall render a decision on the petition for involuntary admission after the appointed examiner has presented the report required by § 37.2-815, and after the community services board that serves the county or city where the person resides or, if impractical, where the person is located has presented a preadmission screening report with recommendations for that person's placement, care, and treatment pursuant to § 37.2-816. These reports, if not contested, may constitute sufficient evidence upon which the district court judge or special justice may base his decision. The examiner, if not physically present at the hearing, and the treating physician at the facility of temporary detention shall be available whenever possible for questioning during the hearing through a two-way electronic video and audio or telephonic communication system as authorized in § 37.2-804.1.

B. Any employee or designee of the local community services board, as defined in § 37.2-809, representing the community services board that prepared the preadmission screening report shall attend the hearing in person or, if physical attendance is not practicable, shall participate in the hearing through a two-way electronic video and audio or telephonic communication system as authorized in § 37.2-804.1. Where a hearing is held outside of the service area of the community services board that prepared the preadmission screening report, and it is not practicable for a representative of the community services board that prepared the preadmission screening report to attend or participate in the hearing, arrangements shall be made by the community services board that prepared the preadmission screening report for an employee or designee of the community services board serving the area in which the hearing is held to attend or participate on behalf of the community services board that prepared the preadmission screening report. The employee or designee of the local community services board, as defined in § 37.2-809, representing the community services board that prepared the preadmission screening report or attending or participating on behalf of the community services board that prepared the preadmission screening report shall not be excluded from the hearing pursuant to an order of sequestration of witnesses. The community services board that prepared the preadmission screening report shall remain responsible for the person subject to the hearing and, prior to the hearing, shall send the preadmission screening report through certified mail, personal delivery, facsimile with return receipt acknowledged, or other electronic means with documented acknowledgment of receipt to the community services board attending the hearing. Where a community services board attends the hearing on behalf of the community services board that prepared the preadmission screening report, the attending community services board shall inform the community services board that prepared the preadmission screening report of the disposition of the matter upon the conclusion of the hearing. In addition, the attending community services board shall transmit the disposition through certified mail, personal delivery, facsimile with return receipt acknowledged, or other electronic means with documented acknowledgment of receipt.

At least 12 hours prior to the hearing, the court shall provide to the community services board that prepared the preadmission screening report the time and location of the hearing. If the representative of the community services board that prepared the preadmission screening report will be present by telephonic means, the court shall provide the telephone number to the community services board. If a representative of a community services board will be attending the hearing on behalf of the community services board that prepared the preadmission screening report, the community services board that prepared the preadmission screening report shall promptly communicate the time and location of the hearing and, if the representative of the community services board attending on behalf of the community services board that prepared the preadmission screening report will be present by telephonic means, the telephone number to the attending community services board.

C. After observing the person and considering (i) the recommendations of any treating or examining physician or psychologist licensed in Virginia, if available, (ii) any past actions of the person, (iii) any past mental health treatment of the person, (iv) any examiner's certification, (v) any health records available, (vi) the preadmission screening report, and (vii) any other relevant evidence that may have been admitted, including whether the person recently has been found unrestorably incompetent to stand trial after a hearing held pursuant to subsection E of § 19.2-169.1, if the judge or special justice finds by clear and convincing evidence that (a) the person has a mental illness and there is a substantial likelihood that, as a result of mental illness, the person will, in the near future, (1) cause serious physical harm to himself or others as evidenced by recent behavior causing, attempting, or threatening harm and other relevant information, if any, or (2) suffer serious harm due to his lack of capacity to protect himself from harm or to provide for his basic human needs, and (b) all available less restrictive treatment alternatives to involuntary inpatient treatment that would offer an opportunity for the improvement of the person's condition have been investigated and determined to be inappropriate, the judge or special justice shall by written order and specific findings so certify and order that the person be admitted involuntarily to a facility for a period of treatment not to exceed 30 days from the date of the court order. Such involuntary admission shall be to a facility designated by the community services board that serves the county or city in which the person was examined as provided in § 37.2-816. If the community services board does not designate a facility at the commitment hearing, the person shall be involuntarily admitted to a facility designated by the Commissioner. Upon the expiration of an order for involuntary admission, the person shall be released unless (A) he is involuntarily admitted by further petition and order of a court, which shall be for a period not to exceed 180 days from the date of the subsequent court order, (B) he makes application for treatment on a voluntary basis as provided for in § 37.2-805, or (C) he is ordered to mandatory outpatient treatment following a period of inpatient treatment pursuant to § 37.2-817.01.

1976, c. 671, § 37.1-67.3; 1979, c. 426; 1980, cc. 166, 582; 1982, c. 471; 1984, c. 277; 1985, c. 261; 1986, cc. 349, 609; 1988, c. 225; 1989, c. 716; 1990, cc. 59, 60, 728, 798; 1991, c. 636; 1992, c. 752; 1994, cc. 736, 907; 1995, cc. 489, 668, 844; 1996, cc. 343, 893; 1997, cc. 558, 921; 1998, c. 446; 2001, cc. 478, 479, 507, 658, 837; 2004, cc. 66, 1014; 2005, cc. 458, 716; 2008, cc. 779, 780, 782, 793, 850, 870; 2009, cc. 21, 838; 2010, cc. 330, 461; 2012, cc. 300, 451, 501; 2013, c. 179; 2014, cc. 499, 538; 2016, c. 688; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 221; 2022, c. 763.

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.