Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 37.2. Behavioral Health and Developmental Services
Chapter 8. Emergency Custody and Voluntary and Involuntary Civil Admissions
12/7/2022

Article 1. General Provisions.

§ 37.2-800. Applicability of chapter.

For the purposes of this chapter, whenever the term mental illness appears, it shall include substance abuse. Whenever the term responsible person appears, it shall include a family member as that term is defined in § 37.2-100, a community services board or behavioral health authority, any treating physician of the person, or a law-enforcement officer. Whenever the term community services board or board appears, it shall include behavioral health authority.

1968, c. 477, § 37.1-63; 1976, c. 671; 2005, c. 716; 2008, cc. 850, 870.

§ 37.2-801. Admission procedures; forms.

A. Any person alleged to have a mental illness to a degree that warrants treatment in a facility may be admitted to a facility by compliance with one of the following admission procedures:

1. Voluntary admission;

2. Admission of incapacitated persons pursuant to § 37.2-805.1; or

3. Involuntary admission by the procedure described in §§ 37.2-809 through 37.2-820.

B. The Office of the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court of Virginia shall prepare the petitions, orders, and such other legal forms as may be required in procedures for custody, detention, and involuntary admission pursuant to Articles 4 (§ 37.2-808 et seq.) and 5 (§ 37.2-814 et seq.) of Chapter 8, and shall distribute such forms to the clerks of the general district courts and juvenile and domestic relations district courts of the Commonwealth. The Department shall prepare the preadmission screening report, examination, and such other clinical forms as may be required in proceedings for custody, detention, and admission pursuant to § 37.2-805, and Articles 4 (§ 37.2-808 et seq.) and 5 (§ 37.2-814 et seq.) of Chapter 8, and shall distribute such forms to community services boards, mental health care providers, and directors of state facilities.

Code 1950, §§ 37-61.1, 37-67, 37-121; 1950, pp. 903, 916; 1958, c. 154; 1964, c. 640; 1968, c. 477, § 37.1-64; 1970, c. 673; 1972, c. 639; 1976, c. 671; 1980, c. 582; 2005, c. 716; 2009, cc. 211, 268, 708.

§ 37.2-802. Interpreters in admission or certification proceedings.

A. In any proceeding pursuant to § 37.2-806 or §§ 37.2-809 through 37.2-820 in which a person who is deaf is alleged to have intellectual disability or mental illness, an interpreter for the person shall be appointed by the district court judge or special justice before whom the proceeding is pending from a list of qualified interpreters provided by the Department for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing. The interpreter shall be compensated as provided for in § 37.2-804.

B. In any proceeding pursuant to § 37.2-806 or §§ 37.2-809 through 37.2-820 in which a non-English-speaking person is alleged to have intellectual disability or mental illness or is a witness in such proceeding, an interpreter for the person shall be appointed by the district court judge or special justice, or in the case of §§ 37.2-809 through 37.2-813 a magistrate, before whom the proceeding is pending. Failure to appoint an interpreter when an interpreter is not reasonably available or when the person's level of English fluency cannot be determined shall not be a basis to dismiss the petition or void the order entered at the proceeding. The compensation for the interpreter shall be fixed by the court in accordance with the guidelines set by the Judicial Council of Virginia and shall be paid out of the state treasury.

1976, c. 671, § 37.1-67.5; 1979, c. 204; 2004, c. 243, § 37.1-67.5:01; 2005, c. 716; 2012, cc. 476, 507.

§ 37.2-803. Special justices to perform duties of judge.

The chief judge of each judicial circuit may appoint one or more special justices, for the purpose of performing the duties required of a judge by this chapter, Chapter 11 (§ 37.2-1100 et seq.), and §§ 16.1-69.28, 16.1-335 through 16.1-348, 19.2-169.6, 19.2-174.1, 19.2-182.9, 53.1-40.1, 53.1-40.2, 53.1-40.9, and 53.1-133.04. Each special justice shall be a person licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth or a retired or substitute judge in good standing and shall have all the powers and jurisdiction conferred upon a judge. The special justice shall serve under the supervision and at the pleasure of the chief judge of the judicial circuit for a period of up to six years. The special justice may be reappointed and may serve additional periods of up to six years, at the pleasure of the chief judge. Within six months of appointment, each special justice appointed on or after January 1, 1996, shall complete a minimum training program prescribed by the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court. Special justices shall collect the fees prescribed in this chapter for their service and shall retain those fees, unless the governing body of the county or city in which the services are performed provides for the payment of an annual salary for the services, in which case the fees shall be collected and paid into the treasury of that county or city.

Code 1950, § 37-61.2; 1952, c. 700; 1968, c. 477, § 37.1-88; 1974, c. 111; 1976, c. 671; 1995, c. 844; 2005, c. 716; 2007, cc. 500, 897; 2009, c. 608; 2010, cc. 340, 406; 2019, c. 809.

§ 37.2-804. Fees and expenses.

A. Any special justice, retired judge sitting by designation pursuant to § 16.1-69.35, or any district court substitute judge who presides over hearings pursuant to the provisions of §§ 37.2-809 through 37.2-820, Article 16 (§ 16.1-335 et seq.) of Chapter 11 of Title 16.1, or § 19.2-169.6 shall receive a fee of $86.25 for each hearing thereunder plus his necessary mileage, parking, tolls, and postage, and $43.25 for each certification hearing and each order under Chapter 11 (§ 37.2-1100 et seq.) ruling on competency or treatment plus his necessary mileage, parking, tolls, and postage.

B. Any physician, psychologist or other mental health professional, or any interpreter, appointed pursuant to § 37.2-802 for persons who are deaf, who is not regularly employed by the Commonwealth and is required to serve as a witness or as an interpreter in any proceeding under this chapter or § 19.2-169.6 shall receive a fee of $75 and his necessary expenses for each commitment hearing for involuntary admission in which he serves and $43.25 and necessary expenses for each certification hearing in which he serves.

C. Other witnesses regularly summoned before a judge or special justice under the provisions of this chapter shall receive the compensation for their attendance and mileage that is allowed witnesses summoned to testify before grand juries.

D. Every attorney appointed under § 37.2-806 or §§ 37.2-809 through 37.2-820 shall receive a fee of $75 and his necessary expenses for each hearing thereunder and $43.25 and his necessary expenses for each certification hearing and each proceeding under Chapter 11 (§ 37.2-1100 et seq.).

E. Except as hereinafter provided, all expenses incurred, including the fees, attendance, and mileage aforesaid, shall be paid by the Commonwealth. When any such fees, costs, and expenses, incurred in connection with an examination or hearing for an admission pursuant to § 37.2-806 or §§ 37.2-809 through 37.2-820, to carry out the provisions of this chapter or in connection with a proceeding under Chapter 11 (§ 37.2-1100 et seq.) or § 19.2-169.6, are paid by the Commonwealth, they shall be recoverable by the Commonwealth from the person who is the subject of the examination, hearing, or proceeding or from his estate. Collection or recovery may be undertaken by the Department. When the fees, costs, and expenses are collected or recovered by the Department, they shall be refunded to the Commonwealth. No fees or costs shall be recovered, however, from the person who is the subject of the examination or hearing or his estate when no good cause for his admission exists or when the recovery would create an undue financial hardship.

Code 1950, § 37-75; 1950, pp. 906, 1596; 1954, c. 194; 1956, c. 445; 1958, c. 346; 1962, c. 20; 1964, c. 640; 1968, c. 477, § 37.1-89; 1970, c. 673; 1975, c. 197; 1976, cc. 374, 459, 671; 1977, c. 674; 1979, c. 204; 1982, c. 454; 1989, c. 591; 1991, c. 86; 1995, c. 844; 1996, c. 893; 1997, c. 921; 1998, c. 455; 2005, c. 716; 2007, cc. 500, 897; 2009, c. 266; 2010, cc. 340, 406.

§ 37.2-804.1. Use of electronic communication.

A. Petitions and orders for emergency custody and temporary detention pursuant to this chapter may be filed, issued, served, or executed by electronic means, with or without the use of two-way electronic video and audio communication, and returned in the same manner with the same force, effect, and authority as an original document. All signatures thereon shall be treated as original signatures.

B. Any judge or special justice may conduct proceedings pursuant to this chapter using any two-way electronic video and audio communication system to provide for the appearance of any parties and witnesses. Any two-way electronic video and audio communication system used to conduct a proceeding shall meet the standards set forth in subsection B of § 19.2-3.1. When a witness whose testimony would be helpful to the conduct of the proceeding is not able to be physically present, his testimony may be received using a telephonic communication system.

2005, cc. 51, 716.

§ 37.2-804.2. Disclosure of records.

Any health care provider, as defined in § 32.1-127.1:03, or other provider who has provided or is currently providing services to a person who is the subject of proceedings pursuant to this chapter shall, upon request, disclose to a magistrate, the court, the person's attorney, the person's guardian ad litem, the examiner identified to perform an examination pursuant to § 37.2-815, the community services board or its designee performing any evaluation, preadmission screening, or monitoring duties pursuant to this chapter, or a law-enforcement officer any information that is necessary and appropriate for the performance of his duties pursuant to this chapter. Any health care provider, as defined in § 32.1-127.1:03, or other provider who has provided or is currently evaluating or providing services to a person who is the subject of proceedings pursuant to this chapter shall disclose information that may be necessary for the treatment of such person to any other health care provider or other provider evaluating or providing services to or monitoring the treatment of the person. Health records disclosed to a law-enforcement officer shall be limited to information necessary to protect the officer, the person, or the public from physical injury or to address the health care needs of the person. Information disclosed to a law-enforcement officer shall not be used for any other purpose, disclosed to others, or retained.

Any health care provider providing services to a person who is the subject of proceedings under this chapter shall (i) inform the person that his family member or personal representative, including any agent named in an advance directive executed in accordance with the Health Care Decisions Act (§ 54.1-2981 et seq.), will be notified of information that is directly relevant to such individual's involvement with the person's health care, which may include the person's location and general condition, in accordance with subdivision D 34 of § 32.1-127.1:03, and (ii) make a reasonable effort to so notify the person's family member or personal representative, unless the provider has actual knowledge that the family member or personal representative is currently prohibited by court order from contacting the person. No health care provider shall be required to notify a person's family member or personal representative pursuant to this section if the health care provider has actual knowledge that such notice has been provided.

Any health care provider disclosing records pursuant to this section shall be immune from civil liability for any harm resulting from the disclosure, including any liability under the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (42 U.S.C. § 1320d et seq.), as amended, unless the person or provider disclosing such records intended the harm or acted in bad faith.

2008, cc. 782, 850, 870; 2009, cc. 606, 651; 2016, cc. 569, 693.