Relating to emergency treatment of mental illness; to authorize a law enforcement officer from a designated law enforcement agency to take an individual whom the officer believes has a mental illness into protective custody under certain conditions; to provide for the transportation of the individual to a hospital or other facility for evaluation and treatment; to provide protection from civil liability to law enforcement officers, medical facilities, and medical personnel when acting pursuant to the provisions of this bill; and to repeal any local law that conflicts with the provisions of this bill or that establishes a similar program for placing individuals in protective custody for mental health issues.
(a) For the purposes of this section, the following terms have the following meanings: (1) DESIGNATED LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY. A law enforcement agency within a particular county that is authorized by a judge of probate to exercise the authority described in this act. (2) DESIGNATED TREATMENT FACILITY. A health care facility that has a written agreement with the county to provide evaluation, treatment, and care to individuals placed in protective custody pursuant to this act and is designated by the Department of Mental Health. (3) LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER. Any state, county, or municipal officer certified by the Alabama Peace Officers' Standards and Training Commission. (4) MENTAL ILLNESS. As defined in Section 22-52-1.1. (b)(1) Concurrently with Article 1 of Chapter 52 of Title 22, Code of Alabama 1975, a law enforcement officer from a designated law enforcement agency may take an individual 14 ears of age or older into protective custody when the officer has reasonable cause to believe that the individual is mentally ill and is an immediate danger to himself or herself or others. (2)a. Upon placement of an individual under protective custody pursuant to subdivision (1), the law enforcement officer shall transport the individual to a designated treatment facility for an evaluation and treatment. While in protective custody, the individual shall have the opportunity to contact an adult of the individual's choice in a timely manner. b. If the individual does not consent to the transport, the officer may use reasonable force necessary to carry out the transport. c. Two or more licensed physicians or one licensed physician and one or more nurse practitioners or physician assistants, after having consultation, shall sign a written statement finding, in his or her judgment, that each tentatively and independently has observed and found the individual as appearing mentally ill and in need of further observation and attention, as the individual is a danger to self or others. The statement shall be signed and the judge of probate shall be contacted within 24 hours of the finding in this paragraph. d. The individual shall be released from the designated treatment facility within 72 hours, exclusive of Saturday, Sunday, or any legal holiday, unless a judge of probate orders further inpatient or outpatient treatment for the individual as provided in Article 1 of Chapter 52 of Title 22, Code of Alabama 1975. e. Upon a determination by an attending physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant at a designated treatment facility in this state that an individual transported to the designated treatment facility pursuant to this section is not mentally ill or a danger to self or others, it shall promptly communicate this information to the appropriate law enforcement officer. The law enforcement officer shall coordinate the immediate release of the others, this information shall be promptly communicated to the designated law enforcement agency. The designated law enforcement agency shall coordinate the immediate release of the individual from the designated treatment facility and shall release the individual from protective custody unless the law enforcement officer has some legal cause for detaining the individual other than the individual's mental condition. After the individual is released, and upon request of the individual, the law enforcement officer shall transport the individual, a law enforcement officer from the designated law enforcement agency shall transport the individual to his or her residence or other place of abode if it is within the county. (c) Protective custody by a law enforcement officer under this section shall not be considered an arrest for any purpose, and no entry or other record may be made to indicate that an individual subject to temporary protective custody by a law enforcement officer under this section has been detained or charged with any crime. (d)(1) It is the policy of this state to encourage a law enforcement officer, hospital, physician, medical provider, regional mental health center, or other designated treatment facility to act in the best interests of the individual and the state by detaining individuals who are mentally ill and a danger to themselves or others for evaluation and treatment, and protecting the rights of those individuals. The state finds that these actions are necessary to protect the individuals and the public. These entities and individuals are acting in the name of the state and are acting as state agents, when acting pursuant to this act, in making determinations, detaining, releasing, admitting, discharging, or otherwise taking action under this act. When acting pursuant to this act, a law enforcement officer, hospital, physician, medical provider, regional mental health center, or other designated treatment facility shall be afforded immunity under Section 36-1-12, Code of Alabama 1975, as any other state employee or agent of the state. (2) Nothing in this act shall modify, amend, repeal, or supersede any provision of Section 6-5-333, Code of Alabama 1975, the Alabama Medical Liability Act of 1987, commencing with Section 6-5-540, Code of Alabama 1975, or the Alabama Medical Liability Act of 1996, commencing with Section 6-5-548, Code of Alabama 1975, or any amendment to any of these laws or any judicial interpretation of these laws.
(a) This act shall not be applicable to any county unless and until the judge of probate with the approval of the county commission of that particular county makes a finding that there exists in the county provisions for implementation of this act and the necessary designated treatment facilities to detain persons pursuant to this act. In that event, the judge of probate shall open a case under a docket number and enter findings upon the records of the court that shall expressly state the intention to invoke this act. Notification and a copy of the court's findings and statement shall be served on all designated treatment facilities located within the county, all law enforcement agencies within the county, the Commissioner of the Department of Mental Health, the Attorney General, the Secretary of State, the Governor, and any other individuals deemed appropriate by the judge of probate. In the event of changed circumstances, the judge of probate may terminate the opened case with procedures set forth in Article 1 of Chapter 52 of Title 22, Code of Alabama 1975, and shall make findings accordingly and serve the parties named herein and others previously notified. (b) Notwithstanding any provision in this act to the contrary, a petition for commitment pursuant to Article 1 of Chapter 52 of Title 22, Code of Alabama 1975, may be filed in the probate court of the county where the respondent is located, and any subsequent proceedings held to determine probable cause and final hearings on the merits shall be held by that probate court. (c) All costs associated with a probable cause hearing, including cost of counsel, shall be paid by the State General Fund upon order of the judge of probate. However, if the petition is denied and the petitioner is not indigent and is not a law enforcement officer or other public official acting within the line and scope of his or her duties, all costs may be taxed against the petitioner, or if the petition is granted and the person sought to be committed is not indigent, the judge of probate may order all costs paid from the estate of the person committed.
Any local law that conflicts with this act or that establishes a similar program for placing individuals in protective custody for mental health issues, including Act No. 17 of the 1975 Second Special Session, (Acts 1975, Vol. I, p. 127), as amended by Act No. 353 of the 1975 Regular Session, (Acts 1975, Vol. II, p. 891), is hereby repealed.
This act shall become effective on the first day of the third month following its passage and approval by the Governor, or its otherwise becoming law. House of Representatives Read for the first time and re- ferred to the House of Representa- tives committee on Judiciary ...... ....... 27-FEB-20Read for the second time and placed on the calendar.................... ....... 05-MAR-20 Read for the third time and passed as amended......................... ....... 12-MAR-20 Yeas 99, Nays 0, Abstains Jeff Woodard Clerk
|March 12, 2020||H||Engrossed|
|March 12, 2020||H||Motion to Read a Third Time and Pass adopted Roll Call 370|
|March 12, 2020||H||Motion to Adopt adopted Roll Call 369|
|March 12, 2020||H||Allen 2nd Amendment Offered|
|March 12, 2020||H||Motion to Adopt adopted Roll Call 368|
|March 12, 2020||H||Allen 1st Amendment Offered|
|March 12, 2020||H||Motion to Adopt adopted Roll Call 367|
|March 12, 2020||H||Third Reading Passed|
|March 12, 2020||H||Allen motion to Carry Over Temporarily adopted Voice Vote|
|March 12, 2020||H||Allen first Substitute Offered|
|March 12, 2020||H||Third Reading Carried Over|
|March 5, 2020||H||Read for the second time and placed on the calendar|
|February 27, 2020||H||Read for the first time and referred to the House of Representatives committee on Judiciary|