2003 Regular Session
To: Public Health and Welfare; Judiciary
By: Senator(s) Chamberlin
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 41-21-77, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE A TIME LIMIT WITHIN WHICH A COURT-ORDERED MENTALLY ILL PATIENT MUST BE TRANSFERRED TO A FACILITY, AND TO PROVIDE THAT THE FACILITY SHALL ASSUME FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR TREATMENT FROM THE DATE OF THE ORDER; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 41-21-77, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
41-21-77. If admission is ordered at a treatment facility, the sheriff, his deputy or any other person appointed or authorized by the court shall immediately deliver the respondent to the director of the appropriate facility. Neither the Board of Mental Health or its members, nor the Department of Mental Health or its related facilities, nor any employee of the Department of Mental Health or its related facilities, shall be appointed, authorized or ordered to deliver the respondent for treatment, and no person shall be so delivered or admitted until the director of the admitting institution determines that facilities and services are available; provided, however, that the transfer shall be made within forty-eight (48) hours of the order. Persons who have been ordered committed and are awaiting admission may be given any such treatment in the facility by a licensed physician as is indicated by standard medical practice. The director of the admitting facility shall assume the financial responsibility for treatment, care and housing for mentally ill patients from the date of the order. The clerk shall provide the director of the admitting institution with a certified copy of the court order, a certified copy of the physicians' and any psychologist's certificate, a certified copy of the affidavit, and any other information available concerning the physical and mental condition of the respondent; provided, upon notification from the United States Veterans Administration or other agency of the United States government, that facilities are available and the respondent is eligible for care and treatment therein, the court may enter an order for delivery of the respondent to or retention by the Veterans Administration or other agency of the United States government, and, in such cases such chief officer to whom the respondent is so delivered or by whom he is retained shall, with respect to the respondent, be vested with the same powers as the director of the Mississippi State Hospital at Whitfield, or the East Mississippi State Hospital at Meridian, with respect to retention and discharge of the respondent.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2003.