122C-265. Outpatient commitment; examination and treatment pending hearing.

(a) If a respondent, who has been recommended for outpatient commitment by [a] commitment examiner different from the proposed outpatient treatment physician or center, fails to appear for examination by the proposed outpatient treatment physician or center at the designated time, the physician or center shall notify the clerk of superior court who shall issue an order to a law enforcement officer to take the respondent into custody and take him immediately to the outpatient treatment physician or center for evaluation. The custody order is valid throughout the State. The law-enforcement officer may wait during the examination and return the respondent to his home after the examination.

(b) The examining commitment examiner or the proposed outpatient treatment physician or center may prescribe to the respondent reasonable and appropriate medication and treatment that are consistent with accepted medical standards pending the district court hearing.

(c) In no event may a respondent released on a recommendation that he or she meets the outpatient commitment criteria be physically forced to take medication or forcibly detained for treatment pending a district court hearing.

(d) If at any time pending the district court hearing the outpatient treatment physician or center determines that the respondent does not meet the criteria of G.S. 122C-263(d)(1), the physician shall release the respondent and notify the clerk of court and the proceedings shall be terminated.

(e) If a respondent becomes dangerous to self as defined in G.S. 122C-3(11)a., or others, as defined in G.S. 122C-3(11)b., pending a district court hearing on outpatient commitment, new proceedings for involuntary inpatient commitment may be initiated.

(f) If an inpatient commitment proceeding is initiated pending the hearing for outpatient commitment and the respondent is admitted to a 24-hour facility to be held for an inpatient commitment hearing, notice shall be sent by the clerk of court in the county where the respondent is being held to the clerk of court of the county where the outpatient commitment was initiated and the outpatient commitment proceeding shall be terminated. (1983, c. 638, s. 11; c. 864, s. 4; 1985, c. 589, s. 2; c. 695, s. 6; 1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 823, s. 5; 1991, c. 636, s. 2(2); c. 761, s. 49; 2004-23, s. 2(a); 2018-33, s. 27.)