§ 122C-266. Inpatient commitment; second examination and treatment pending hearing.
(a) Except as provided in subsections (b) and (e), within 24 hours of arrival at a 24-hour facility described in G.S. 122C-252, the respondent shall be examined by a physician. This physician shall not be the same physician who completed the certificate or examination under the provisions of G.S. 122C-262 or G.S. 122C-263. The examination shall include but is not limited to the assessment specified in G.S. 122C-263(c).
(1) If the physician finds that the respondent is mentally ill and is dangerous to self, as defined by G.S. 122C-3(11)a., or others, as defined by G.S. 122C-3(11)b., the physician shall hold the respondent at the facility pending the district court hearing.
(2) If the physician finds that the respondent meets the criteria for outpatient commitment under G.S. 122C-263(d)(1), the physician shall show these findings on the physician's examination report, release the respondent pending the district court hearing, and notify the clerk of superior court of the county where the petition was initiated of these findings. In addition, the examining physician shall show on the examination report the name, address, and telephone number of the proposed outpatient treatment physician or center. The physician shall give the respondent a written notice listing the name, address, and telephone number of the proposed outpatient treatment physician or center and directing the respondent to appear at that address at a specified date and time. The examining physician before the appointment shall notify by telephone and shall send a copy of the notice and the examination report to the proposed outpatient treatment physician or center.
(3) If the physician finds that the respondent does not meet the criteria for commitment under either G.S. 122C-263(d)(1) or G.S. 122C-263(d)(2), the physician shall release the respondent and the proceedings shall be terminated.
(4) If the respondent is released under subdivisions (2) or (3) of this subsection, the law enforcement officer or other person designated to provide transportation shall return the respondent to the respondent's residence in the originating county or, if requested by the respondent, to another location in the originating county.
(a1) The second examination of a respondent required by subsection (a) of this section to determine whether the respondent will be involuntarily committed due to mental illness may be conducted either in the physical face-to-face presence of a physician or utilizing telehealth equipment and procedures, provided that the physician who examines the respondent by means of telehealth is satisfied to a reasonable medical certainty that the determinations made in accordance with subdivisions (a)(1) through (a)(3) of this section would not be different if the examination had been done in the physical presence of the examining physician. An examining physician who is not so satisfied shall note that the examination was not satisfactorily accomplished, and the respondent shall be taken for a face-to-face examination in the physical presence of a physician. As used in this section, "telehealth" means the use of two-way, real-time interactive audio and video where the respondent and commitment examiner can hear and see each other.
(b) If the custody order states that the respondent was charged with a violent crime, including a crime involving assault with a deadly weapon, and that he was found incapable of proceeding, the physician shall examine him as set forth in subsection (a) of this section. However, the physician may not release him from the facility until ordered to do so following the district court hearing.
(c) The findings of the physician and the facts on which they are based shall be in writing, in all cases. A copy of the findings shall be sent to the clerk of superior court by reliable and expeditious means.
(d) Pending the district court hearing, the physician attending the respondent may administer to the respondent reasonable and appropriate medication and treatment that is consistent with accepted medical standards. Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, if at any time pending the district court hearing, the attending physician determines that the respondent no longer meets the criteria of either G.S. 122C-263(d)(1) or (d)(2), he shall release the respondent and notify the clerk of court and the proceedings shall be terminated.
(e) If the 24-hour facility described in G.S. 122C-252 or G.S. 122C-262 is the facility in which the first examination by a physician or eligible psychologist occurred and is the same facility in which the respondent is held, the second examination shall occur not later than the following regular working day. (1973, c. 726, s. 1; c. 1408, s. 1; 1977, c. 400, s. 6; 1979, c. 915, s. 6; 1983, c. 380, s. 5; c. 638, ss. 9, 10; c. 864, s. 4; 1985, c. 589, s. 2; c. 695, s. 2; 1987, c. 596, s. 4; 1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 823, s. 6; 1991, c. 37, s. 9; 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 739, s. 10(a), (b); 2021-77, s. 6(b).)