Emergency custody; who may accept custody. (SB66)

Introduced By

Sen. Janet Howell (D-Reston)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Emergency custody; who may accept custody. Allows the location to which a person is transported pursuant to an emergency custody order to accept custody of the person where (i) the location is licensed to provide the level of security necessary to protect the person and others from harm, (ii) the location is actually able to provide the level of security necessary to protect the person and others from harm, and (iii) the location is willing to accept custody of the person. Read the Bill »


01/28/2008: Merged into SB81


12/21/2007Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/09/08 084538248
12/21/2007Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/21/2008Assigned Courts sub: Special on Proposed Mental Health Legislation
01/24/2008Impact statement from DPB (SB66)
01/28/2008Incorporated by Courts of Justice (SB81-Cuccinelli) (13-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)

Duplicate Bills

The following bills are identical to this one: SB81 and HB401.


Rev. L. Willliam Yolton writes:

1. Who will license? DMHMRSAS Office of licensing, I suppose. But will consumers be given a "consumer driven" voice in the process.

2. Who will monitor and inspect? DMHMRSAS Office of Licensing has lacked sufficient staff for a decade. The office needs to begin to incorporate consumers into its regimen.

Alison Hymes writes:

This bill will give police an incentive not to take folks to jail instead of a crisis center since currently police have to stay with a person for hours, sometimes doing overtime and therefore the incentive is to arrest someone on a status crime and take them to jail. This bill will prevent many people from unneccessary trauma, arrest, criminal record etc.

Licensing's need for more staff isn't really relevant to the purpose of this bill, which is to decriminalize mental illness as I see it and decrease trauma.

Licensing can only make recommendations anyway, what we really need is the political will to take away licenses when licensing recommends it. We haven't had that in Virginia. I think licensing does a great job with the limited resources it has. Why diss our allies?

spotter writes:

This bill would allow hospitals to turn away those who are experiencing a mental health emergency and are an imminent danger to themselves or others, even after a magistrate has ordered that they be detained. Who requested this bill? Why is Delegate Hamilton putting the interests of hospitals ahead of patients and the public? This bill would legalize the current practice of releasing the dangerous mentally ill without needed treatment, or jailing them on trumped up charges. We have seen the results of this practice too many times, most recently last spring in Blacksburg.

Alison Hymes writes:

No, you missed the point. Currently, sherrifs and police have to stay with the person under an ECO until a TDO is issued, this can take hours and incentivizes police to take someone to jail instead of an ER or CSB so they won't have to put in hours and overtime staying with one person. Less people would end up being taken to jail if this passes, not more. And hospitals would still have to abide by federal law which prohibits dumping patients who aren't stable. And in Blacksburg, that guy was held by the hospital and was taken to commitment. This bill has no relation to that tragedy.

spotter writes:

If that's the point, then (iii) needs to be reworded. By the way, Cho was held less than twenty-four hours. How could he be adequately evaluated in that short a time period? The law must be reworded so that the hospitals cannot continue their revolving door policy.

Alison Hymes writes:

The timing of the hearing in Blacksburg was not up to the hospital. In Blacksburg they did and still do as far as I have heard, hold hearings only 3 days a week instead of as needed. They hold them Mon., Wed. and Fri. So if someone comes in on a Sunday, they will be taken to hearing on Monday morning so as not to overstay the TDO limit. If Blacksburg held hearings every day that guy would not have been taken to hearing so quickly. There was a proposal by the Commitment Taskforce to mandate a 24 hour wait before hearings could be held for a TDO and I believe it is somewhere in another bill but I'd have to look.

Alison Hymes writes:


is the bill that mandates a 24 hour period before a commitment hearing can be held.

spotter writes:

Thanks. That would solve the problem.

Alison Hymes writes:

This bill has passed the Senate and is in the House.