Montana Code Annotated 2021



Part 1. Treatment of the Seriously Mentally Ill

Examination Of Respondent Following Initial Hearing -- Recommendation Of Professional Person

53-21-123. Examination of respondent following initial hearing -- recommendation of professional person. (1) Following the initial hearing, whether before a judge or justice of the peace, the respondent must be examined by the professional person without unreasonable delay. The examination may not exceed a period of 4 hours. The professional person shall immediately notify the county attorney of the findings in person or by phone and shall make a written report of the examination to the court, with copies to the respondent's attorney and the county attorney.

(2) (a) The professional person shall include in the report a recommendation about whether the respondent should be:

(i) diverted from involuntary commitment to short-term inpatient treatment provided for under 53-21-1205 and 53-21-1206; or

(ii) evaluated for eligibility as a resident in a category D assisted living facility as provided in 53-21-199.

(b) If the professional person recommends commitment, the professional person's written report must contain a statement of the professional person's recommendations to the court for disposition under 53-21-127.

(3) The following action must be taken based on the professional person's findings:

(a) If the professional person recommends dismissal, the professional person shall additionally notify counsel and the respondent must be released and the petition dismissed. However, the county attorney may, upon good cause shown, request the court to order an additional, but no more than one, examination by a different professional person for a period of no more than 4 hours.

(b) If the professional person recommends diversion from involuntary commitment to short-term inpatient treatment or an option for living in a category D assisted living facility, the court shall suspend the commitment hearing unless the county attorney or the respondent's attorney objects within 24 hours of receiving notice of the professional person's recommendation.

(c) If the court finds that commitment proceedings should continue, the hearing must be held as scheduled.

(4) The court may not order further evaluation pending the hearing unless sound medical reasons require additional time for a complete evaluation. The reasons must be set forth in the order, along with the amount of additional time needed.

History: En. 38-1305 by Sec. 5, Ch. 466, L. 1975; amd. Sec. 5, Ch. 546, L. 1977; R.C.M. 1947, 38-1305(4); amd. Sec. 8, Ch. 376, L. 1987; amd. Sec. 21, Ch. 490, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 9, Ch. 342, L. 2001; amd. Sec. 3, Ch. 481, L. 2009; amd. Sec. 5, Ch. 402, L. 2017.