Montana Code Annotated 2021



Part 1. Treatment of the Seriously Mentally Ill

Emergency Situation -- Petition -- Detention

53-21-129. Emergency situation -- petition -- detention. (1) When an emergency situation as defined in 53-21-102 exists, a peace officer may take any person who appears to have a mental disorder and to present an imminent danger of death or bodily harm to the person or to others or who appears to have a mental disorder and to be substantially unable to provide for the person's own basic needs of food, clothing, shelter, health, or safety into custody only for sufficient time to contact a professional person for emergency evaluation. If possible, a professional person should be called prior to taking the person into custody.

(2) If the professional person agrees that the person detained is a danger to the person or to others and that an emergency situation as defined in 53-21-102 exists, then the person may be detained and treated until the next regular business day. At that time, the professional person shall release the detained person or file findings with the county attorney who, if the county attorney determines probable cause to exist, shall file the petition provided for in 53-21-121 through 53-21-126 in the county of the respondent's residence. In either case, the professional person shall file a report with the court explaining the professional person's actions.

(3) The county attorney of a county may make arrangements with a federal, state, regional, or private mental facility or with a mental health facility in a county for the detention of persons held pursuant to this section. If an arrangement has been made with a facility that does not, at the time of the emergency, have a bed available to detain the person at that facility, the person may be transported to the state hospital or to a behavioral health inpatient facility, subject to 53-21-193 and subsection (4) of this section, for detention and treatment as provided in this part. This determination must be made on an individual basis in each case, and the professional person at the local facility shall certify to the county attorney that the facility does not have adequate room at that time.

(4) Before a person may be transferred to the state hospital or to a behavioral health inpatient facility under this section, the state hospital or the behavioral health inpatient facility must be notified prior to transfer and shall state whether a bed is available for the person. If the professional person determines that a behavioral health inpatient facility is the appropriate facility for the emergency detention and a bed is available, the county attorney shall direct the person to the appropriate facility to which the person must be transported for emergency detention.

History: En. 38-1307 by Sec. 7, Ch. 466, L. 1975; amd. Sec. 7, Ch. 546, L. 1977; R.C.M. 1947, 38-1307; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 560, L. 1983; amd. Sec. 25, Ch. 490, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 7, Ch. 513, L. 2003; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 116, L. 2007; amd. Sec. 3, Ch. 308, L. 2013.