WEST virginia Legislature
2017 regular session
Senate Bill 317
By Senators Weld, Maynard, Stollings and Takubo
[Introduced February 14,
to the Committee on Health and Human Resources; and then to the Committee on the Judiciary]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §49-4-304, relating to authorizing a family court judge to order substance abuse counseling of a child in emergency situations.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §49-4-304, to read as follows:
ARTICLE 4. COURT ACTiONS.
§49-4-304. Authorizing a family court judge to order substance abuse counseling of a child in emergency situations; requirements; orders; investigative reports; notification required.
(a) Notwithstanding the jurisdictional limitations contained in section two, article two-a, chapter fifty-one of this code, family court judges are authorized to order the department to place a child who is suffering from drug and/or alcohol abuse, into either an in-patient or out-patient treatment facility if the family court judge finds that there is clear and convincing evidence that:
(1) There exists an imminent danger to the physical well-being of the child as defined in section two hundred one, article one of this chapter;
(2) The permission of the child’s parent, parents, or legal guardian has not been obtained to provide the child with treatment, despite the due diligence of the department to obtain such permission; and
(3) There are no reasonable available alternatives to the emergency treatment order.
(b) An order entered pursuant to subsection (a) of this section must include specific written findings.
(c) A copy of the order issued pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall be transmitted forthwith to the department, the circuit court and the prosecuting attorney.
(d) Upon receipt of an order issued pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the department shall immediately respond and assist the family court judge in placement of the child into either an in-patient or out-patient substance abuse rehabilitation center.
(e)(1) Upon receipt of an order issued pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the circuit court shall cause to be entered and served, an administrative order in the name of and regarding the affected child, directing the department to submit, within seven days from the time the child began treatment, an investigative report to both the circuit and family court.
(2) The investigative report shall include a statement of whether the department intends to file a petition pursuant to section six hundred two of this article.
(f) An order issued pursuant to subsection (a) of this section terminates by operation of law upon the child’s completion of their treatment program, unless a petition is filed with the circuit court under section six hundred two of this article within ninety-six hours from the time the child is initially placed into a treatment facility.
(g) Any worker for the department who places a child in a treatment facility pursuant to this section shall immediately notify the parents, parent, grandparents, grandparent, guardian or custodian of the child of the placement and the reasons therefor if the whereabouts of the parents, parent, grandparents, grandparent, guardian or custodian are known or can be discovered with due diligence and, if not, a notice and explanation shall be given to the child's closest relative if his or her whereabouts are known or can be discovered with due diligence within a reasonable time. An inquiry shall be made of relatives and neighbors and, if an appropriate relative or neighbor is willing to assume custody of the child, the child will temporarily be placed in that person's custody.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to authorize a family court judge to order substance abuse counseling of a child in emergency situations.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.