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WEST VIRGINIA CODE
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WVC 27- CHAPTER 27. MENTALLY ILL PERSONS.
WVC 27 - 7 - ARTICLE 7. RELEASE, DISCHARGE AND READMISSION OF PATIENTS; ESCAPEES.

WVC 27 - 7 - 1 §27-7-1. Discharge.
The chief medical officer of the mental health facility shall continually review the case of each individual who is an involuntary patient at the facility pursuant to article five of this chapter and shall as frequently as practicable, in any event at least once every three months, cause a complete psychiatric examination of each patient, and whenever it is determined that the conditions justifying involuntary hospitalization no longer exist or that the individual can no longer benefit from hospitalization, the chief medical officer shall discharge the patient, and forward a copy of the patient's discharge to the clerk of the circuit court or mental hygiene commissioner of the county in which the involuntary hospitalization was ordered and to the circuit court or mental hygiene commissioner of the county wherein the individual is a resident.

WVC 27 - 7 - 2 §27-7-2. Release of patients on convalescent status.
(a) The chief medical officer of a mental health facility may release an involuntary patient on convalescent status (trial visit) when the chief medical officer believes such release is in the best interest of the patient. Release on convalescent status shall include provisions for continuing responsibility to and by a mental health facility, not necessarily the facility in which the patient was previously hospitalized, including a plan of treatment on an outpatient basis to ensure that the patient receives whatever care and treatment he or she might require. At the end of six months on convalescent status, the patient must be discharged from any involuntary commitment order that might have been entered against him or her and he or she cannot be involuntarily returned to any mental health facility unless a new commitment proceeding has been instituted against him or her. When a patient released on convalescent status is discharged from his or her involuntary commitment, it shall be the responsibility of the chief medical officer of the mental health facility of which the individual was a patient prior to being placed on convalescent status to immediately make a report of the discharge of the patient to the circuit court or mental hygiene commissioner of the county in which the involuntary hospitalization was ordered and to the circuit court or mental hygiene commissioner of the county wherein the individual is a resident.

(b) Notwithstanding any provision of this code to the contrary, anytime an individual is involuntarily committed to a mental health facility for inpatient treatment pursuant to the provisions of article five of this chapter due to a mental illness and it is determined by the medical director of the mental health facility that the use of medication by the individual is necessary to avoid the recurrence of the behavior which caused the involuntary hospitalization, initial release from the mental health facility shall be on convalescent status with the requirement that the individual follow a designated treatment plan which may include the taking of medication unless the medical director makes a written finding that release on convalescent status will serve no treatment purpose. If an individual released on convalescent status does not comply with the terms and conditions of convalescent status, any person may file a petition to revoke such convalescent status and said petition shall be subject to the procedures and provisions of this article.

WVC 27 - 7 - 3 §27-7-3. Release as unimproved.
The chief medical officer of a mental health facility may release an involuntary patient as unimproved when any person requests the patient's release and is willing and able to take proper care of the patient outside the mental health facility. In the event that a patient is released to a responsible person, a report shall be made by such person at least once every six months to the chief medical officer of the mental health facility. No discharge shall be given to said patient until he has returned to the mental health facility for examination by the chief medical officer and he has determined that said patient is no longer in need of hospitalization.

When a patient is released from a mental health facility as unimproved, it shall be the responsibility of the chief medical officer of the mental health facility of which the individual was a patient prior to being released as unimproved to immediately make a report of the discharge of the patient to the circuit court or mental hygiene commissioner of the county in which the involuntary hospitalization was ordered and to the circuit court or mental hygiene commissioner of the county wherein the individual is a resident.

WVC 27 - 7 - 4 §27-7-4. Readmission of patients.
While any involuntary patient is out of the mental health facility under the provisions of section two or three of this article, he or she may be readmitted to the mental health facility on the basis of the original commitment. If there is reason to believe that it is in the best interest of the patient to be hospitalized, the chief medical officer of the mental health facility may issue a sworn notice for the immediate readmission of the patient, which notice shall contain facts concerning the original commitment and the current condition of the patient. This notice shall be sent to the clerk of the circuit court which ordered his or her admission, to the clerk of the circuit court of the county of the patient's residence, to the circuit court or mental hygiene commissioner of the county in which the patient may be found and to the patient at the location where the patient may be found. Upon receipt of such notice, the circuit court or mental hygiene commissioner may, if satisfied that the condition of the patient warrants his or her return, authorize any health officer or police officer to take the patient into custody and transport him or her to the mental health facility where the notice originated.

WVC 27 - 7 - 5 §27-7-5. Return of escapees; veterans.
If any person confined in a mental health facility, pursuant to article five or six-a of this chapter, escapes therefrom, the chief medical officer thereof may issue a notice, giving the name and description of the person escaping and requesting the patient's apprehension and return to the mental health facility. The chief medical officer may issue an order directed to the sheriff of the county in which the patient is a resident, commanding him to take into custody and transport such escaped person back to the mental health facility, which order the sheriff may execute in any part of the state. If such person goes to another state, the chief medical officer may notify the director of health and the director may take such action as he may deem proper for the return of such person to the mental health facility.

If any veteran duly committed to a veterans' hospital or other veterans' institution, either within or without the state, escapes therefrom and any person makes complaint, under oath, to the clerk of the circuit court of the county from which such veteran was so committed upon the order of the circuit court, giving such information and stating such facts therein as may be required, or if any veteran duly committed to a veterans' hospital or other veterans' institution, either within or without the state, escapes therefrom and the chief medical officer of such hospital or institution issues a notice to the clerk of the circuit court of the county from which such veteran was so committed upon the order of the circuit court, giving the name and description of such veteran and requesting his apprehension and return to such hospital or institution, the circuit court upon receipt of such complaint or of such notice, may issue an order directed to the sheriff of the county from which the veteran was so committed commanding him to take into custody and transport such veteran back to such hospital or institution, which order the sheriff may execute in any part of the state.

The sheriff or other person taking any person into custody under this section shall be paid such compensation as is provided for like services in other cases.

A person who is taken into custody under this section may be detained, but not incarcerated in a jail or penal institution, for a period not in excess of fourteen hours, pending return to the appropriate mental health facility.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2013 1st Special Session
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