§49-5-4. Wards of the court.
A person under the age of eighteen years who appears before the circuit court in proceedings under this article shall be considered a ward of the court and protected accordingly. The court or judge thereof may request the county health officer in any county employing a full-time health officer to make a physical and mental examination of the wards of the court as defined in this section. The health officer shall, as promptly as may be, furnish to the court or judge a written report of these examinations on forms to be furnished to the health officer by the court. In those counties not employing a full-time health officer, the court or judge may designate a reputable physician of the county to make mental and physical examinations pursuant to this section and render written reports to the court. When any such mental and physical examination is made and any such report rendered, the state shall pay to the examining physician a sum not to exceed ten dollars for each such mental and physical examination, upon certification of the fact of such examination by the court or the judge thereof.