§ 37.2-806

Judicial certification of eligibility for admission of persons with intellectual disability

A. Whenever a person alleged to have intellectual disability is not capable of requesting admission to a training center pursuant to § 37.2-805, a parent or guardian of the person or another responsible person may initiate a proceeding to certify the person’s eligibility for admission pursuant to this section.

B. Prior to initiating the proceeding, the parent or guardian or other responsible person seeking the person’s admission shall first obtain (i) a preadmission screening report that recommends admission to a training center from the community services board or behavioral health authority that serves the city or county where the person who is alleged to have intellectual disability resides and (ii) the approval of the training center to which it is proposed that the person be admitted. The Board shall adopt regulations establishing the procedure and standards for the issuance of such approval. These regulations may include provision for the observation and evaluation of the person in a training center for a period not to exceed 48 hours. No person alleged to have intellectual disability who is the subject of a proceeding under this section shall be detained on that account pending the hearing except for observation and evaluation pursuant to the provisions of this subsection.

C. Upon the filing of a petition in any city or county alleging that the person has intellectual disability, is in need of training or habilitation, and has been approved for admission pursuant to subsection B, a proceeding to certify the person’s eligibility for admission to the training center may be commenced. The petition shall be filed with any district court or special justice. A copy of the petition shall be personally served on the person named in the petition, his attorney, and his guardian or conservator. Prior to any hearing under this section, the judge or special justice shall appoint an attorney to represent the person. However, the person shall not be precluded from employing counsel of his choosing and at his expense.

D. The person who is the subject of the hearing shall be allowed sufficient opportunity to prepare his defense, obtain independent evaluations and expert opinion at his own expense, and summons other witnesses. He shall be present at any hearing held under this section, unless his attorney waives his right to be present and the judge or special justice is satisfied by a clear showing and after personal observation that the person’s attendance would subject him to substantial risk of physical or emotional injury or would be so disruptive as to prevent the hearing from taking place.

E. Notwithstanding the above, the judge or special justice shall summons either a physician or a clinical psychologist who is licensed in Virginia and is qualified in the assessment of persons with intellectual disability or a person designated by the local community services board or behavioral health authority who meets the qualifications established by the Board. The physician, clinical psychologist, or community services board or behavioral health authority designee may be the one who assessed the person pursuant to subsection B. The judge or special justice also shall summons other witnesses when so requested by the person or his attorney. The physician, clinical psychologist, or community services board or behavioral health authority designee shall certify that he has personally assessed the person and has probable cause to believe that the person (i) does or does not have intellectual disability, (ii) is or is not eligible for a less restrictive service, and (iii) is or is not in need of training or habilitation in a training center. The judge or special justice may accept written certification of a finding of a physician, clinical psychologist, or community services board or behavioral health authority designee, provided such assessment has been personally made within the preceding 30 days and there is no objection to the acceptance of the written certification by the person or his attorney.

F. If the judge or special justice, having observed the person and having obtained the necessary positive certification and other relevant evidence, specifically finds that (i) the person is not capable of requesting his own admission, (ii) the training center has approved the proposed admission pursuant to subsection B, (iii) there is no less restrictive alternative to training center admission, consistent with the best interests of the person who is the subject of the proceeding, and (iv) the person has intellectual disability and is in need of training or habilitation in a training center, the judge or special justice shall by written order certify that the person is eligible for admission to a training center.

G. Certification of eligibility for admission hereunder shall not be construed as a judicial commitment for involuntary admission of the person but shall authorize the parent or guardian or other responsible person to admit the person to a training center and shall authorize the training center to accept the person.

History

1976, c. 493, § 37.1-65.1; 1979, c. 204; 1980, c. 582; 1984, c. 425; 2005, c. 716; 2012, cc. 476, 507.

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