Last week after injuring myself self inflicted on wednesday evening I fell asleep due to this type of coping mechanisms natural release of opiate like endorphins in the brain it calms and relaxes me. Though when severe enough i do not just relax i fall asleep. I woke up 6 hours later in the middle of the night and bandaged myself knowing that most of the time the emergency room will not stitch anything after 6 hours. It had been just over that when I awoke. So I saw no sense in wasting the time to walk there or the resources of emergency medical services to get there when in fact it was not an emergency since past experiences have been that they could not stitch the wound. I called my mental health support service worker in the morning and they urged me to seek treatment at the emergency room anyways and I told them I would. I changed my clothes to ready myself to leave and made another phone call to speak with the director of the mental health services agency where my services were just to reassure them I was okay and I was heading there. While on the phone with her there was a knock at the door and I answered while still on the phone. It was the police here to do a well check. I explained to them I was getting ready to head to the emergency room and I was going to be walking there. I was okay and yes I was going. The officers had with them a medic team and offered me the ride there. I asked if I was under an emergency custody order or a temporary detention order and they said no. I rode to the emergency room with the understanding I was going there for medical treatment and that I was clearly at that point over my crisis and no longer at risk but that I just was going to be sure all was okay with the wound and they could not do anything for it.
Once there after already being searched by the police at my home before entering the ambulance I was then harrassed by a male nurse who said I needed to be searched by security and change into a hospital gown. I said they were not searching me I had already been searched. Now there is 2 bigger security guard men and a male nurse demanding I be searched as I say I refuse and they harrass me claiming policy and all this. I state I am there for medical treatment not mental health. Then then say I will be seeing mental health and must be searched I asked them to back up because they were right up in my space and I felt they were intruding into my personal bounderies. they continued to violate myspace and insist I would have to see mental health. I finally stated I would see mental health and then would leave and not get medical treatment since I was being treated this way. Which a security man then said I was on an eco. I had not been on one nor was I told before this point. at this point i said I was not on an eco and I was leaving. He grabbed my arm and said I was not going anywhere that i am on a verbal emergency custody order (eco). I said there was no such thing. and they refused to let me leave. two security guards stayed there for quite awhile as a intimidating tactic before one finally left and the other sat in a chair. Meanwhile the eco was never obtained until 11:20am. I got to the hospital between 9:30-9:50am some time. I feel I was violated and this law was wrongly used to intimidate and falsely gain an order against me much later under the pretense of my symptoms of my ptsd having to deal with controlling intimidating men with the abuse of their power. The used my reaction to their intimadation to obtain the real order and held me until they could get enough of it to get an order against me. They repeatedly caused me to experience the fear and put up my natural defense to protect myself by refusing to be searched by more men after already being searched by 2 men. This was undue search and caused my ptsd symptoms to manifest and defend myself by creating the fear we all naturally are given for a reason but mine and many others with a background of abuse have a more easily brought out fear that makes me automatically defend myself.
The following is the law in Virginia:
§ 37.2-808. Emergency custody; issuance and execution of order.
A. Any magistrate shall issue, upon the sworn petition of any responsible person, treating physician, or upon his own motion, an emergency custody order when he has probable cause to believe that any person (i) has a mental illness and that there exists a substantial likelihood that, as a result of mental illness, the person will, in the near future, (a) cause serious physical harm to himself or others as evidenced by recent behavior causing, attempting, or threatening harm and other relevant information, if any, or (b) suffer serious harm due to his lack of capacity to protect himself from harm or to provide for his basic human needs, (ii) is in need of hospitalization or treatment, and (iii) is unwilling to volunteer or incapable of volunteering for hospitalization or treatment. Any emergency custody order entered pursuant to this section shall provide for the disclosure of medical records pursuant to § 37.2-804.2. This subsection shall not preclude any other disclosures as required or permitted by law.
When considering whether there is probable cause to issue an emergency custody order, the magistrate may, in addition to the petition, consider (1) the recommendations of any treating or examining physician or psychologist licensed in Virginia, if available, (2) any past actions of the person, (3) any past mental health treatment of the person, (4) any relevant hearsay evidence, (5) any medical records available, (6) any affidavits submitted, if the witness is unavailable and it so states in the affidavit, and (7) any other information available that the magistrate considers relevant to the determination of whether probable cause exists to issue an emergency custody order.
B. Any person for whom an emergency custody order is issued shall be taken into custody and transported to a convenient location to be evaluated to determine whether the person meets the criteria for temporary detention pursuant to § 37.2-809 and to assess the need for hospitalization or treatment. The evaluation shall be made by a person designated by the community services board who is skilled in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness and who has completed a certification program approved by the Department.
C. The magistrate issuing an emergency custody order shall specify the primary law-enforcement agency and jurisdiction to execute the emergency custody order and provide transportation. However, in cases in which the emergency custody order is based upon a finding that the person who is the subject of the order has a mental illness and that there exists a substantial likelihood that, as a result of mental illness, the person will, in the near future, suffer serious harm due to his lack of capacity to protect himself from harm or to provide for his basic human needs, the magistrate may authorize transportation by an alternative transportation provider, including a family member or friend of the person who is the subject of the order, a representative of the community services board, or other transportation provider with personnel trained to provide transportation in a safe manner, upon determining, following consideration of information provided by the petitioner; the community services board or its designee; the local law-enforcement agency, if any; the person’s treating physician, if any; or other persons who are available and have knowledge of the person, and, when the magistrate deems appropriate, the proposed alternative transportation provider, either in person or via two-way electronic video and audio or telephone communication system, that the proposed alternative transportation provider is available to provide transportation, willing to provide transportation, and able to provide transportation in a safe manner. When transportation is ordered to be provided by an alternative transportation provider, the magistrate shall order the specified primary law-enforcement agency to execute the order, to take the person into custody, and to transfer custody of the person to the alternative transportation provider identified in the order. In such cases, a copy of the emergency custody order shall accompany the person being transported pursuant to this section at all times and shall be delivered by the alternative transportation provider to the community services board or its designee responsible for conducting the evaluation. The community services board or its designee conducting the evaluation shall return a copy of the emergency custody order to the court designated by the magistrate as soon as is practicable. Delivery of an order to a law-enforcement officer or alternative transportation provider and return of an order to the court may be accomplished electronically or by facsimile.
Transportation under this section shall include transportation to a medical facility as may be necessary to obtain emergency medical evaluation or treatment that shall be conducted immediately in accordance with state and federal law. Transportation under this section shall include transportation to a medical facility for a medical evaluation if a physician at the hospital in which the person subject to the emergency custody order may be detained requires a medical evaluation prior to admission.
D. In specifying the primary law-enforcement agency and jurisdiction for purposes of this section, the magistrate shall order the primary law-enforcement agency from the jurisdiction served by the community services board that designated the person to perform the evaluation required in subsection B to execute the order and, in cases in which transportation is ordered to be provided by the primary law-enforcement agency, provide transportation. If the community services board serves more than one jurisdiction, the magistrate shall designate the primary law-enforcement agency from the particular jurisdiction within the community services board’s service area where the person who is the subject of the emergency custody order was taken into custody or, if the person has not yet been taken into custody, the primary law-enforcement agency from the jurisdiction where the person is presently located to execute the order and provide transportation.
E. The law-enforcement agency or alternative transportation provider providing transportation pursuant to this section may transfer custody of the person to the facility or location to which the person is transported for the evaluation required in subsection B, G, or H if the facility or location (i) is licensed to provide the level of security necessary to protect both the person and others from harm, (ii) is actually capable of providing the level of security necessary to protect the person and others from harm, and (iii) in cases in which transportation is provided by a law-enforcement agency, has entered into an agreement or memorandum of understanding with the law-enforcement agency setting forth the terms and conditions under which it will accept a transfer of custody, provided, however, that the facility or location may not require the law-enforcement agency to pay any fees or costs for the transfer of custody.
F. A law-enforcement officer may lawfully go or be sent beyond the territorial limits of the county, city, or town in which he serves to any point in the Commonwealth for the purpose of executing an emergency custody order pursuant to this section.
G. A law-enforcement officer who, based upon his observation or the reliable reports of others, has probable cause to believe that a person meets the criteria for emergency custody as stated in this section may take that person into custody and transport that person to an appropriate location to assess the need for hospitalization or treatment without prior authorization. A law-enforcement officer who takes a person into custody pursuant to this subsection or subsection H may lawfully go or be sent beyond the territorial limits of the county, city, or town in which he serves to any point in the Commonwealth for the purpose of obtaining the assessment. Such evaluation shall be conducted immediately. The period of custody shall not exceed four hours from the time the law-enforcement officer takes the person into custody. However, upon a finding by a magistrate that good cause exists to grant an extension, the magistrate shall issue an order extending the period of emergency custody one time for an additional period not to exceed two hours. Good cause for an extension includes the need for additional time to allow (i) the community services board to identify a suitable facility in which the person can be temporarily detained pursuant to § 37.2-809 or (ii) a medical evaluation of the person to be completed if necessary.
H. A law-enforcement officer who is transporting a person who has voluntarily consented to be transported to a facility for the purpose of assessment or evaluation and who is beyond the territorial limits of the county, city, or town in which he serves may take such person into custody and transport him to an appropriate location to assess the need for hospitalization or treatment without prior authorization when the law-enforcement officer determines (i) that the person has revoked consent to be transported to a facility for the purpose of assessment or evaluation, and (ii) based upon his observations, that probable cause exists to believe that the person meets the criteria for emergency custody as stated in this section. The period of custody shall not exceed four hours from the time the law-enforcement officer takes the person into custody. However, upon a finding by a magistrate that good cause exists to grant an extension, the magistrate shall issue an order extending the period of emergency custody one time for an additional period not to exceed two hours. Good cause for an extension includes the need for additional time to allow (a) the community services board to identify a suitable facility in which the person can be temporarily detained pursuant to § 37.2-809, or (b) a medical evaluation of the person to be completed if necessary.
I. Nothing herein shall preclude a law-enforcement officer or alternative transportation provider from obtaining emergency medical treatment or further medical evaluation at any time for a person in his custody as provided in this section.
J. The person shall remain in custody until a temporary detention order is issued, until the person is released, or until the emergency custody order expires. An emergency custody order shall be valid for a period not to exceed four hours from the time of execution. However, upon a finding by a magistrate that good cause exists to grant an extension, the magistrate shall extend the emergency custody order one time for a second period not to exceed two hours. Good cause for an extension includes the need for additional time to allow (i) the community services board to identify a suitable facility in which the person can be temporarily detained pursuant to § 37.2-809 or (ii) a medical evaluation of the person to be completed if necessary. Any family member, as defined in § 37.2-100, employee or designee of the local community services board as defined in § 37.2-809, treating physician, or law-enforcement officer may request the two-hour extension.
K. If an emergency custody order is not executed within six hours of its issuance, the order shall be void and shall be returned unexecuted to the office of the clerk of the issuing court or, if such office is not open, to any magistrate serving the jurisdiction of the issuing court.
L. Payments shall be made pursuant to § 37.2-804 to licensed health care providers for medical screening and assessment services provided to persons with mental illnesses while in emergency custody.
(1995, c. 844, § 37.1-67.01; 1996, c. 893; 1998, c. 611; 2004, c. 737; 2005, c. 716; 2007, c. 7; 2008, cc. 202, 551, 691, 775, 779, 782, 784, 793, 850, 870; 2009, cc. 21, 112, 383, 455, 555, 607, 697, 838; 2010, cc. 778, 825; 2011, c. 249.)