Florida Senate - 2019 SB 1418 By Senator Powell 30-01948A-19 20191418__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to admission to mental health 3 facilities; amending ss. 394.4599 and 394.4785, F.S.; 4 requiring a court to appoint a public guardian for a 5 person who is subject to a petition for involuntary 6 services under certain circumstances; requiring the 7 clerk of the court to immediately notify the public 8 guardian of the appointment; providing requirements 9 for such public guardian; granting access to certain 10 persons and records for an attorney representing a 11 patient subject to a petition for involuntary 12 services; requiring such attorney to represent the 13 best interests of the patient; amending s. 394.4625, 14 F.S.; requiring the administrator of a receiving 15 facility to file a petition for voluntary placement 16 within a specified timeframe after a person younger 17 than a specified age is admitted for services or 18 transferred to voluntary status except when specified 19 parties agree in writing that treatment is in the 20 person’s best interest; providing requirements for 21 such petitions; requiring the court to hold a hearing 22 within a specified timeframe to verify consent under 23 certain circumstances; amending s. 394.499, F.S.; 24 requiring the administrator of a children’s crisis 25 stabilization unit or a juvenile addictions receiving 26 facility to file a petition for voluntary placement 27 within a specified timeframe after a person under a 28 specified age is admitted for services except when 29 specified parties agree in writing that treatment is 30 in the person’s best interest; requiring the court to 31 hold a hearing within a specified timeframe to verify 32 consent under certain circumstances; providing an 33 effective date. 34 35 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 36 37 Section 1. Paragraph (c) of subsection (2) of section 38 394.4599, Florida Statutes, is amended to read: 39 394.4599 Notice.— 40 (2) INVOLUNTARY ADMISSION.— 41 (c)1.a. A receiving facility shall give notice of the 42 whereabouts of a minor who is being involuntarily held for 43 examination pursuant to s. 394.463 to the minor’s parent, 44 guardian, caregiver, or guardian advocate, in person or by 45 telephone or other form of electronic communication, immediately 46 after the minor’s arrival at the facility. The facility may 47 delay notification for no more than 24 hours after the minor’s 48 arrival if the facility has submitted a report to the central 49 abuse hotline, pursuant to s. 39.201, based upon knowledge or 50 suspicion of abuse, abandonment, or neglect and if the facility 51 deems a delay in notification to be in the minor’s best 52 interest. 53 b. Within 1 court working day after a petition for 54 involuntary services has been filed, the court shall appoint a 55 public defender to represent the person who is the subject of 56 the petition, unless the person is otherwise represented by 57 counsel. The clerk of the court must immediately notify the 58 public defender of the appointment. The public defender shall 59 represent the person until the petition is dismissed, the court 60 order expires, or the patient is discharged from involuntary 61 services. The attorney who represents the patient must be 62 provided access to the patient, witnesses, and records relevant 63 to the presentation of the patient’s case and shall represent 64 the interests of the patient, regardless of the course of 65 payment to the attorney. 66 2. The receiving facility shall attempt to notify the 67 minor’s parent, guardian, caregiver, or guardian advocate until 68 the receiving facility receives confirmation from the parent, 69 guardian, caregiver, or guardian advocate, verbally, by 70 telephone or other form of electronic communication, or by 71 recorded message, that notification has been received. Attempts 72 to notify the parent, guardian, caregiver, or guardian advocate 73 must be repeated at least once every hour during the first 12 74 hours after the minor’s arrival and once every 24 hours 75 thereafter and must continue until such confirmation is 76 received, unless the minor is released at the end of the 72-hour 77 examination period, or until a petition for involuntary services 78 is filed with the court pursuant to s. 394.463(2)(g). The 79 receiving facility may seek assistance from a law enforcement 80 agency to notify the minor’s parent, guardian, caregiver, or 81 guardian advocate if the facility has not received within the 82 first 24 hours after the minor’s arrival a confirmation by the 83 parent, guardian, caregiver, or guardian advocate that 84 notification has been received. The receiving facility must 85 document notification attempts in the minor’s clinical record. 86 Section 2. Section 394.4785, Florida Statutes, is amended 87 to read: 88 394.4785 Children and Adolescents; admission and placement 89 in mental health facilities.— 90 (1) A child or adolescent as defined in s. 394.492 may not 91 be admitted to a state-owned or state-operated mental health 92 treatment facility. A child may be admitted pursuant to s. 93 394.4625 or s. 394.467 to a crisis stabilization unit or a 94 residential treatment center licensed under this chapter or a 95 hospital licensed under chapter 395. The treatment center, unit, 96 or hospital must provide the least restrictive available 97 treatment that is appropriate to the individual needs of the 98 child or adolescent and must adhere to the guiding principles, 99 system of care, and service planning provisions contained in 100 part III of this chapter. 101 (2) A person under the age of 14 who is admitted to any 102 hospital licensed pursuant to chapter 395 may not be admitted to 103 a bed in a room or ward with an adult patient in a mental health 104 unit or share common areas with an adult patient in a mental 105 health unit. However, a person 14 years of age or older may be 106 admitted to a bed in a room or ward in the mental health unit 107 with an adult if the admitting physician documents in the case 108 record that such placement is medically indicated or for reasons 109 of safety. Such placement shall be reviewed by the attending 110 physician or a designee or on-call physician each day and 111 documented in the case record. 112 (3) Within 1 court working day after a petition for 113 involuntary services has been filed, the court shall appoint a 114 public defender to represent the person who is the subject of 115 the petition, unless the person is otherwise represented by 116 counsel. The clerk of the court must immediately notify the 117 public defender of the appointment. The public defender shall 118 represent the person until the petition is dismissed, the court 119 order expires, or the patient is discharged from involuntary 120 services. The attorney who represents the patient must be 121 provided access to the patient, witnesses, and records relevant 122 to the presentation of the patient’s case and shall represent 123 the interests of the patient, regardless of the course of 124 payment to the attorney. 125 Section 3. Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) and subsection 126 (4) of section 394.4625, Florida Statutes, are amended to read: 127 394.4625 Voluntary admissions.— 128 (1) AUTHORITY TO RECEIVE PATIENTS.— 129 (a) A facility may receive for observation, diagnosis, or 130 treatment any person 18 years of age or older making application 131 to the facility by express and informed consent for admission or 132 any person age 17 or under for whom such application is made by 133 his or her parent or legal guardian. If found to show evidence 134 of mental illness, to be competent to provide express and 135 informed consent, and to be suitable for treatment, such person 136 18 years of age or older may be admitted to the facility. 137 1. Within 24 hours after a person age 17 or under is 138 admitted for observation, diagnosis, or treatment or transferred 139 to voluntary status pursuant to subsection (4), except when the 140 minor, the parent or legal guardian of the minor, and the 141 psychiatrist or physician observing, diagnosing, or treating the 142 minor all agree in writing that treatment is in the best 143 interest of the minor, the administrator of the facility shall 144 file with the court in the county where such person is located a 145 petition for voluntary placement. Such petition shall include 146 all forms and information as required by the department, 147 including, but not limited to, the application for voluntary 148 admission or application to transfer to voluntary status; the 149 express and informed consent of the person age 17 or under and 150 his or her parent or legal guardian to admission for treatment; 151 certification that the disclosures required under s. 394.459 to 152 obtain such express and informed consent were communicated to 153 the person and his or her parent or legal guardian; and 154 pertinent demographic information about the person and his or 155 her parent or legal guardian, including whether a parenting plan 156 in a final judgment of dissolution of marriage or a final 157 judgment of paternity has been entered, whether the parent or 158 legal guardian is authorized to make health care decisions on 159 behalf of the person, and certification that a copy of the final 160 judgment or other document that establishes the authority of the 161 parent or legal guardian has been or will be provided to the 162 court. Upon filing, the clerk of the court shall provide copies 163 to the department, to the person age 17 or under, and to his or 164 her parent or legal guardian. A fee may not be charged for the 165 filing of a petition under this subparagraph. 166 2. Unless a continuance is granted, a court shall hold a 167 hearing within 5 court working days after a person age 17 or 168 under is
may beadmitted only after a hearingto verify that the169 voluntariness ofthe consent to admission is voluntary. 170 (4) TRANSFER TO VOLUNTARY STATUS.—An involuntary patient 171 who is 18 years of age or older and who applies to be 172 transferred to voluntary status, or an involuntary patient who 173 is age 17 or under and whose parent or legal guardian has made 174 application on his or her behalf to transfer to voluntary 175 status, shall be transferred to voluntary status immediately, 176 unless the patient has been charged with a crime, or has been 177 involuntarily placed for treatment by a court pursuant to s. 178 394.467 and continues to meet the criteria for involuntary 179 placement. Within 24 hours after transfer to voluntary status of 180 a person age 17 or under, except when the minor, the parent or 181 legal guardian of the minor, and the psychiatrist or physician 182 observing, diagnosing, or treating the minor all agree in 183 writing that treatment is in the best interest of the minor, the 184 administrator of the facility shall file a petition in 185 accordance with subparagraph (1)(a)1. A court shall hold a 186 hearing within 5 court working days after receiving a petition 187 for voluntary placement for a patient age 17 or under to verify 188 that the consent to remain in the facility is voluntary. When 189 transfer to voluntary status occurs, notice shall be given as 190 provided in s. 394.4599. 191 Section 4. Paragraph (a) of subsection (2) of section 192 394.499, Florida Statutes, is amended to read: 193 394.499 Integrated children’s crisis stabilization 194 unit/juvenile addictions receiving facility services.— 195 (2) Children eligible to receive integrated children’s 196 crisis stabilization unit/juvenile addictions receiving facility 197 services include: 198 (a) A person under 18 years of age for whom voluntary 199 application is made by his or her parent or legal guardian, if 200 such person is found to show evidence of mental illness and to 201 be suitable for treatment pursuant to s. 394.4625. The 202 administrator of the facility shall file a petition for 203 voluntary placement, pursuant to s. 394.4625, within 24 hours 204 after a person under 18 years of age is admitted for integrated 205 facility services. Unless a continuance is granted, a court 206 shall hold a hearing within 5 court working days after a person 207 under 18 years of age is may beadmitted for integrated facility208 services only after a hearingto verify that the consent to 209 admission is voluntary. 210 Section 5. This act shall take effect July 1, 2019.