Section 22-52-92

Applicability to counties.

(a) This article shall not be applicable to any county unless and until the judge of probate with the approval of the county commission of that particular county makes a finding that there exists in the county provisions for implementation of the community mental health officer program and the necessary facilities to detain persons pursuant to this article. In that event, the judge of probate shall open a case under a docket number and enter therein findings upon the records of the court which shall also expressly state the intention thereby to invoke this article. Notification and a copy of the court's findings and statement shall be served on all designated mental health facilities located within the county, all law enforcement agencies within the county, the Commissioner of the state Department of Mental Health, the state Attorney General, the Secretary of State, the Governor of the State of Alabama, and any other persons deemed appropriate by the judge of probate. In the event of changed circumstances, the judge of probate may terminate the procedures set forth in Section 22-52-91, and shall make findings accordingly and serve the parties named herein and others previously notified.

(b) Notwithstanding anything in this article to the contrary, in the event there are no facilities available in the county to serve as a designated mental health facility, the county commission, upon recommendation of the judge of probate, of that county may enter into an agreement with the state Department of Mental Health to use beds in a state Department of Mental Health facility in lieu of a designated mental health facility. The commissioner shall have the final decision to determine the number of beds, if any, in a state Department of Mental Health facility that may be made available to the counties under this section. This subsection may not be used by or be applicable to any county unless and until the judge of probate makes a finding that there are no facilities available in the county for implementation of the community mental health officer program, that there is an agreement between the probate court and the state Department of Mental Health to make beds in a state Department of Mental Health facility available, and that there is an alternative procedure other than jail or prison, adopted by the probate court that will be used when beds are not available in a state Department of Mental Health facility. If this subsection is used to implement the community mental health officer program, then the law enforcement officer shall deliver the person directly to the state Department of Mental Health, or as directed by the community mental health officer when a bed is not available in a state Department of Mental Health facility. Thereafter, all other procedures set forth in this article for operation of the community mental health officer program shall apply the same as if the person was delivered to a designated mental health facility.

(c) Notwithstanding any provision in this article to the contrary, a petition for commitment filed pursuant to Section 22-52-91 and subsequent proceedings held to determine probable cause and final hearings on the merits shall be in the probate court of the county where the respondent was initially taken into custody by law enforcement.

(Acts 1994, No. 94-690, p. 1326, §3; Act 99-574, p. 1298, §1.)