The coroner can order a psychiatric evaluation on a patient under an Order of Protective Custody (OPC). The coroner can also agree with the need for an involuntary commitment of a patient if, after an examination of the patient, the coroner finds the patient either:
dangerous to self
dangerous to others
unwilling to seek voluntary care
This is called a Coroner's Emergency Certificate (CEC). Under the mental health law, the coroner does not keep a patient in the hospital. Once a patient is committed to a hospital under the mental health law, the attending psychiatrist decides how long the patient stays.
There are limitations under the mental health law that limits the stay to 15, 28, or 30 days depending on the circumstances. However, the psychiatrist can initiate a legal process called a Judicial Commitment. The patient can be kept in a facility against his/her will if a Judicial Commitment is issued by a judge.
To receive an Order of Protective Custody, you must contact our office and meet the criteria for the order. This service is available 24 hours a day/7 days a week.