Introduced Version House Bill 4807 History

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Key: Green = existing Code. Red = new code to be enacted

WEST virginia legislature

2020 regular session


House Bill 4807

By Delegate Azinger

[Introduced February 11, 2020; Referred to the Committee on Prevention and Treatment of Substance Abuse then the Judiciary]

A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §27-5-2a, relating to arrests of addicted or mentally ill persons that are a danger to themselves or others; providing that law enforcement have a reasonable belief a person is addicted or mentally ill and a danger to themselves or others; providing that an arrest made under this section is considered an application for involuntary hospitalization; providing that the arresting officer or officers provide notice of the arrest as an application for a probable cause hearing; providing that the notice be submitted within four hours of the arrest; providing that all proceedings follow current law; and providing that this section is not intended to remove or alter a persons rights under current law and proceedings for involuntary hospitalization.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

Article 5. Involuntary hospitalization.

§27-5-2a. Law enforcement may make arrests of an individual for involuntary custody for examination.

(a) Law enforcement may, in lieu of the application process to involuntary hospitalize a person for examination contained in §27-5-2 of this code, arrest an individual the law- enforcement officer reasonably believes is addicted, as defined in §27-1-11 of this code, or is mentally ill, and because of his or her addiction or mental illness, the law-enforcement officer reasonably believes the individual is likely to cause serious harm to himself, herself, or to others if allowed to remain at liberty before obtaining a court order for permission to arrest the individual. The arrest made pursuant to this section shall be considered an application for involuntary hospitalization for the proceedings outlined in §27-5-2 of this code.

(b) After an arrest is made pursuant to this section, the arresting officer or officers shall provide notice of the arrest to the circuit court, a mental health hygiene officer, or a magistrate pursuant to the provisions in §27-5-2(c) of this code.

(c) This section shall follow all procedures to schedule a probable cause hearing within 24 hours of the arrest and all other practices and procedures as stated in §27-5-2 of this code.


NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to permit law-enforcement officer to arrest an individual the officer reasonably believes is addicted or mentally ill and is a danger to himself, herself, or others and to provide that the arrest under this section is considered an application for involuntary custody for examination. 

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.

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