36-524. Application for emergency admission for evaluation; requirements

A. A written application for emergency admission shall be made to an evaluation agency before a person may be hospitalized in the agency.

B. The application for emergency admission shall be made by a person with knowledge of the facts requiring emergency admission. The applicant may be a relative or friend of the person, a peace officer, the admitting officer or another responsible person.

C. The application shall be upon a prescribed form and shall include the following:

1. A statement by the applicant that he believes on the basis of personal observation that the person is, as a result of a mental disorder, a danger to self or others, and that during the time necessary to complete the prepetition screening procedures set forth in sections 36-520 and 36-521 the person is likely without immediate hospitalization to suffer serious physical harm or serious illness or is likely to inflict serious physical harm upon another person.

2. The specific nature of the danger.

3. A summary of the observations upon which the statement of danger is based.

4. The signature of the applicant.

D. A telephonic application may be made no more than twenty-four hours prior to a written application. A telephonic application shall be made by or in the presence of a peace officer unless the application is made by a health care provider who is licensed pursuant to title 32, chapter 13, 15, 17 or 19.1 and who is directly involved with the care of a patient who is in a health care facility licensed in this state. For an application made by a doctor or a nurse, the original signature of the applicant on a facsimile copy of the application is acceptable, does not have to be notarized and may be submitted as the written application.

E. If the person to be admitted is not already present at the evaluation agency and if the admitting officer, based upon review of the written or telephonic application and conversation with the applicant and peace officer, has reasonable cause to believe that an emergency examination is necessary, the admitting officer may advise the peace officer, that sufficient grounds exist to take the person into custody and to transport the person to the evaluation agency. The admitting officer shall not be held civilly liable for any acts committed by a person whom the admitting officer did not advise be taken into custody if the admitting officer has in good faith followed the requirements of this section.