The Arizona Revised Statutes have been updated to include the revised sections from the 55th Legislature, 2nd Regular Session. Please note that the next update of this compilation will not take place until after the conclusion of the 56th Legislature, 1st Regular Session, which convenes in January 2023.
This online version of the Arizona Revised Statutes is primarily maintained for legislative drafting purposes and reflects the version of law that is effective on January 1st of the year following the most recent legislative session. The official version of the Arizona Revised Statutes is published by Thomson Reuters.
36-539. Conduct of hearing; record; transcript
A. The medical director of the evaluation agency shall issue instructions to the physicians or the psychiatric and mental health nurse practitioner of the evaluation agency who is treating the proposed patient to take all reasonable precautions to ensure that at the time of the hearing the proposed patient shall not be so under the influence of or so suffer the effects of drugs, medication or other treatment as to be hampered in preparing for or participating in the hearing. If the proposed patient is being treated as an inpatient by the evaluation agency, the court at the time of the hearing shall be presented a record of all drugs, medication or other treatment that the person has received during the seventy-two hours immediately before the hearing.
B. The patient and the patient's attorney shall be present at all hearings, and the patient's attorney may subpoena and cross-examine witnesses and present evidence. The patient may choose to not attend the hearing or the patient's attorney may waive the patient's presence. The evidence presented by the petitioner or the patient shall include the testimony of two or more witnesses acquainted with the patient at the time of the alleged mental disorder, which may be satisfied by a statement agreed on by the parties, and testimony of the two physicians who participated in the evaluation of the patient, which may be satisfied by stipulating to the admission of the evaluating physicians' affidavits as required pursuant to section 36-533, subsection B. The physicians shall testify as to their personal observations of the patient. They shall also testify as to their opinions concerning whether the patient is, as a result of mental disorder, a danger to self or to others or has a persistent or acute disability or a grave disability and as to whether the patient requires treatment. Such testimony shall state specifically the nature and extent of the danger to self or to others, the persistent or acute disability or the grave disability. If the patient has a grave disability, the physicians shall testify concerning the need for guardianship or conservatorship, or both, and whether or not the need is for immediate appointment. Other persons who have participated in the evaluation of the patient or, if further treatment was requested by a mental health treatment agency, persons of that agency who are directly involved in the care of the patient shall testify at the request of the court or of the patient's attorney. Witnesses shall testify as to placement alternatives appropriate and available for the care and treatment of the patient. The clinical record of the patient for the current admission shall be available and may be presented in full or in part as evidence at the request of the court, the county attorney or the patient's attorney.
C. If the patient, for medical or psychiatric reasons, is unable to be present at the hearing and cannot appear by other reasonably feasible means, the court shall require clear and convincing evidence that the patient is unable to be present at the hearing and on such a finding may proceed with the hearing in the patient's absence.
D. The requirements of subsection B of this section are in addition to all rules of evidence and the Arizona rules of civil procedure, not inconsistent with subsection B of this section.
E. A verbatim record of all proceedings under this section shall be made by stenographic means by a court reporter if a written request for a court reporter is made by any party to the proceedings at least twenty-four hours in advance of such proceedings. If stenographic means are not requested in the manner provided by this subsection, electronic means shall be directed by the presiding judge. The stenographic notes or electronic tape shall be retained as provided by statute.
F. A patient who has been ordered to undergo treatment may request a certified transcript of the hearing. To obtain a copy, the patient shall pay for a transcript or shall file an affidavit that the patient is without means to pay for a transcript. If the affidavit is found true by the court, the expense of the transcript is a charge on the county in which the proceedings were held, or, if an intergovernmental agreement by the counties has required evaluation in a county other than that of the patient's residence, such expense may be charged to the county of the patient's residence or in which the patient was found before evaluation.