TITLE 21
Food And Drugs

CHAPTER 21-28.2
Drug Abuse Control

SECTION 21-28.2-3


§ 21-28.2-3 Admission of narcotic addict on civil certification.

A justice of the family court or a judge of the district court may certify a narcotic addict to the care and custody of the department in the following manner:

(1) Except as provided in this section, whenever any narcotic addict desires to obtain treatment for his or her addiction, whenever a related individual has reason to believe that any person is a narcotic addict, or whenever the director of health has reason to believe that any person is a narcotic addict, the addict, related individual, or director of health may apply for an order certifying that person to the care and custody of the department by presenting a verified petition setting forth knowledge, information, or belief that the person is a narcotic addict, together with a statement of the facts upon which that knowledge, information, or belief is based. When the petition is presented, the court may examine the petitioner, or any witness, under oath and shall determine whether there are reasonable grounds to believe that the person in whose behalf the application is made is a narcotic addict. If the court determines that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the person is a narcotic addict, and if the person is not also the petitioner, it shall issue an order in accordance with subdivision (2) of this section; provided, that if the court determines that the person would not comply with the order the court shall issue, in lieu of an order, a warrant in accordance with subdivision (3) of this section. When the alleged addict is the petitioner and the court determines that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the person is a narcotic addict, the court shall immediately proceed in accordance with subdivision (4) of this section. The state shall be a party in all proceedings pursuant to this section and shall act on the relation of the petitioner. The attorney general shall represent the state.

(2) An order issued pursuant to this section shall direct the alleged narcotic addict to appear at a specified time before the court for a determination whether there are reasonable grounds to order that person to undergo a medical examination at a facility or by two (2) physicians designated by the director. The court shall direct that the order and petition be served upon the alleged narcotic addict personally or by registered mail and the court may direct that the order and petition be served personally or by mail upon the husband or wife, father or mother, or next of kin of the alleged narcotic addict.

(3) A warrant issued pursuant to this section shall be directed to any police officer in the state commanding the officer: (i) to take the alleged narcotic addict into custody, and (ii) to immediately bring the alleged narcotic addict before the court for a determination whether there are reasonable grounds to order him or her to undergo a medical examination at a facility designated by the department. If the court is not then in session, the alleged narcotic addict may be held at a facility designated by the department or at any other detention facility until the court is in session. In this case, the head of the facility or a duly appointed representative shall advise the alleged addict of the nature of the proceeding, the reason for his or her detention, and that he or she will appear before a judge at the next court session in connection with the allegation that he or she is a narcotic addict. This person shall also inform the alleged addict that he or she has the right to the aid of counsel at every stage of the proceedings, and that if the person desires the aid of counsel and is financially unable to obtain counsel, counsel shall be assigned by the court, and that he or she is entitled to communicate free of charge, by telephone or letter, in order to obtain counsel and in order to inform a relative or friend of the proceeding. The warrant may be executed on any day including Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays and the alleged narcotic addict shall not be subjected to any more restraint than is necessary for the purposes specified in the warrant. The police officer shall exhibit the warrant to the alleged narcotic addict, and inform the alleged addict of the purpose for which he or she is being taken into custody. The officer shall not break open any outer or inner door or window of a building, or any part of the building, or anything in a building, to execute the warrant unless, if after notice of the officer's authority and purpose, he or she is refused admittance. The warrant must be executed within thirty (30) days after its date and if not executed shall be void.

(4) Upon the appearance of the alleged narcotic addict the court shall provide the alleged addict with a copy of any paper not yet served upon him or her and shall explain that, if the court finds reasonable grounds to believe that the person is a narcotic addict, it shall order him or her to undergo a medical examination at a facility or by two (2) physicians designated by the department. The court shall then advise the alleged narcotic addict that if the medical examination is ordered the alleged addict shall appear before the court after the examination as provided in paragraph (5)(i) of this section, and, if the petition and the report of the medical examination set forth reasonable grounds to believe that the person is a narcotic addict, he or she may after this be certified to the care and custody of the department for an indefinite period not exceeding three (3) years and that he or she shall have a right to a hearing prior to the certification. If the alleged narcotic addict appears without counsel, the court shall advise the person that he or she has the right to the aid of counsel at every stage of the proceedings, and that if he or she desires the aid of counsel and is financially unable to obtain counsel, then counsel shall be assigned. The court shall allow the alleged narcotic addict a reasonable time to send for counsel and shall adjourn the proceedings for that purpose. The court shall inform the alleged addict, if the person is being held in custody, that he or she is entitled to communicate free of charge, by letter or telephone, in order to obtain counsel and in order to inform a relative or friend of the proceeding. If the alleged narcotic addict does not desire the aid of counsel the court must determine that the person waived counsel having knowledge of the significance of his or her act. If the court is not satisfied that the alleged narcotic addict knows the significance of his or her act in waiving counsel, the court shall assign counsel.

(5)(i) If the court, after the appearance of the alleged addict, is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the person is a narcotic addict it shall issue an order directing the person to appear on a specified date and place for a medical examination in accordance with § 21-28.2-4. A copy of this order shall be given to the person and a copy of the order and of any order or warrant issued in accordance with subdivisions (2), (3), or (6) of this section shall be furnished to the department.

(ii) If the court has reason to believe that the person will fail to appear for the medical examination, the order shall make provision commanding any police officer of the state to immediately take the person into custody and deliver him or her to the place specified for the medical examination.

(iii) Any order issued pursuant to this subdivision shall direct the person to appear before the court within seven (7) days, exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, after the person's admission for the medical examination.

(6) If the alleged narcotic addict fails to appear as directed by an order pursuant to this section, and the court is satisfied that timely service has been made or that service cannot be effected with due diligence, it may issue a warrant directed to any police officer in the state commanding the officer: (i) to take the alleged narcotic addict into custody, and (ii) to immediately bring the alleged addict to a specified place for a specific purpose, which shall be the place and purpose specified in the order. If the warrant commands the officer to bring the alleged addict to court and the court is not then in session, the alleged addict may be held at a facility designated by the department or at any other detention facility until the court is in session. The warrant shall be executed in the same manner and subject to the same restrictions as provided in subdivision (3) of this section.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1970, ch. 163, § 1; P.L. 1976, ch. 140, § 4; P.L. 2002, ch. 292, § 62.)