TITLE 40.1
Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals

CHAPTER 40.1-5
Mental Health Law

SECTION 40.1-5-3


§ 40.1-5-3 General powers and duties of state department of mental health, retardation, and hospitals.

(a) The state department of mental health, retardation, and hospitals is charged with the execution of the laws relating to the admission and custody of the mentally disabled.

(b) Under the direction of the state director of mental health, retardation, and hospitals, he or she, or one or more of his or her assistants or representatives so designated, shall visit the several facilities in the department and such others as are approved to function under this chapter for the purpose of determining whether the provisions of this chapter relating to custody and admission of mentally disabled persons are being complied with. For such purposes, the director is empowered to subpoena witnesses, compel their attendance, administer oaths to witnesses, examine witnesses under oath, and require the production of any books, documents, papers, or records deemed relevant to the inquiry of investigation. A subpoena issued under this section shall be regulated by the civil practice laws and rules.

(c) In licensing, regulating, inspecting, and investigating facilities as defined in this chapter pursuant to the provisions of chapter 16 of title 23, the department of health shall engage independent qualified experts in mental health treatment and in the administration of mental health facilities, and shall license only facilities accredited in accordance with the joint commission on accreditation of hospitals standards for psychiatric facilities and which continue to meet such standards.

(d) Under the direction of the state director of mental health, retardation, and hospitals, the state department of mental health, retardation, and hospitals may:

(1) Examine all facilities, public and private, authorized by law to receive, admit, educate and care for the mentally disabled; and

(2) Inquire into their methods of government and the management of all persons therein; and

(3) Examine into the condition of all buildings, grounds, and other property connected with such facility, and into all matters relating to its management.

(e) For the purposes set forth under subsection (d), the director may:

(1) Have free access to the grounds, buildings, and all books and records relating to any facility; and

(2) Be entitled to receive from all persons connected in any way with the facility, such information and assistance for any examination or inquiry as the director may require.

(f) The director may, by order, appoint a competent person to examine the books and papers and also the general condition and management of any facility to the extent deemed necessary and specified in the order.

(g) The director may adopt such rules and regulations governing the management of facilities, both public and private, as he or she may deem necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter to insure the comfort and promote the welfare of the patients.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1966, ch. 100, § 1; P.L. 1968, ch. 168, § 1; G.L. 1956, § 40-20-3; Reorg. Plan No. 1, 1970; P.L. 1974, ch. 119, § 1.)