§ 40-11-5. Protective custody by physician or law enforcement officer.
(a) Any physician or duly certified registered nurse practitioner treating a child who has suffered physical injury that appears to have been caused by other than accidental means, or a child suffering from malnutrition or sexual molestation, shall have the right to keep the child in the custody of a hospital or any licensed child care center or facility for no longer than seventy-two (72) hours, with or without the consent of the child's parents or guardian, pending the filing of an ex-parte petition to the family court. The expense for that temporary care shall be paid by the parents or legal guardian of the child or, if they are unable to pay, by the department.
(b) Any police or law enforcement officer may take a child into protective custody without the consent of the parents, or others exercising control over the child.
(c) If the officer has reasonable cause to believe that there exists an imminent danger to the child's life or health, unless he or she is taken into protective custody, the officer shall immediately notify and place the child with the director of the department of children, youth, and families or his or her designated agent who shall care for the child; provided, however, that no child may be detained in protective custody longer than forty-eight (48) hours without the express approval of a justice of the family court.
(d) Any child protective investigator or social caseworker II employed by the department, may take a child into temporary protective custody without the consent of his or her parent or other person responsible for the welfare of the child, if the investigator or social caseworker II has reasonable cause to believe that the child or his or her sibling has been abused and/or neglected and that continued care of the child by his or her parent or other person responsible for the child's welfare will result in imminent further harm to the child. The investigator or social caseworker II shall have the child examined by a licensed physician or duly certified registered nurse practitioner within twenty-four (24) hours in accordance with the provisions of § 40-11-6(c); and, provide further, that the child shall not be detained in protective custody longer than forty-eight (48) hours without the expressed approval of a justice of the family court.
(P.L. 1976, ch. 91, § 2; P.L. 1982, ch. 59, § 1; P.L. 1984, ch. 257, § 1; P.L. 1992, ch. 245, § 1; P.L. 1996, ch. 82, § 1.)