Legislative Information The Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA), in Sec. 37-3-41(b) as to persons with mental illness, and Sec. 37-7-41(b) as to drug dependent or alcoholic persons, provides the following:
"The appropriate court of the county in which a person may be found may issue an order commanding any peace officer to take such person into custody and deliver him forthwith for examination, either to the nearest available emergency receiving facility...where such person shall be received for examination, or to a physician who has agreed to examine such patient and who will provide, where appropriate, a certificate to permit delivery of such patient to an emergency receiving facility...Such order may only be issued if based either upon an unexpired physician's certificate, as provided in subsection (a) of this Code section, or upon the affidavits of at least two persons who attest that, within the preceding 48 hours, they have seen the person to be taken into custody and that, based upon observations contained in their affidavit, they have reason to believe such person is a mentally ill person (or drug dependent or alcoholic individual) requiring involuntary treatment. The court order shall expire seven days after it is executed."
Formerly, the facts on which any such certificate or order was based had to meet the standards for inpatient treatment as defined by the Code. Essentially, these demand a finding that the person is a danger either to himself or others. A change in the law, i.e. in the definitions of "involuntary treatment" and "mentally ill person requiring involuntary treatment," allows a doctor's certificate, police delivery, or a Probate Court emergency order to apprehend to be based on the person's meeting involuntary inpatient treatment or outpatient treatment. See sections 37-3-1 (9.3) and 37-3-1 (12). For more information, please see the Involuntary Treatment Standards.