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ORDER OF PROTECTIVE CUSTODY

The East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner may order a person to be taken into protective custody and transported to a treatment facility or the office of the coroner for immediate examination when a peace officer or other credible person executes a statement under private signature specifying that, to the best of his knowledge and belief, the person is mentally ill or suffering from substance abuse and is in need of immediate treatment to protect the person or others from physical harm. The order for custody shall be effective for seventy-two hours from its issuance.

The statement may include the following information:

  • A statement of facts, including the affiant's observations, leading to the conclusion that the person is mentally ill or suffering from substance abuse and dangerous to himself or others or gravely disabled

  • The date and place of any dangerous acts or threats

  • The name and surname, if known, of any other person who is in danger

  • Facts showing that the person sought has been encouraged to seek treatment and is unwilling to be evaluated on a voluntary basis

  • Facts showing that the affiant has attempted to contact a specific treatment facility or a specific physician in order to obtain an examination of the person sought to be treated

A peace officer or a peace officer accompanied by an emergency medical service trained technician may take a person into protective custody and transport him to a treatment facility for a medical evaluation when, as a result of his personal observation, the peace officer or emergency medical service technician has reasonable grounds to believe the person is a proper subject for involuntary admission to a treatment facility because the person is acting in a manner dangerous to himself or dangerous to others, is gravely disabled, and is in need of immediate hospitalization to protect such a person or others from physical harm.

 

Notice of Improper Commitment

As per Mental Health Statute 28:181, Improper Commitment Penalty, any person who, alone or in conspiracy with others, unlawfully, willfully, maliciously and without reasonable cause, commits or attempts to commit to any mental institution any person not sufficiently ill to require care shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or imprisonment for not more than one (1) year, or both.

  

As per Louisiana Statutes R.S. 442, any person who, alone or in conspiracy with others, unlawfully, willfully, maliciously and without reasonable cause, commits or attempts to commit to any residential living option or mental retardation and developmental disability services or both, any person who does not meet the criteria of eligibility to enter the Mental Retardation and Developmental Disability Services System shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or imprisoned for not more than six (6) months, or both.

  • What is the Coroner’s Office and why is it involved in this death?
    The Coroner’s Office is directed by the Coroner, an elected official, who must be a medical doctor in Louisiana. The job of the Coroner, by law, is to investigate the circumstances of certain types of deaths in order to determine the cause and manner of death. Cases which require a coroner’s investigation are: Sudden, unexpected death when in apparent good health Death of a person who is not under the recent care of a physician Any violent death (homicide, suicide, accident) Any death suspicious for violence Any unusual or unexpected death You can view and download a document explaining this in detail here: (Coroners Cases Defined Form)
  • Where will my loved one be taken?
    The body will be taken to the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner’s Office and Medical Forensic Facility, 4030 T. B. Hearndon Avenue, Baton Rouge, LA 70807. In the case of a death that has been determined to be of natural causes, your loved one may be released directly to your Funeral Service Provider. (At the discretion of the Coroner)
  • Is it necessary for me to go to the Coroner’s Office to identify the body?
    No. In most cases visual identification is not required. If it is, you will be notified by the Coroner’s Office.
  • Is viewing or visitation allowed at the Coroner’s Office?
    Only in very rare cases. The Coroner’s office is not designed to handle bereaved relatives. Only in extremely unusual circumstances is viewing allowed. Modern law enforcement techniques typically allow for the positive identification of the deceased without having to put a family member through that traumatic experience. Arrangements for viewing at the funeral home should be made with the funeral home.
  • When will my loved one be released from the Coroner’s Office?
    The body will be released to the funeral home of your choice following completion of the investigation. Occasionally a body may be held longer in cases where additional investigation is required.
  • Are autopsies always performed in a coroner’s case?
    No. A coroner’s investigator gathers the information concerning the circumstances of death, the medical history, and the social history. If there is sufficient history and the circumstances are consistent with a death due to known medical problems, an autopsy is not usually performed. If however, there is any evidence of foul play or if the circumstances of the death are unusual, an autopsy is usually performed. If the Coroner determines an autopsy is not necessary but the family wishes to have an autopsy performed, they may contact a private pathologist for this service. *NOTE*: The decision to perform an autopsy rests with the Coroner.
  • Will an autopsy prevent an open casket funeral?
    No.
  • How do I obtain a copy of the death certificate?
    You may request a copy from the funeral home where arrangements are made.
  • How long does it take for the death certificate to be completed?
    The death certificate is usually completed within 4-8 weeks.
  • When will the autopsy report be ready and how do I obtain a copy?
    The autopsy report is usually ready about 60-90 days after the autopsy is performed. Copies of the autopsy report may be obtained from the Coroner’s Office. Appropriate forms and fees will apply. An autopsy report on cases under police investigation will not be released to anyone other than law enforcement agencies.
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