TITLE X
PUBLIC HEALTH

Chapter 135-C
NEW HAMPSHIRE MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES SYSTEM

Section 135-C:1

    135-C:1 Purpose and Policy. –
I. The purpose of this chapter is to enable the department of health and human services to:
(a) Establish, maintain, and coordinate a comprehensive, effective, and efficient system of services for persons with mental illness.
(b) Reduce the occurrence, severity and duration of mental, emotional, and behavioral disabilities.
(c) Prevent mentally ill persons from harming themselves or others.
II. It is the policy of this state to provide to persons who are severely mentally disabled adequate and humane care which, to the extent possible while meeting the purposes of habilitation and treatment, is:
(a) Within each person's own community.
(b) Least restrictive of the person's freedom of movement and ability to function normally in society while being appropriate to the person's individual capacity.
(c) Directed toward eliminating the need for services and promoting the person's independence.
III. It is the policy of this state that mental illness in and of itself is insufficient to involuntarily admit any person into the mental health services system.

Source. 1986, 212:1. 1995, 310:181, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.

Section 135-C:2

    135-C:2 Definitions. –
As used in this chapter:
I. "Absolute discharge" means the final and complete discharge of a mentally ill patient from any form of treatment by the department.
II. "Administrator" means the superintendent, executive director, or other chief administrative officer of any facility or of any community mental health program operated under the supervision of the commissioner.
II-a. "Advanced practice registered nurse" or "APRN" means an advanced practice registered nurse licensed by the board of nursing who is certified as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner by a board-recognized national certifying body.
III. "Commissioner" means the commissioner of the department of health and human services.
IV. "Community mental health program" means a program established and administered by the state, city, town, or county, or a nonprofit corporation for the purpose of providing mental health services to the residents of the area and which minimally provides emergency, medical or psychiatric screening and evaluation, case management, and psychotherapy services.
V. "Conditional discharge" means the release of an involuntarily admitted person from a receiving facility on the condition that the person accept treatment in the community or be subject to readmission.
VI. "Department" means the department of health and human services.
VII, VIII. [Repealed.]
IX. "Informed decision" means a choice made by a client or person seeking to be admitted who has the ability to make such a choice and who makes it voluntarily after all relevant information necessary to making the decision has been provided, and who understands that he is free to choose or refuse any available alternative, and who clearly indicates or expresses his choice. The choice shall be free from all coercion.
X. "Mental illness" means a substantial impairment of emotional processes, or of the ability to exercise conscious control of one's actions, or of the ability to perceive reality or to reason, when the impairment is manifested by instances of extremely abnormal behavior or extremely faulty perceptions. It does not include impairment primarily caused by: (a) epilepsy; (b) intellectual disability; (c) continuous or noncontinuous periods of intoxication caused by substances such as alcohol or drugs; or (d) dependence upon or addiction to any substance such as alcohol or drugs.
XI. "Neglect" means an act or omission which results or could result in the deprivation of essential services or supports necessary to maintain the minimum mental, emotional, or physical health and safety of an incapacitated adult.
XII. "Physician" means a medical doctor licensed to practice in New Hampshire.
XII-a. "Physician assistant" or "PA" means a physician assistant licensed to practice in New Hampshire.
XIII. "Psychiatrist" means a physician licensed to practice in New Hampshire who is either board certified or board eligible according to the most recent regulations of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Inc., or its successor organization.
XIV. "Receiving facility" means a treatment facility which is designated by the commissioner to accept for care, custody, and treatment persons involuntarily admitted to the state mental health services system.
XV. "Severely mentally disabled" means having a mental illness which is either so acute or of such duration as to cause a substantial impairment of a person's ability to care for himself or to function normally in society in accordance with rules authorized by RSA 135-C:61.
XV-a. "Transitional housing program services" means a residential program that provides housing and support services to persons with serious and persistent mental illness through a contract with the department of health and human services.
XVI. "Treatment" means examination, diagnosis, training, rehabilitation therapy, pharmaceuticals, and other services provided to clients in the mental health services system. Treatment shall not include examination or diagnosis for the purpose of determining the need for involuntary emergency admissions pursuant to RSA 135-C:27-33 or involuntary admissions pursuant to RSA 135-C:34-54.

Source. 1986, 212:1. 1995, 310:170, III, 175, 183. 2001, 184:2. 2002, 36:1. 2008, 52:3. 2009, 54:4, 5. 2011, 209:1, eff. July 1, 2011; 224:15, eff. July 1, 2011. 2018, 343:4, eff. July 1, 2018. 2019, 278:2, eff. Sept. 17, 2019.

Section 135-C:3

    135-C:3 State Services System Established. – The department shall establish, maintain, implement, and coordinate a system of mental health services under this chapter and a system of developmental services under RSA 171-A. Both systems shall be supervised by the commissioner. At the discretion of the commissioner, the department may directly operate and administer any program or facility which provides, or which may be established to provide, services to mentally ill or developmentally impaired persons or may enter into a contract with any individual, partnership, association, public or private, for profit or nonprofit, agency or corporation for the operation and administration of any such program or facility.

Source. 1986, 212:1. 1995, 310:175, 183, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.

Section 135-C:4

    135-C:4 State Facilities Other Than New Hampshire Hospital; Rules. –
I. The commissioner shall have charge of the property and concerns of any facility owned by the state which provides, or which may be established to provide, care and treatment to persons who have mental illness or developmental disabilities, including those subject to the exception set forth in paragraph I-a, with regard to the care and maintenance of the grounds and buildings located at the facility in Concord, known as New Hampshire hospital. Such facilities include, but are not limited to, facilities established at Glencliff known as Glencliff home and Laconia, known as Laconia developmental services.
I-a. The commissioner shall have charge of the interior maintenance and grounds of the acute psychiatric services building, and all transitional buildings including the Howard recreation building, located on the campus of the New Hampshire hospital as described in RSA 4:39-a.
II. The commissioner may enter into contracts relative to services to clients, management, and operation of the facilities as he or she deems appropriate, other than contracts regarding the care and maintenance of the grounds and buildings, or portions thereof, at the facility in Concord known as the New Hampshire hospital which have been assigned to the care of the department of administrative services, and may receive, appropriate, control, convey, hold in trust, or invest any funds or real or personal property given or devised to or owned by any facility in any manner as he or she deems expedient. The commissioner may determine the name of, the services to be provided at, and the clients, whether under RSA 135-C or RSA 171-A, to be served by any facility.
III. The commissioner shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to eligibility criteria and procedures for admission to state facilities.

Source. 1986, 212:1. 1988, 107:5. 1995, 310:80, 183. 2005, 291:25. 2007, 263:12. 2014, 327:53, eff. Aug. 2, 2014.

Section 135-C:5

    135-C:5 Regulation of State Services; Site Visits. –
I. The commissioner may adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to the requirements for services within the state mental health services system, which shall include those services operated or administered by the department or supported by funds granted by or provided under contract with the department. Such rules may include, but are not limited to, criteria for:
(a) Fee schedules to determine a client's share of the total cost of his state supported mental health services.
(b) Rights of persons applying for or receiving services.
(c) Quality standards for services and treatment provided and quality assurance procedures.
(d) Fiscal controls and procedures.
(e) Data collection and reporting on services provided.
(f) The management of clinical records including the length of time such records shall be maintained after the termination of services.
II. The commissioner or designees may conduct site visits and may otherwise audit and monitor all aspects of the administration, fiscal operations, and services of the program providing the service to determine compliance with the rules authorized under RSA 135-C:61. Auditing and monitoring may include review of the individual records of persons with severe mental disabilities, persons who receive emergency services, and/or persons whose services are paid for, in whole or in part, by state funds or federal funds in the state mental health services system, notwithstanding the provisions of RSA 329:26, RSA 330-A:32, or any other law.
III. If evidence of misapplication of state funds or fraud is discovered by a person duly designated by the commissioner under RSA 135-C:5, II, the evidence shall be turned over to the attorney general for appropriate administrative, civil, or criminal action.
IV. Any person duly designated by the commissioner under RSA 135-C:5, II, who willfully discloses confidential information concerning a client in the mental health services system obtained as a result of auditing and monitoring activities authorized under this chapter, except as provided in this section, shall be guilty of a violation.
V. No disclosures of confidential information made by a program in connection with auditing and monitoring activities to a person duly designated by the commissioner under RSA 135-C:5, II, shall be grounds for civil or criminal liability on the part of the program.

Source. 1986, 212:1. 1995, 310:175, 183. 1998, 234:2. 2001, 243:2. 2011, 209:2, eff. July 1, 2011; 224:16, eff. July 1, 2011.

Section 135-C:6

    135-C:6 Bureaus Established; Staffing. –
I. There shall be established within the department the bureau of behavioral health services, which shall include, but not be limited to, New Hampshire hospital, Glencliff home, and community mental health services.
II. The commissioner shall appoint a person duly qualified by training and experience to serve as chief executive officer of New Hampshire hospital and perform such duties as are assigned by the commissioner.
III. The commissioner shall appoint a chief operating officer of New Hampshire hospital. Such person shall be, through training and experience, qualified to serve and shall perform such duties as are assigned by the commissioner.
IV. The commissioner may establish one or more positions of unit director and senior physician, psychiatrist, dentist, and director of nursing and shall appoint qualified personnel to these positions. The commissioner may abolish these positions because of a change in organization, lack of work, unappropriated or insufficient funds, or like reasons.
V. The commissioner shall appoint a person duly qualified by training and experience to serve as administrator of the Glencliff home and perform such duties as are assigned by the commissioner.
VI. There shall be established a medical director, who shall be responsible for providing oversight and advice on the clinical services and treatment within the state mental health services system. The commissioner shall appoint or designate a person duly qualified by training and experience to fulfill these responsibilities and to perform such other duties as are assigned by the commissioner.
VII. The annual salary of each person appointed to a position established under this section and his or her right to maintenance shall be in accordance with RSA 94:1-5.
VIII. Each person appointed under this section shall serve subject to the following provisions:
(a) The commissioner may terminate the appointee from the position for either:
(1) Good cause, which shall include, but not be limited to malfeasance, misfeasance, or insubordination; or
(2) The abolition of a position because of a change in organization, lack of work, unappropriated or insufficient funds, or like reasons.
(b) Termination shall be made only after written notice to the appointee stating the reasons for the decision. Within 10 days after receipt of the notice of the termination, the appointee may appeal the termination in writing to the commissioner. Within 20 days of receiving the notice of appeal, the commissioner shall conduct a hearing in accordance with rules adopted under RSA 541-A. Within 10 days after completion of the hearing process, the commissioner shall render a written decision either upholding or reversing the termination. If the commissioner reverses the termination, the appointee shall be reinstated and all pay and benefits lost during the time of the appeals process shall be restored to the appointee.

Source. 1986, 212:1. 1988, 107:5; 217:1, 2. 1995, 310:81-84, 175, 183, 193-195. 2007, 263:12. 2008, 61:1, eff. May 21, 2008.

Section 135-C:7

    135-C:7 Community Mental Health Programs. – Any city, county, town, or nonprofit corporation may establish and administer a community mental health program for the purpose of providing mental health services to individuals and organizations in the area. Every program shall, at a minimum, provide emergency, medical or psychiatric screening and evaluation, case management, and psychotherapy services. The department may contract with a community mental health program, pursuant to RSA 135-C:3, for the operation and administration of any services which are part of the state mental health services system. In the event that the commissioner decides to enter into a contract for the operation and administration of any services which are part of the state mental health services system, the contract shall contain standards designed to measure the performance of the contractor in achieving positive consumer outcomes, maintaining fiscal integrity, and providing quality services.

Source. 1986, 212:1. 1995, 310:175. 2011, 209:3, eff. July 1, 2011; 224:17, eff. July 1, 2011.

Section 135-C:8

    135-C:8 Establishment of Programs by Municipality. – Any city, county, or town, upon consultation with the commissioner, may establish a community mental health program and staff it with persons specially trained in psychiatry and related fields. Such programs may be administered by a city, county, or town and the municipality may appropriate the funds for the programs.

Source. 1986, 212:1. 1995, 310:183, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.

Section 135-C:9

    135-C:9 Municipal Contributions. – Any city, county, or town may raise and appropriate funds to assist a nonprofit corporation administering a community mental health program; provided that the program has been approved by the commissioner.

Source. 1986, 212:1. 1995, 310:183, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.

Section 135-C:10

    135-C:10 Eligibility of Programs; Monitoring. –
I. The commissioner shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to the criteria and the process of approval by the director of community mental health programs for their eligibility to:
(a) Receive municipal contributions under RSA 135-C:9.
(b) Make involuntary admissions under RSA 135-C:27-33 and RSA 135-C:34-54.
(c) Receive payments for services under RSA 415:18-a.
II. The rules may require community mental health programs to:
(a) Be accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals;
(b) Be making adequate progress as determined by the commissioner toward obtaining accreditation by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals; or
(c) Meet standards, developed by the commissioner, which are comparable to those required for accreditation by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals for programs choosing not to seek such accreditation.
III. The commissioner or his designee may conduct site visits and may otherwise audit and monitor any approved community mental health program to determine compliance with the standards established under subparagraph II(c).
III-a. The commissioner shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, establishing a reapproval process and shall require mental health programs to be subject to reapproval in accordance with such process every 5 years.
IV. The board of directors of community mental health programs approved by the commissioner and other nonprofit agencies primarily engaged in the provision of mental health services which provide services within the state mental health services system shall be generally representative of the geographic area served by such program and shall include representation of consumers or former consumers of mental health services and their families.

Source. 1986, 212:1. 1995, 310:183. 1997, 190:2. 1998, 168:1, eff. Aug. 14, 1998. 2019, 120:4, eff. Aug. 20, 2019.

Section 135-C:11

    135-C:11 Federal Funds. – The commissioner may accept grants or other allocations of funds from the federal government for mental health services and may allocate, distribute, expend, or enter into contracts for the expenditure of such funds in accordance with the terms of the grants or allocations.

Source. 1986, 212:1. 1995, 310:85, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.

Section 135-C:12

    135-C:12 Application for Services. –
I. Any person seeking services from the state mental health services system may apply to an approved community mental health program or to a receiving facility.
II. Application shall be made by, or with the consent of, the person seeking services. An application for a person 18 years of age or older who has been adjudicated incapacitated in accordance with RSA 464-A shall be made by, or with the consent of, his court appointed guardian. Application for a person under 18 years of age may be made by the person's parent or legal guardian.
III. The program or facility shall determine the eligibility of the applicant, pursuant to RSA 135-C:13, to receive services from the state mental health services system and shall notify the applicant of the eligibility decision within 15 days after receipt of the application.

Source. 1986, 212:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1987.

Section 135-C:13


[RSA 135-C:13 effective until July 1, 2023; see also RSA 135-C:13 set out below.]
    135-C:13 Discrimination Prohibited; Eligibility for Services. – Every severely mentally disabled person shall be eligible for admission to the state mental health services system, and no such person shall be denied services because of race, color or religion, sex, gender identity, or inability to pay. Admission to the state mental health services system and access to treatment and other services within the system shall be contingent upon the availability of appropriations. The community mental health program responsible for providing services shall conduct a clinical assessment of every applicant for services. The community mental health program shall prioritize delivery of services based on the severity of the individual's clinical needs. Emergency services shall be provided as needed. Services shall not be denied to persons who are conditionally discharged from a receiving facility under RSA 135-C:50, or who are ordered to submit to treatment at a community mental health program under RSA 135-C:45. Eligible persons shall include formerly severely mentally disabled persons who without continued services would probably become severely mentally disabled again. Each client has a right to adequate and humane treatment provided in accordance with generally accepted clinical and professional standards. The treatment shall include such psychological, psychiatric, habilitative, rehabilitative, vocational and case management services which are necessary and appropriate to bring about an improvement, when possible, in the client's condition and which are available within the state mental health services system. If necessary services are not available, each agency responsible for provision of such services shall notify the department of the need for them, and the department shall utilize such information for budgetary planning purposes. The treatment may include housing and such other services as the department may elect to provide to severely mentally disabled persons. Eligibility for services in the mental health system for persons under 21 years of age shall be determined after consideration of the services provided under RSA 186-C, RSA 169-B, RSA 169-C, RSA 169-D, or any other law. The commissioner shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to the eligibility of severely mentally disabled persons to receive state services and the service guarantees for clients in the state system.

[RSA 135-C:13 effective July 1, 2023; see also RSA 135-C:13 above.]


135-C:13 Discrimination Prohibited; Eligibility for Services. –
Every severely mentally disabled person shall be eligible for admission to the state mental health services system, and no such person shall be denied services because of race, color or religion, sex, gender identity, or inability to pay. Eligible persons shall include formerly severely mentally disabled persons who without continued services would probably become severely mentally disabled again. Each client has a right to adequate and humane treatment provided in accordance with generally accepted clinical and professional standards. The treatment shall include such psychological, psychiatric, habilitative, rehabilitative, vocational and case management services which are necessary and appropriate to bring about an improvement, when possible, in the client's condition and which are available within the state mental health services system. If necessary services are not available, each agency responsible for provision of such services shall notify the department of the need for them, and the department shall utilize such information for budgetary planning purposes. The treatment may include housing and such other services as the department may elect to provide to severely mentally disabled persons. Eligibility for services in the mental health system for persons under 21 years of age shall be determined after consideration of the services provided under RSA 186-C, RSA 169-B, RSA 169-C, RSA 169-D, or any other law. The commissioner shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to the eligibility of severely mentally disabled persons to receive state services and the service guarantees for clients in the state system.

Source. 1986, 212:1. 1995, 310:175, 183, eff. Nov. 1, 1995. 2011, 209:4, eff. July 1, 2011; 209:5, eff. July 1, 2021; 224:18, eff. July 1, 2011. 2019, 332:11, Oct. 15, 2019.

Section 135-C:14

    135-C:14 Optional Services. – The department may provide services to persons in need of mental health treatment who are not severely mentally disabled and may provide prevention, emergency, information and referral, consultation, education and other services to individuals and organizations without regard to eligibility and shall give special emphasis to children and elderly who need mental health intervention.

Source. 1986, 212:1. 1995, 310:175, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.

Section 135-C:15

    135-C:15 Placement Criteria. – Except for emergency treatment or involuntary admissions ordered under RSA 135-C:27-54, all placements of clients in the programs and services in the mental health system shall be voluntary and shall require the documented consent of the client or guardian. Placements shall be made into those programs and services which least restrict the client's freedom of movement, ability to make decisions, and participation in his community while achieving the purposes of habilitation and treatment.

Source. 1986, 212:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1987.

Section 135-C:16

    135-C:16 Withdrawal From Services; Rules. – Subject to RSA 135-C:17, any client receiving service or treatment on a voluntary basis may at any time withdraw from the service or treatment or from any specific form of treatment. The commissioner shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to the rights of minors to withdraw from service or treatment. The commissioner may adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, which limit the right of a client to withdraw completely from a receiving facility at night or on weekends and holidays. When a withdrawal is made against medical advice, the client shall be notified in writing of that fact and a copy of the notice shall be made a part of the client's record.

Source. 1986, 212:1. 1995, 310:183, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.

Section 135-C:17

    135-C:17 Restriction on Withdrawal. – If a client admitted to a receiving facility on a voluntary basis informs the facility of his desire to withdraw completely from the facility, the administrator of the facility or his designee may order a mental and physical examination of the client to determine whether the criteria for involuntary emergency admission in RSA 135-C:27-33 are met. In such instances, the withdrawal of the client from the facility may be restricted for a period not to exceed 24 hours. If the physician conducting the examination determines that the criteria for involuntary emergency admission are not met or if no examination has occurred within the 24-hour period, the client shall be released immediately. Otherwise, the client shall be treated in accordance with the provisions of RSA 135-C:27-33.

Source. 1986, 212:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1987.

Section 135-C:18

    135-C:18 Termination of Services; Rules. – Any program or facility in the mental health services system may at any time terminate or suspend services to the client when the termination or suspension is in the best interests of the client or when the client cannot benefit from the service. Services may also be terminated or suspended if the client endangers or threatens to endanger other clients or staff. A reasonable notice shall be given to the client or guardian, stating the effective date of the termination or suspension, the reasons for the termination or suspension, and the right to appeal the termination or suspension decision. The commissioner shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to termination or suspension criteria and procedures for administrative appeals.

Source. 1986, 212:1. 1995, 310:183, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.

Section 135-C:19

    135-C:19 Individual Service Plan; Rules. – There shall be an individual service plan for every client in the mental health services system. The program or facility into which the client was placed shall develop the individual service plan which shall be regularly reviewed and modified if necessary. To the extent feasible, the plan shall be developed with the participation of the client. The commissioner shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to the criteria and process for development of individual service plans.

Source. 1986, 212:1. 1995, 310:183, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.

Section 135-C:19-a

    135-C:19-a Disclosure of Certain Information. –
I. Notwithstanding RSA 329:26 and RSA 330-A:32, a community mental health center or state facility providing services to seriously or chronically mentally ill clients may disclose information regarding diagnosis, admission to or discharge from a treatment facility, functional assessment, the name of the medicine prescribed, the side effects of any medication prescribed, behavioral or physical manifestations which would result from failure of the client to take such prescribed medication, treatment plans and goals and behavioral management strategies to a family member or other person, if such family member or person lives with the client or provides direct care to the client. The mental health center or facility shall provide a written notice to the client which shall include the name of the person requesting the information, the specific information requested and the reason for the request. Prior to the disclosure, the mental health center or facility shall request in writing the consent of the client. If consent cannot be obtained, the client shall be informed of the reason for the intended disclosure, the specific information to be released and the person or persons to whom the disclosure is to be made.
II. Notwithstanding RSA 329:26 and RSA 330-A:32, when the medical director or designee determines that obtaining information is essential to the care or treatment of a person admitted pursuant to RSA 135-C:27-54, a designated receiving facility may request, and any health care provider which previously provided services to any person involuntarily admitted to the facility may provide, information about such person limited to medications prescribed, known medication allergies or other information essential to the medical or psychiatric care of the person admitted. Prior to requesting such information the facility shall in writing request the person's consent for such request for information. If the consent cannot be obtained, the facility shall inform the person in writing of the care providers who have been requested to provide information to the facility pursuant to this section. The facility may disclose such information as is necessary to identify the person and the facility which is requesting the information. No care provider who discloses otherwise confidential information to a designated receiving facility following a request made pursuant to this section shall be held civilly or criminally liable for disclosing such information.
II-a. Notwithstanding RSA 329:26 and RSA 330-A:32, when the medical director, or designee, determines that obtaining information is essential to the care and treatment of a person admitted pursuant to RSA 135-C:27-RSA 135-C:54 and the consent of the person admitted cannot be obtained, the designated receiving facility may request and any community mental health program which has previously provided services to such person shall immediately provide information about the person including medications prescribed, known medication allergies, services provided and other information essential to the medical and psychiatric care of the person admitted. The facility may disclose information necessary to identify the person and the facility which is requesting the information. No community mental health program which discloses otherwise confidential information to a designated receiving facility following a request made pursuant to this program shall be civilly or criminally liable for disclosing such information.
III. Notwithstanding RSA 329:26 and RSA 330-A:32, a community mental health program or state facility may disclose to an interdisciplinary committee designated by the governor to review child fatalities, information which is relevant to a case of suicide or traumatic fatal injury under review by such committee. Information to be disclosed pursuant to this paragraph shall be limited to the diagnosis and course of treatment of the child or of the person who caused the fatality. Information disclosed pursuant to this paragraph shall remain confidential and shall not be subject to discovery, subpoena, or admission into evidence in any judicial or administrative proceeding. Any person who willfully rediscloses confidential information provided to a committee designated by the governor to review child fatalities shall be guilty of a violation.

Source. 1989, 344:1. 1992, 218:1. 1998, 234:3. 2000, 294:1. 2008, 61:2, eff. May 21, 2008.

Involuntary Admissions; General

Section 135-C:20

    135-C:20 Jurisdiction. –
I. For proceedings under RSA 135-C:27-33, jurisdiction is vested in the district court of the city or town where the person is detained.
II. For proceedings under RSA 135-C:34-54, jurisdiction is vested in the probate court in the county where the person sought to be admitted resides or is detained. For a client who is subject to an order for involuntary admission under this chapter, jurisdiction for a hearing held pursuant to this chapter is vested in the probate court for the county where the receiving facility that has been treating the client most recently is located, unless the court making the initial involuntary admission order has specifically retained jurisdiction over such person.

Source. 1986, 212:1. 2009, 133:1, eff. June 29, 2009.

Section 135-C:21

    135-C:21 Representation by Attorney General. – The attorney general or his designee shall represent the state of New Hampshire in proceedings conducted pursuant to this chapter in which the state is an interested party.

Source. 1986, 212:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1987.

Section 135-C:22

    135-C:22 Right to Legal Counsel. – The right of a client or a person sought to be admitted to a program or facility to legal counsel prior to and during any judicial hearing conducted under this chapter shall be absolute and unconditional. The right to legal counsel for any client or person sought to be admitted during any judicial proceeding conducted under this chapter shall be waived only if the client or person sought to be admitted makes an informed decision to do so.

Source. 1986, 212:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1987.

Section 135-C:23

    135-C:23 Legal Services; Payment; Appointment. – The client or person sought to be admitted shall pay the costs of the legal services in connection with hearings held under this chapter. If the client or person sought to be admitted is unable to pay for counsel, the court shall appoint either a member of New Hampshire Legal Assistance, or its successor organization, or another attorney who shall be compensated at a rate as determined by the supreme court.

Source. 1986, 212:1. 1997, 100:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1998.

Section 135-C:24

    135-C:24 Notice. – Before any judicial hearing commences, the client or the person sought to be admitted shall be given written and oral notice, in a language he understands, of his right to be represented by legal counsel and to have legal counsel appointed for him if he is indigent.

Source. 1986, 212:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1987.

Section 135-C:25

    135-C:25 Appeals From Probate Court. – Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any person aggrieved by an order or decree of the probate court has a right to a review by the supreme court in the same manner provided for the review of cases heard before the superior court.

Source. 1986, 212:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1987.

Section 135-C:26

    135-C:26 Receiving Facility; Rules. –
I. New Hampshire hospital and any other facility approved by the commissioner shall be designated as receiving facilities for the care, custody, and treatment of persons subject to involuntary admissions. Any community mental health program, hospital, community residence, nursing home, or other treatment or sheltered care facility may apply to the commissioner for designation. No designation shall occur without the express written consent of the administrator of the facility to be designated.
II. A receiving facility may be designated by the commissioner for one or more of the following purposes:
(a) To receive clients under RSA 135-C:27-33 beginning with initial custody and continuing through the day following the probable cause hearing.
(b) To receive clients under RSA 135-C:27-33 for the period of involuntary emergency admission after the probable cause hearing.
(c) To receive clients for involuntary admission under RSA 135-C:34-54.
III. New Hampshire hospital shall be a receiving facility for purposes of RSA 135-C:26, II. The commissioner shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to the criteria and procedures for designation as a receiving facility.

Source. 1986, 212:1. 1995, 310:183, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.

Involuntary Emergency Admissions

Section 135-C:27

    135-C:27 Involuntary Emergency Admission; Criteria. –
A person shall be eligible for involuntary emergency admission if he is in such mental condition as a result of mental illness to pose a likelihood of danger to himself or others.
I. As used in this section "danger to himself" is established by demonstrating that:
(a) Within 40 days of the completion of the petition, the person has inflicted serious bodily injury on himself or has attempted suicide or serious self-injury and there is a likelihood the act or attempted act will recur if admission is not ordered;
(b) Within 40 days of the completion of the petition, the person has threatened to inflict serious bodily injury on himself and there is likelihood that an act or attempt of serious self-injury will occur if admission is not ordered; or
(c) The person's behavior demonstrates that he so lacks the capacity to care for his own welfare that there is a likelihood of death, serious bodily injury, or serious debilitation if admission is not ordered.
(d) The person meets all of the following criteria:
(1) The person has been determined to be severely mentally disabled in accordance with rules authorized by RSA 135-C:61 for a period of at least one year;
(2) The person has had at least one involuntary admission, within the last 2 years, pursuant to RSA 135-C:34-54;
(3) The person has no guardian of the person appointed pursuant to RSA 464-A;
(4) The person is not subject to a conditional discharge granted pursuant to RSA 135-C:49, II;
(5) The person has refused the treatment determined necessary by a mental health program approved by the department; and
(6) A psychiatrist at a mental health program approved by the department has determined, based upon the person's clinical history, that there is a substantial probability that the person's refusal to accept necessary treatment will lead to death, serious bodily injury, or serious debilitation if admission is not ordered.
II. As used in this section "danger to others" is established by demonstrating that within 40 days of the completion of the petition, the person has inflicted, attempted to inflict, or threatened to inflict serious bodily harm on another.

Source. 1986, 212:1. 1997, 150:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1998.

Section 135-C:28

    135-C:28 Involuntary Emergency Admission Examination. –
I. The involuntary emergency admission of a person shall be to the state mental health services system under the supervision of the commissioner. The commissioner shall maintain a list of physicians, PAs, and APRNs, as defined in RSA 135-C:2, II-a, who are approved by either a designated receiving facility or a community mental health program approved by the commissioner. The admission may be ordered upon the certificate of an approved physician, approved PA, or approved APRN, as defined in RSA 135-C:2, II-a, provided that within 3 days of the completion of the petition the physician, PA, or APRN has conducted, or has caused to be conducted, a physical examination if indicated and circumstances permit, and a mental examination. The physician, PA, or APRN must find that the person to be admitted meets the criteria of RSA 135-C:27. The certificate shall state the time and, in detail, the nature of the examinations conducted. The certificate shall also state a specific act or actions the physician, PA, or APRN has actually observed or which have been reported to him or her by the petitioner or a reliable witness who shall be identified in the certificate, and which in the physician's, PA's, or APRN's or designee's opinion satisfy the criteria set forth in RSA 135-C:27. The physician, PA, or APRN shall inform the person of the designated receiving facility in the mental health services system that he or she will be transported to upon the facility location being identified. The admission shall be made to the facility which can best provide the degree of security and treatment required by the person and shall be consistent with the placement principles set forth in RSA 135-C:15. As used in RSA 135-C:27-33, "petitioner" means any individual, including a physician, PA, or APRN completing a certificate, who has requested that a physician, PA, or APRN conduct or who has conducted an examination for purposes of involuntary emergency admission. Every certificate shall be accompanied by a written petition signed by a petitioner.
II. Upon request for involuntary emergency admission by a petitioner, if the person sought to be admitted refuses to consent to a mental examination, a petitioner or a law enforcement officer may sign a complaint which shall be sworn to before a justice of the peace. The complaint shall be submitted to the justice of the peace with the petition. The petition shall state in detail the acts or actions of the person sought to be admitted which the petitioner has personally observed or which have been personally reported to the petitioner and in his or her opinion require a compulsory mental examination. If the justice of the peace finds that a compulsory mental examination is necessary, the justice may order the examination.
III. When a peace officer observes a person engaging in behavior which gives the peace officer reasonable suspicion to believe that the person may be suffering from a mental illness and probable cause to believe that unless the person is placed in protective custody the person poses an immediate danger of bodily injury to himself or others, the police officer may place the person in protective custody. Any person taken into protective custody under this paragraph shall be transported directly to an emergency room of a licensed general hospital or to another site designated by the community mental health program serving the area, for the purpose of determining if an involuntary emergency admission shall be ordered in accordance with RSA 135-C:28, I. The period of protective custody shall end when a physician, PA, or APRN makes a determination as to whether involuntary emergency admission shall be ordered or at the end of 6 hours, whichever event occurs first.

Source. 1986, 212:1. 1993, 293:8. 1995, 310:17. 2001, 184:3. 2009, 54:4, eff. July 21, 2009. 2018, 343:5, eff. July 1, 2018. 2019, 278:3, eff. Sept. 17, 2019.

Section 135-C:29

    135-C:29 Delivery to Receiving Facility. –
I. Upon completion of an involuntary emergency admission certificate under RSA 135-C:28, a law enforcement officer shall, except as provided in paragraph II, take custody of the person to be admitted and shall immediately deliver such person to the receiving facility identified in the certificate. The mode and circumstances of transport to the receiving facility shall be determined in accordance with paragraph II.
II. The health care provider who is authorized to order involuntary emergency admission under RSA 135-C:28, I shall determine which transport option should be used to transport the person to New Hampshire hospital or the designated receiving facility. The transport options shall be by ambulance or by law enforcement. The transporting agency shall deliver the person to the designated receiving facility or New Hampshire hospital and shall determine whether restraint is necessary to protect the safety of the person, personnel conducting the transport, property, or the public. In the case of ambulance transport, such determination shall be in writing and shall state the factual basis for the conclusion that physical restraints are necessary. Physical restraints shall be used only to transport a person being admitted to New Hampshire hospital or a designated receiving facility, if necessary, to protect the safety of the person, personnel conducting the transport, property, or the public. For the purpose of this paragraph, "physical restraints" means the use of mechanical devices or other means to restrict the movement of a person or the movement or normal function of a portion of his or her body.
III. When the person being admitted to New Hampshire hospital or a designated receiving facility is a child under age 18, the health care provider shall consult with the parent, guardian, or legal custodian of the child prior to making the determination required under paragraph II.
IV. Each designated receiving facility and the chief executive officer of New Hampshire hospital shall submit an annual report regarding the use of restraint and the use of different modes of transportation to their facility. The report shall be submitted on or before November 1 of each year to the oversight committee on health and human services, established in RSA 126-A:13, and shall document the 12 months ending on September 30 of each year. The first report shall be for the 9 months ending on September 30, 2020. The report shall detail the number of admissions of children and adults, broken down by mode of transport, how often restraints were used in each mode of transport, and if the restraint was applied before or during transport.

Source. 1986, 212:1. 2000, 231:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2001. 2019, 239:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2020.

Section 135-C:29-a

    135-C:29-a Rescission of Involuntary Admission. –
I. Following completion of an involuntary emergency admission certificate under RSA 135-C:28 and before custody of the person is accepted by a law enforcement officer pursuant to RSA 135-C:29, the certificate may be rescinded and the person who is the subject of the certificate released in any of the following circumstances:
(a) A mobile crisis team under contract with the department of health and human services accepts transfer of the person's care.
(b) An assertive community treatment team operated by a community mental health program accepts transfer of the person's care.
(c) A community-based provider accepts transfer of the person's care.
II. Following completion of an involuntary emergency admission certificate under RSA 135-C:28 and before custody of the person is accepted by a law enforcement officer pursuant to RSA 135-C:29, the certificate shall be rescinded and the person who is the subject of the certificate released if the physician , PA, or APRN who completed the certificate, or any other physician, PA, or APRN authorized to complete such certificates, finds that the person no longer meets the criteria of RSA 135-C:27.
III. No civil action shall be maintained against a person who rescinds an involuntary admission pursuant to paragraph I or II, provided that the person is acting in good faith within the limits of his or her authority.

Source. 2018, 343:10, eff. July 1, 2018. 2019, 278:4, eff. Sept. 17, 2019.

Section 135-C:30

    135-C:30 Notice. –
At the receiving facility, any person sought to be involuntarily admitted for involuntary emergency admission shall be given immediate notice by the facility administrator or his designee in simple language he may understand, and written notice within 12 hours, of the following rights:
I. To be represented by legal counsel.
II. To have legal counsel appointed for him if he is indigent.
III. To apply for admission on a voluntary basis.
IV. To consult with legal counsel prior to a change in admission status.
V. That involuntary emergency admission cannot exceed a period of 10 days, not including Saturdays and Sundays, unless the period is extended pursuant to RSA 135-C:32.
VI. That no treatment shall be administered during involuntary emergency admission unless he makes an informed decision, as defined in RSA 135-C:2, IX, to consent to treatment, or unless a medical or psychiatric emergency exists in accordance with RSA 135:21-b.

Source. 1986, 212:1. 2010, 293:1, eff. Sept. 11, 2010.

Section 135-C:31

    135-C:31 Involuntary Emergency Admission Hearing; Rules. –
I. Within 3 days after an involuntary emergency admission, not including Sundays and holidays, and subject to the notice requirements of RSA 135-C:24, there shall be a probable cause hearing in the district court having jurisdiction to determine if there was probable cause for involuntary emergency admission. The burden shall be on the petitioner to show that probable cause existed. The court shall render its written decision as soon as possible after the close of the hearing, but not later than the end of the court's next regular business day.
II. The person sought to be admitted or the petitioner may request a continuance of the probable cause hearing. Such requests shall be granted only for good cause but in no case shall continuance be granted for more than 2 days. Any continuance granted for good cause shall not extend the period of involuntary emergency admission.
III. The person sought to be admitted may, in writing, waive the probable cause hearing required under this section. Such waiver shall state that the person sought to be admitted has made an informed decision to waive the probable cause hearing and that he or she understands that such a waiver shall result in his or her admission on an emergency basis for a period not to exceed 10 days, not including Saturdays and Sundays, except as specified in RSA 135-C:32. The waiver shall be executed before a justice of any district or municipal court. If the person sought to be admitted is found by the court to be incapable of making an informed decision to waive probable cause, then the waiver may be executed by that person's attorney subject to the review of the court.
IV. For 48 hours prior to the hearing the person sought to be admitted shall not be given medication or treatment that would adversely affect his judgment or limit his ability to prepare for the hearing unless the person sought to be admitted makes an informed decision to consent to treatment or unless a medical or psychiatric emergency exists. If medication is given to the person sought to be admitted prior to the probable cause hearing, it shall be the affirmative obligation of the physician prescribing the medication to advise the district court of the nature of the medication, the reason for it, and its probable effect upon the person. Such notice may be transmitted to the court in writing prior to the hearing or may be presented by the physician at the hearing. The jurisdiction for the probable cause hearing shall be in the district court in the city or town where the person is detained. Upon the request of the person sought to be admitted or that person's attorney, a change of venue or transfer may be granted for good cause shown.
V. If a receiving facility has not been designated to receive or maintain custody following a probable cause hearing of a person admitted under RSA 135-C:27-33, the facility shall, within 24 hours, transfer the person to a receiving facility which has the proper designation. A receiving facility may transfer a person admitted under RSA 135-C:27-33 to another receiving facility if that receiving facility can better provide the degree of security and treatment required for the person. All transfers shall receive prior approval of the chief administrator of the state mental health services system. The commissioner shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to transfer criteria and procedures for the challenge of transfer decisions by the persons to be transferred.

Source. 1986, 212:1. 1992, 218:2. 1995, 310:86. 2010, 293:2, eff. Sept. 11, 2010.

Section 135-C:31-a

    135-C:31-a Annulment of Certain Records. –
I. If the district court finds that the petitioner has failed to meet the burden specified in RSA 135-C:31, I, all court documents pertaining to the petition, including the physician's, PA's, or APRN's certificate, and the complaint shall be sealed and the involuntary emergency admission shall be annulled.
II. Upon entry of an order of annulment:
(a) The person whose record is annulled shall be treated in all respects as if the person had never been the subject of an involuntary emergency admission.
(b) In any application for employment, license or other civil right or privilege, or in any appearance as a witness in any proceeding or hearing, a person may be questioned about a previous involuntary emergency admission only in terms such as "Have you ever been the subject of an involuntary emergency admission that has not been annulled by a court?"

Source. 2002, 235:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2003. 2019, 278:5, eff. Sept. 17, 2019.

Section 135-C:32

    135-C:32 Ten-Day Limitation; Petition for Involuntary Admission. – No person shall be admitted for an involuntary emergency admission under RSA 135-C:27-33 for longer than a 10-day period, not including Saturdays and Sundays, unless a subsequent petition for involuntary emergency admission which contains allegations of specific acts or actions which occurred subsequent to the initial involuntary emergency admission is completed and the admission is ordered by a physician, PA, or APRN, as defined in RSA 135-C:2, II-a, in accordance with RSA 135-C:28, or unless a petition requesting a judicial hearing on the issue of involuntary admission under RSA 135-C:34-54 has been filed with the appropriate probate court within the involuntary admission period. Upon the filing of the petition with the probate court, the period of involuntary emergency admission may be extended until the issuance of the order of the probate court pursuant to RSA 135-C:45.

Source. 1986, 212:1. 1995, 310:19. 2001, 184:4. 2009, 54:4. 2010, 293:3, eff. Sept. 11, 2010. 2019, 278:6, eff. Sept. 17, 2019.

Section 135-C:33

    135-C:33 Discharge. –
I. At any time during the period of involuntary emergency admission the administrator of the receiving facility or designee in such facility shall discharge the person admitted if the administrator decides that the person no longer meets the criteria established by RSA 135-C:27. If a discharge occurs, under this section or pursuant to a finding of no probable cause by the court, the receiving facility shall, with the consent of the person admitted, return such person to the place where the person resided at the time the petition and physician's certificate were completed and signed. Unless the discharge is pursuant to a finding of no probable cause by the court, the receiving facility shall give notice of the discharge to the community mental health program in the region from which the person was admitted and to the community mental health program in the region to which the person is being discharged. The person discharged or the person's guardian shall be given written notice of such action taken by the receiving facility.
II. The petition, police record, transport request, and medical record established as a result of the involuntary emergency admission shall remain with the accepting agency and shall only be released upon informed written consent of the individual.
III. The receiving facility shall either arrange the transportation within 24 hours of such notice or shall be liable for the cost of such transportation.

Source. 1986, 212:1. 2002, 235:2, eff. Jan. 1, 2003.

Nonemergency Involuntary Admissions

Section 135-C:34

    135-C:34 Involuntary Treatment Standard. – The standard to be used by a court, physician, or psychiatrist in determining whether a person should be admitted to a receiving facility for treatment on an involuntary basis shall be whether the person is in such mental condition as a result of mental illness as to create a potentially serious likelihood of danger to himself or to others.

Source. 1986, 212:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1987.

Section 135-C:35

    135-C:35 Petition of Responsible Person. – Any responsible person may petition for a hearing relative to the need for admission on an involuntary basis of another person due to mental illness under RSA 135-C:36.

Source. 1986, 212:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1987.

Section 135-C:36

    135-C:36 Petition. –
I. The petition for admission on an involuntary basis shall include:
(a) The name of the person sought to be admitted and his last known address.
(b) The specific acts or actions that the petitioner alleges satisfy RSA 135-C:34.
(c) A certificate from a physician, physician assistant, or advanced practice registered nurse who is approved by either a designated receiving facility or a community mental health program approved by the commissioner, who has examined the person sought to be admitted within 5 days of the date the petition is filed and who agrees that, based on this examination, such person satisfies the standard set forth in RSA 135-C:34.
(d) The names and addresses of witnesses who can testify to the occurrence of the specific acts or actions of the person sought to be admitted which the petitioner alleges will satisfy the requirements of RSA 135-C:34.
II. The certificate of the examining physician, physician assistant, or advanced practice registered nurse made upon admission, if the person sought to be admitted is currently voluntarily admitted to a receiving facility, or a certificate of the examining physician, physician assistant, or advanced practice registered nurse made prior to the admission of the person sought to be admitted to involuntary emergency admission in accordance with RSA 135-C:27-33, shall be sufficient as the certificate for the petition for involuntary admission, if made within 5 days of the date of the filing of the petition.
III. The petition for admission on an involuntary basis may include a request for appointment of a guardian over the person for the limited purpose of providing for the respondent's health care. If such a request is made, the petition shall include:
(a) The petitioner's connection with or relationship to the respondent;
(b) When appropriate, the name and address of the person or institution having care or custody over the respondent;
(c) The names and addresses of adult spouses, parents, children and siblings of the respondent, so far as they are known to the petitioner;
(d) The name, address, occupation and relationship to the respondent, if any, of the proposed guardian; and
(e) A statement containing facts which show the necessity for appointment of a guardian of the person for the purpose of providing health care, including specific allegations as to the respondent's personal actions or actual occurrences which are claimed to demonstrate his or her inability to provide for personal needs for health care.

Source. 1986, 212:1. 1992, 218:3. 1995, 310:18, eff. Nov. 1, 1995. 2015, 144:1, 2, eff. June 12, 2015. 2019, 278:7, eff. Sept. 17, 2019.

Section 135-C:37

    135-C:37 Hearing Date. – The probate court judge of original jurisdiction shall, upon receipt of the petition, set a hearing date. The hearing shall be held within 15 days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays, from the date of receipt of the petition.

Source. 1986, 212:1. 1995, 212:3, eff. Jan. 1, 1996.

Section 135-C:38

    135-C:38 Copies of Petition. – Subsequent to receipt of the petition for involuntary admission, the clerk shall, within 2 days of receipt of the petition, forward 2 copies to the person sought to be admitted with notice to the appropriate receiving facility.

Source. 1986, 212:1. 2011, 88:20, eff. July 1, 2011. 2016, 187:1, eff. June 3, 2016.

Section 135-C:39

    135-C:39 Custody Prior to Hearing. –
I. The person sought to be admitted for treatment on an involuntary basis shall be at liberty pending the hearing, unless:
(a) The person is under the protective custody of the department in accordance with RSA 135-C:27-33;
(b) The client has been admitted for voluntary care and wishes to remain so;
(c) The person is already in the custody of the department due to admission for treatment on an involuntary basis; or
(d) The person is in custody in the criminal justice system pursuant to RSA 135:17-a, I.
II. A period of involuntary admission ordered by a probate court pursuant to RSA 135-C:45 may be continued under subparagraph I (c), provided that a petition requesting a judicial hearing on the issue of subsequent involuntary admission has been filed with the appropriate probate court within the initial period of involuntary admission. Upon the filing of the petition, the period of involuntary admission may be extended until the issuance of the order of the probate court pursuant to RSA 135-C:45; provided that the probate court shall act upon the petition within 30 days of its filing.

Source. 1986, 212:1. 1990, 266:2. 1995, 212:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1996; 310:175, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.

Section 135-C:40

    135-C:40 Examination by Psychiatrist. –
Upon receipt of the petition, the court shall order the person sought to be admitted to make himself available for an examination by a psychiatrist designated by the court prior to the date of the hearing. A written report prepared by a psychiatrist shall be filed with the court on or before the day of the hearing. The report shall include the following:
I. Whether, in the opinion of the examining psychiatrist, the person sought to be admitted meets the standard in RSA 135-C:34.
II. Whether, in the opinion of the examining psychiatrist, involuntary admission is necessary for treatment of the person, and if so, the appropriate period of time, in the opinion of the examining psychiatrist, for such an admission. In determining the appropriate period of time, the examining psychiatrist shall include, to the extent that he considers it appropriate, time to allow for conditional discharge. Conditional discharge shall be appropriate when the person has recovered from his mental illness to such an extent that he no longer requires inpatient treatment but a prescribed regimen of medical, psychiatric, or psychological care or treatment is necessary to prevent the recurrence of the circumstances which led to the person's dangerous condition.
III. The form of treatment best suited to the needs of the person, if, in the opinion of the examining psychiatrist, involuntary admission is not necessary.
IV. The receiving facility which can best provide the degree of security and treatment needed for the person.
V. Possible alternatives, including the least restrictive alternative, considered by the examining psychiatrist.

Source. 1986, 212:1. 1992, 218:4, eff. Oct. 1, 1992.

Section 135-C:41

    135-C:41 Recommendations; Copy to Person. – No later than on the day before the hearing, 2 copies of the report prepared pursuant to RSA 135-C:40 shall be made available to the person sought to be admitted and to his or her attorney.

Source. 1986, 212:1. 2000, 294:2, eff. Aug. 20, 2000.

Section 135-C:42

    135-C:42 Continuance. – Either party may apply to the court for a continuance of the hearing on a petition for involuntary admission which the court may grant for good cause shown.

Source. 1986, 212:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1987.

Section 135-C:43

    135-C:43 Conduct of Hearing. –
I. For hearings held under this chapter, the person sought to be admitted shall have the right to legal counsel, to present evidence on his or her own behalf, to have a closed hearing and a closed file unless he or she requests otherwise, and to cross-examine witnesses. He or she shall also have the right to summon as a witness the psychiatrist who filed the report pursuant to RSA 135-C:40 and to cross-examine him or her. A transcript, which may consist only of any audio recording of the proceedings, and at the court's discretion, shall be made of the entire proceeding. The transcript may serve as the basis for an appeal and the costs of the transcript shall be apportioned, within the judge's discretion, between the state and the person sought to be admitted. The transcript or recording shall be retained by the court for 2 years or until official notice is received of discharge, if the person is admitted on an involuntary basis and subsequently discharged.
II. If the court determines that involuntary admission to a receiving facility is necessary, the court, at the nonemergency involuntary admission hearing, shall determine if the psychiatric evaluation performed by the psychiatrist designated by the court shall be available to the designated receiving facility, as defined in RSA 135-C:26, or the secure psychiatric unit. Before the court determines whether to provide the psychiatric evaluation to the designated receiving facility or to the secure psychiatric unit, the court shall provide the person sought to be admitted with an opportunity to object. The court shall consider the person's privacy interest in the content of the psychiatric evaluation and the receiving facility's or the secure psychiatric unit's need to review the psychiatric evaluation for purposes of treatment.

Source. 1986, 212:1. 2009, 244:2. 2011, 110:1, eff. May 31, 2011.

Section 135-C:44

    135-C:44 Change of Venue. – In hearings held under this chapter, upon the request of the person sought to be admitted, a change of venue or transfer may be granted at the court's discretion.

Source. 1986, 212:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1987.

Section 135-C:45

    135-C:45 Order of Court. –
I. In hearings held under this chapter, after hearing all the evidence, the court may order the respondent to be released, notwithstanding expert testimony, or it may order the person to submit to some form of treatment other than inpatient treatment on an involuntary basis, which may include treatment at a community mental health program approved by the commissioner. If the examining psychiatrist recommends involuntary admission to a receiving facility as the most desirable form of treatment, the court may so order. The court may furnish a copy of the psychiatric evaluation, pursuant to RSA 135-C:43, II, performed by the psychiatrist designated by the court to the designated receiving facility, as defined in RSA 135-C:26, or the secure psychiatric unit. If the court determines that involuntary admission to a receiving facility is necessary, but the examining psychiatrist finds otherwise in his report under RSA 135-C:40, the court may overrule the recommendation of the psychiatrist only after the court finds that treatment other than involuntary admission to a receiving facility would not be in the best interests of the person and the community.
II. In any order of admission to a receiving facility, the court shall include in the duration of said order an appropriate period of time, if any, to allow for conditional discharge. Admission for purposes of conditional discharge shall be appropriate when the person has recovered from his mental illness to such an extent that he no longer requires inpatient treatment but a prescribed regimen of medical, psychiatric, or psychological care or treatment is necessary to prevent the recurrence of the circumstances which led to the person's dangerous condition. When a notice of decision is issued by the court, a copy of the order shall be provided electronically, or in another manner which shall provide notice at the earliest practicable time, to the appropriate receiving facility.
III. If the respondent is on a conditional discharge at the time of the hearing, the court may order involuntary admission to a receiving facility, or renew such an order, for the purpose of permitting the respondent to remain on conditional discharge if such treatment is necessary to prevent the recurrence of the circumstances which led to the person's dangerous condition.

Source. 1986, 212:1. 1992, 218:5. 1995, 310:183. 2011, 110:2, eff. May 31, 2011. 2016, 187:2, eff. June 3, 2016.

Section 135-C:45-a

    135-C:45-a Appointment of Limited Guardian. –
I. In any case in which the petition includes a request for appointment of a guardian, the court shall also determine whether to appoint a guardian over the person for the purpose of providing health care. There shall be a legal presumption of capacity, and the burden of proof shall be on the petitioner to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the respondent is incapacitated and in need of a guardian.
II. At the hearing, the court shall:
(a) Inquire into the nature and extent of the functional limitations of the respondent; and
(b) Ascertain his or her capacity to care for himself or herself with respect to his or her health care.
III. If it is determined that the respondent possesses the capacity to care for himself or herself regarding health care, then the court shall deny the request for appointment of a guardian.
IV. Alternatively, the court may appoint a guardian of the person with respect to health care as requested in the petition and confer specific powers of guardianship on the proposed guardian after finding in the record based on evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that:
(a) The person for whom a guardian is to be appointed is incapacitated; and
(b) The guardianship is necessary as a means of providing appropriate health care for the incapacitated person; and
(c) There are no available alternative resources which are suitable with respect to the incapacitated person's welfare, safety, and rehabilitation; and
(d) The guardianship is appropriate as the least restrictive form of intervention consistent with the preservation of the civil rights and liberties of the respondent.
V. If a guardian is appointed, letters of guardianship shall be issued, as provided in RSA 464-A:11.
VI. Except as modified by order of the court, a guardian appointed under this chapter shall have the powers and duties set forth in RSA 464-A:25, I(d).
VII. The provisions of RSA 464-A:10 shall govern who may be a guardian.
VIII. Upon appointment, the guardian shall give bond to the court as provided in RSA 464-A:21.
IX. Compensation to the guardian shall be allowed as provided in RSA 464-A:23.
X. The provisions of RSA 464-A:24 shall govern the appointment of agents by guardians.
XI. The guardian shall file biennial reports as provided in RSA 464-A:35, give annual notice to the ward as provided in RSA 464-A:38, file a final accounting report as provided in RSA 464-A:40, and be subject to the provisions and sanctions of RSA 464-A:37 for failure to make or file any report within the time provided by law.
XII. The provisions of RSA 464-A:39 shall govern the removal or resignation of the guardian.
XIII. The guardian may at any time file a petition pursuant to RSA 464-A:4 for a finding of incapacity and expansion of his or her authority over the person or estate of the ward. Such a proceeding shall be governed by the provisions of RSA 464-A.

Source. 1992, 218:6. 2005, 67:2, eff. Jan. 1, 2006.

Section 135-C:46

    135-C:46 Limitation of Order. – No order made pursuant to RSA 135-C:45 for involuntary admission or any other type of treatment shall be valid for longer than 5 years. For the order to be renewed, another judicial hearing shall be held pursuant to RSA 135-C:34-54.

Source. 1986, 212:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1987.

Section 135-C:47

    135-C:47 Amended Orders. –
I. The court issuing an order for treatment, other than inpatient treatment at a receiving facility, shall retain jurisdiction of the case for the duration of the order. At any time during the period of such order, any person may petition the probate court having jurisdiction for a hearing on whether the order should be amended or the person should be involuntarily admitted to a receiving facility.
II. The court issuing an order for inpatient treatment at a receiving facility may retain jurisdiction of the case for the duration of the order. The court may include in its order a provision requiring the petitioner or the receiving facility to show cause upon a date set by the court as to why the person has not been granted a conditional discharge under RSA 135-C:50.
(a) At such a proceeding, the burden shall be upon the petitioner or the receiving facility to demonstrate by a preponderance of the evidence that either:
(1) The person has been offered a conditional discharge, the conditions of the discharge were reasonable and appropriate, and the person has not consented to those conditions; or
(2) The person requires further inpatient treatment at the receiving facility.
(b) After hearing all the evidence, the court may order the respondent to be released, or to submit to continued inpatient treatment on an involuntary basis. The court may set a new date upon which the petitioner or receiving facility shall show cause as to why the person has not been granted a conditional discharge under RSA 135-C:50. No order made pursuant to this paragraph shall be valid for longer than the period of time remaining on the original order of involuntary admission.
(c) At any show cause hearing held under this paragraph, the respondent shall have the right to legal counsel, to present evidence on his own behalf, to have a closed hearing unless he requests otherwise, and to cross-examine witnesses. A transcript, which may consist only of any audio recording of the proceedings, shall be made of the entire proceeding.

Source. 1986, 212:1. 1992, 218:7, eff. Oct. 1, 1992.

Section 135-C:48

    135-C:48 Transfers; Rules. – A receiving facility to which a person is ordered for involuntary admission pursuant to RSA 135-C:34-54 may transfer the person to another receiving facility if the receiving facility to which the person is to be transferred can better provide the degree of security and treatment required by the person. All transfers shall require prior approval of the chief administrator of the state mental health services system. The commissioner shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to transfer criteria and procedures for the challenge of transfer decisions by the persons so transferred.

Source. 1986, 212:1. 1995, 310:87, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.

Section 135-C:49

    135-C:49 Discharge by Administrator. –
I. When a person has been involuntarily admitted to a receiving facility pursuant to RSA 135-C:34-54, or conditionally discharged pursuant to paragraph IV of this section, the clinical staff of the receiving facility where the person has most recently received treatment may recommend to the administrator of the facility an absolute discharge for the person if the clinical staff determines that the person does not require the acute level of treatment available at the receiving facility.
II. The administrator, with the consent of the chief administrator of the state mental health services system or designee, shall have discretion to grant the absolute discharge based on the recommendation of the clinical staff; provided, that the examination upon which the recommendation was made was conducted within 3 days of the absolute discharge order.
III. The administrator shall, in writing, immediately notify the court entering the original order of commitment that the person has been given an absolute discharge prior to the expiration of the order of the commitment. Upon receipt of the notice, the court shall make the notice part of the person's file and shall enter the discharge and the date of discharge upon the docket.
IV. The administrator, or designee, of the facility may grant a person, whose condition is not considered appropriate for absolute discharge under paragraph I of this section, a conditional discharge.

Source. 1986, 212:1. 1995, 310:174. 1997, 316:1, eff. Aug. 20, 1997. 2020, 37:121, eff. July 1, 2020.

Section 135-C:50

    135-C:50 Conditions of Conditional Discharge. –
I. The administrator, or designee, of a receiving facility may grant a conditional discharge under this chapter to any person who consents, by an informed decision, to participate in continuing treatment on an out-patient basis, who agrees to be subject to any rules adopted by the commissioner relative to conditional discharge, and who understands the conditions of his or her discharge. The administrator of the facility or the administrator's designee shall prepare, deliver a copy of, and read to the person being conditionally discharged a written statement of the conditions of conditional discharge and a warning that violation of those conditions may result in revocation of the conditional discharge pursuant to RSA 135-C:51.
II. A conditional discharge shall not exceed the period of time remaining on the order of involuntary admission and shall become absolute at the end of its term.
III. During the term of conditional discharge, the person conditionally discharged shall be provided with continuing treatment on an out-patient basis by a community mental health program approved by the commissioner or by transitional housing program services.

Source. 1986, 212:1. 1995, 310:183, eff. Nov. 1, 1995. 2018, 343:6, eff. July 1, 2018. 2020, 37:122, eff. July 1, 2020.

Section 135-C:51

    135-C:51 Revocation of Conditional Discharge. –
I. If a psychiatrist, psychiatrist-supervised PA, or APRN, as defined in RSA 135-C:2, II-a, at a community mental health program or transitional housing program services providing continuing treatment on an outpatient basis to a person conditionally discharged pursuant to RSA 135-C:50, reasonably believes that:
(a) The person has violated a condition of the discharge; or
(b) A condition or circumstance exists which may create a potentially serious likelihood of danger to the person or to others, the psychiatrist, psychiatrist-supervised PA, or APRN may conduct or cause to be conducted by a treatment team member or an emergency service staff member, an examination of the person to determine if the conditional discharge should be revoked. Before an examination may be conducted, a written notice identifying the belief, and the reasons therefor, that a violation of the conditional discharge has occurred or other circumstances or condition exists which may create a potentially serious likelihood of danger to the person or to others shall be offered to and explained to the person if it can be done safely without significant possibility of bodily harm. If this cannot be done safely, a description of the circumstances indicating such risk shall be placed in the file.
II. A reasonable effort shall be made to find the person, in order to offer and explain the notice required under paragraph I if it can be done safely without significant possibility of bodily harm. If this cannot be done safely, a description of the circumstances indicating such risk shall be placed in the file. If the person cannot be located or consent to an examination cannot be obtained, the psychiatrist or other representative of the community mental health program may sign a complaint. Upon issuance of such a complaint, any law enforcement officer shall take custody of the person and immediately deliver him or her to the place specified in the complaint.
III. If the psychiatrist, psychiatrist-supervised PA, or APRN, following the examination the psychiatrist, psychiatrist-supervised PA, or APRN conducted or caused to be conducted of the person, finds that the person either has violated a condition of the discharge or is in such a mental condition as a result of mental illness as to create a potentially serious likelihood of danger to himself or herself or to others, he or she may temporarily revoke the conditional discharge. If the conditional discharge is temporarily revoked, the psychiatrist, psychiatrist-supervised PA, or APRN, or designee, shall prepare, offer to and explain to the person a written notice, if it can be done safely without significant possibility of bodily harm, giving the reasons for the revocation and to inform the person of the designated receiving facility in the mental health services system that he or she will be transported to upon the facility location being identified. If this cannot be done safely, a description of the circumstances indicating such risk shall be placed in the file.
IV. A law enforcement officer shall take custody of the person whose conditional discharge was temporarily revoked under paragraph III and deliver him or her, together with a copy of the notice and the reasons for the temporary revocation, to the receiving facility identified by the psychiatrist, psychiatrist-supervised PA, or APRN, where he or she shall be personally examined by the administrator of the facility or designee and the reasons for temporary revocation of the discharge shall be reviewed. Following such examination and review, if the administrator of the facility or designee finds that the person conditionally discharged has violated a condition of the discharge or is in such a mental condition as a result of mental illness as to create a potentially serious likelihood of danger to himself or herself or to others, he or she may revoke absolutely the conditional discharge. The administrator of the facility, or designee, shall prepare, offer to and explain to the person, if it can be done safely without significant possibility of bodily harm, a written notice of the reasons for the absolute revocation. If this cannot be done safely, a description of the circumstances indicating such risk shall be placed in the file. The person whose conditional discharge has been absolutely revoked shall be subject to the terms and conditions of the order of involuntary admission made pursuant to RSA 135-C:34-54 from which conditional discharge was granted as if the conditional discharge had not been granted.
IV-a. All explanations provided pursuant to this section shall be sufficiently detailed and complete to inform the person of the reasons for the revocation and that he or she has a right to a hearing.
V. If the psychiatrist, psychiatrist-supervised PA, or APRN who conducted or caused to be conducted an examination under paragraph III, or the administrator of the facility, or a qualified designee, performing an examination and review pursuant to paragraph IV finds that the person conditionally discharged either has not violated a condition of the discharge or is not in such a condition as a result of mental illness as to create a potentially serious likelihood of danger to himself or others, the person shall be returned by the program or facility which has custody of the person to the location where he was initially taken into custody.
VI. A person conditionally discharged pursuant to RSA 135-C:50 may be admitted to a receiving facility by an involuntary emergency admission under RSA 135-C:27-33. In such cases, the finding of probable cause for involuntary emergency admission by the district court pursuant to RSA 135-C:31, I, shall authorize the person's admission for no longer than a 10-day period, as provided in RSA 135-C:32, unless during the period of involuntary emergency admission the person's conditional discharge is absolutely revoked. No absolute revocation of conditional discharge shall be made pursuant to this section unless the administrator of the facility or his or her qualified designee personally examines the individual and finds that the person conditionally discharged has violated a condition of the discharge or, at the time of the examination, is in such a mental condition as a result of mental illness so as to create a potentially serious likelihood of danger to himself or to others. If a person's conditional discharge is absolutely revoked pursuant to this section, the person shall receive notice of the reasons for the absolute revocation and shall have a right to appeal as provided in RSA 135-C:52.

Source. 1986, 212:1. 1993, 35:1. 1995, 310:174. 2001, 243:1. 2008, 61:3. 2009, 54:4. 2012, 97:1, eff. May 29, 2012. 2018, 343:7, 8, eff. July 1, 2018. 2019, 278:8, eff. Sept. 17, 2019. 2020, 37:123, eff. July 1, 2020.

Section 135-C:52

    135-C:52 Appeal. – A person whose conditional discharge is revoked, pursuant to RSA 135-C:51, may appeal the decision to the chief administrator of the state mental health services system. The person shall be entitled to a hearing on the appeal within 5 days, excluding weekends and holidays, of the administrator's receipt of request for the hearing. The commissioner shall adopt rules, in accordance with RSA 541-A, which shall include provision for legal counsel and procedures for waiver of the hearing.

Source. 1986, 212:1. 1992, 218:8. 1995, 310:88, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.

Section 135-C:53

    135-C:53 Action for Discharge. – Any person who has been involuntarily admitted to a receiving facility may file at the probate court of the county in which he was originally admitted, or where he resides, a petition setting forth his name, the underlying circumstances and date of the prior order of the court ordering his involuntary admission, a request for discharge from care and custody or admission to a receiving facility, and the reasons for such request. The petition shall be accompanied by the certificate of a psychiatrist stating that the patient is no longer in need of involuntary admission and setting forth the facts upon which such an opinion is based. Upon receipt of the petition and the certificate, the court shall conduct a hearing pursuant to RSA 135-C:34-54.

Source. 1986, 212:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1987.

Section 135-C:54

    135-C:54 Habeas Corpus. – This chapter shall not be construed to deprive any person of the benefits of the writ of habeas corpus. If the court issuing the writ of habeas corpus grants relief, the court shall enter an order discharging the person and shall transmit a certified copy of it to the probate court entering the original order of involuntary admission. Upon receipt of the certified copy, the probate court shall enter an order finding that such person has been discharged by order of the court.

Source. 1986, 212:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1987.

Rights of Clients in the Mental Health Services System

Section 135-C:55

    135-C:55 Scope. – The rights established in RSA 135-C:56-60 shall only apply to those persons who have been found eligible for services under RSA 135-C:13 and to those persons who have been admitted to receiving facilities.

Source. 1986, 212:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1987.

Section 135-C:56

    135-C:56 Fundamental Rights. –
I. No person receiving treatment for mental illness shall be deprived of any legal right to which all citizens are entitled, except as provided for by law.
II. No person shall be deemed incompetent to manage his affairs, to contract, to hold professional, occupational, or motor vehicle driver's licenses, to marry or to obtain a divorce, to vote, to make a will or to exercise any other civil right solely by reason of that person's admission to the mental health services system.
III. No person receiving mental health services shall be subjected to abuse or neglect.
IV. No person receiving mental health services shall be discriminated against in any manner because of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, age, disability, or degree of disability.
V. Persons receiving mental health services shall be treated with dignity and respect.

Source. 1986, 212:1. 1990, 140:2, XI, eff. June 18, 1990. 2019, 332:12, eff. Oct. 15, 2019.

Section 135-C:57

    135-C:57 Treatment Rights; Rules. –
Persons receiving mental health services shall have the right to:
I. An individual service plan developed in accordance with 135-C:19.
II. Be informed of and to give consent before administration of any treatment. All elements of an informed decision as defined in RSA 135-C:2, IX shall be present.
III. Refuse all forms of medication, treatment, or services, except emergency treatment under the terms and conditions prescribed by law or by rules adopted by the commissioner under RSA 541-A.
IV. Treatment in the least restrictive environment necessary to achieve the purposes of the treatment.
V. Freedom from seclusion or physical or pharmacological restraint. Seclusion or restraint shall be administered only with the consent of the person, who has made an informed decision, or as a form of emergency treatment imposed by law or by rules, adopted by the commissioner under RSA 541-A.

Source. 1986, 212:1. 1995, 310:183, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.

Section 135-C:58

    135-C:58 Communication Rights for Persons in Receiving Facilities; Rules. – Every person admitted to a receiving facility shall have the right to communicate freely and privately by mail and telephone with persons outside the facility, and to receive visitors, unless it is determined that this communication or visitation has harmed or will harm the person or others. The commissioner shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to communication procedures.

Source. 1986, 212:1. 1995, 310:183, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.

Section 135-C:59

    135-C:59 Notification of Individual Rights. – All persons receiving mental health services shall be informed of the rights guaranteed by this chapter, and by the rules it authorizes to be adopted under RSA 541-A by the commissioner, promptly upon admission or upon determination of eligibility for services. All receiving facilities, community mental health programs, and community residences shall post a notice and an explanation of these rights.

Source. 1986, 212:1. 1995, 310:183, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.

Section 135-C:60

    135-C:60 Guardianship. – Whenever it appears to the commissioner that a client in the mental health services system by reason of mental illness is substantially deprived of his capacity to manage his own affairs and is at risk of substantial harm to person or estate as a result, and the client does not have a legal guardian, the commissioner shall take such steps as are appropriate to safeguard the client as may be consistent with RSA 464-A and RSA 547-B, including the nomination of a guardian when no less restrictive alternative is available.

Source. 1986, 212:1. 1995, 310:183, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.

Miscellaneous

Section 135-C:61

    135-C:61 Rulemaking. –
The commissioner shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to:
I. A definition of "severely mentally disabled" or "severe mental disability".
II. Eligibility criteria and procedures for admission to the state facilities as required by RSA 135-C:4 and 135-C:13.
III. Regulating state services as authorized by RSA 135-C:5.
IV. Necessary criteria and the process of approval for community mental health programs as required by RSA 135-C:10.
V. Client withdrawal procedures in accordance with RSA 135-C:16.
VI. The termination or suspension of services by a program or facility in accordance with RSA 135-C:18.
VII. Development of individual service plans for clients under RSA 135-C:19.
VIII. Criteria and procedures for designating a facility as a receiving facility as required by RSA 135-C:26.
IX. Transfers by one receiving facility to another and the procedures for challenging that transfer in accordance with RSA 135-C:48.
X. Appeals from revocation of a conditional discharge in accordance with RSA 135-C:52.
XI. Treatment and communication rights of persons receiving mental health services as provided in RSA 135-C:57 and 58.
XII. Nursing facility preadmission screening and annual resident review for persons with developmental disabilities or intellectual disabilities.

Source. 1986, 212:1. 1995, 310:183. 2012, 171:6, eff. Aug. 10, 2012.

Section 135-C:62

    135-C:62 Custody and Transportation. –
I. Except as provided in RSA 135-C:29, any law enforcement officer shall take custody of persons who are subject to proceedings for involuntary emergency admission; involuntary admission, or temporary revocation of a conditional discharge under RSA 135-C in the following circumstances:
(a) Upon completion of an involuntary emergency admission certificate in accordance with RSA 135-C:28, I;
(b) Upon issuance by a justice of the peace of an order for a compulsory mental examination pursuant to RSA 135-C:28, II;
(c) Upon a finding of probable cause at an involuntary emergency admission hearing held pursuant to RSA 135-C:31;
(d) Upon issuance of an order for involuntary admission pursuant to RSA 135-C:45;
(e) Upon issuance of an order for an examination pursuant to RSA 135-C:51, II;
(f) Upon a determination by a psychiatrist at a county mental health program to revoke a conditional discharge temporarily pursuant to RSA 135-C:51, III; or
(g) As necessary to ensure the presence of the person at hearings or examinations conducted under this chapter, to effect a transfer between receiving facilities, or to carry out any other lawful order of a court.
II. A law enforcement officer shall also transport any persons taken into custody to the appropriate receiving facility, court, place of examination, or other location.

Source. 1986, 212:1. 2000, 231:3, eff. Jan. 1, 2001.

Section 135-C:63

    135-C:63 Duty to Transport. – Upon request, the office of the sheriff of the county in which any person is located who is to be taken into custody in accordance with RSA 135-C:62 shall take said person into custody and transport that person to the appropriate destination.

Source. 1986, 212:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1987.

Section 135-C:63-a

    135-C:63-a Proceedings of Quality Assurance Program; Confidentiality. –
I. As used in this section:
(a) "Records" means records of interviews, internal reviews and investigations, and all reports, statements, minutes, memoranda, charts, statistics, and other documentation generated during the activities of a quality assurance program. Records shall not mean original medical records or other records kept relative to any patient in the course of the business of operating a community mental health program.
(b) "Quality assurance program" means a comprehensive, on-going, organization-wide system of mechanisms for monitoring and evaluating the quality and appropriateness of the care provided, so that important problems and trends in the delivery of care are identified and that steps are taken to correct problems and to take advantage of opportunities to improve care.
II. Except as provided under RSA 135-C:5, II, records of a community mental health program's quality assurance program, including those of its functional components and committees as defined by the organization's quality assurance plans, organized to evaluate matters relating to the care and treatment of patients and to improve the quality of care provided and testimony by members on the board of directors of the community mental health program, medical and clinical staff, employees, or other committee attendees relating to activities of the quality assurance program shall be confidential and privileged and shall be protected from direct or indirect means of discovery, subpoena, or admission into evidence in any judicial or administrative proceeding. However, information, documents, or records otherwise available from original sources are not to be construed as immune from discovery or use in any such civil or administrative action merely because they were presented to a quality assurance program, and any person who supplies information or testifies as part of a quality assurance program, or who is a member of a quality assurance program committee, may not be prevented from testifying as to matters within his or her knowledge, but such witness may not be asked about his or her testimony before such program, or opinions formed by him or her, as a result of committee participation. Further, a program's records shall be discoverable in either of the following cases:
(a) A judicial or administrative proceeding brought by a community mental health program, its quality assurance program, or its board of directors to revoke or restrict the license or certification of a staff member; or
(b) A proceeding alleging repetitive malicious action and personal injury brought against a staff member.
III. A community mental health program board of directors or trustees may waive its privilege under this section and release information or present records of the quality assurance program by discovery, subpoena, or admission into evidence in any judicial or administrative proceeding.
IV. No directors, trustees, medical or clinical staff, employees, or other attendees of the quality assurance program shall be held liable in any action for damages or other relief arising from the providing of information to a quality assurance program or in any judicial or administrative proceeding.

Source. 1991, 315:1. 2002, 221:5, eff. Jan. 1, 2003.

Section 135-C:63-b

    135-C:63-b Repealed by 2014, 253:3, I, eff. Nov. 1, 2016. –

Section 135-C:63-c

    135-C:63-c Repealed by 2017, 162:2, eff. Nov. 1, 2018. –

Anna Philbrook Center

Section 135-C:64

    135-C:64 Philbrook Center; Purpose. –
The commissioner shall maintain behavioral health services for children and adolescents in one or more facilities on the New Hampshire hospital campus, or other locations to be determined by the commissioner. All services for children and adolescents shall be appropriate for each child's developmental stage and shall address the educational, supervisory, and clinical needs of each child. The purposes of child and adolescent services shall include but not be limited to:
I. Care and treatment of children with mental illnesses who are admitted on a voluntary basis pursuant to RSA 135-C:4, III or involuntarily pursuant to RSA 135-C:27-54.
II. Evaluation, care, and treatment of children under RSA 169-B, 169-C, and 169-D, subject to the provisions of RSA 135-C:65.

Source. 1990, 3:45. 1995, 310:183. 2000, 294:3, eff. Aug. 20, 2000. 2020, 37:124, eff. July 1, 2020.

Section 135-C:65

    135-C:65 Admission Limitation. – Children subject to proceedings in juvenile court may be admitted to the Philbrook center for evaluation, care, or treatment only upon prior approval of the commissioner or designee.

Source. 1990, 3:45. 1995, 310:183, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.

Section 135-C:66

    135-C:66 Access of Records. – Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, records regarding children placed at Philbrook center pursuant to RSA 169-B, 169-C, or 169-D shall be exchanged between employees of the department to facilitate coordinated care for those children and their families. The confidentiality of such information shall be maintained according to applicable law.

Source. 1990, 3:45. 1994, 212:2. 1995, 310:89, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.

Section 135-C:67

    135-C:67 Admission and Discharge. – The commissioner shall adopt rules relative to eligibility criteria and procedures for admission to and discharge from the Philbrook center.

Source. 1990, 3:45. 1994, 212:2. 1995, 310:90, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.