South Carolina Department of Mental Health

Laws of South Carolina that Pertain to Mental Health

NOTICE: The following  reference to the Code of Laws of South Carolina is for general information only.   Specific circumstances and facts may require consultation with DMH supervisory staff and/or the Office of General Counsel.  

The following is an outline of portions of the Code of Laws of South Carolina pertaining to DMH, voluntary and involuntary (judicial commitment and emergency admission) treatment, capacity to stand trial, patient rights, sexually violent predator, etc.  For a full reading of specific statutes from “South Carolina Legislature Online” follow the TITLE and CHAPTER LINKS below.


TITLE 44  HEALTH

TITLE 44    CHAPTER 9     STATE DEPARTMENT OF MENTAL HEALTH

Section

44-9-10      Creation of Department of Mental Health; jurisdiction

44-9-20      Transfer of powers and duties, proceedings, appropriations and records

44-9-30      Creation of South Carolina Mental Health Commission

44-9-40       State Director of Mental Health

44-9-50       Divisions of Department; deputy commissioners

44-9-60       Superintendents of hospitals; employment of personnel

44-9-70       Administration of federal funds; development of mental health clinics

44-9-80       Utilization of federal funds provided to improve services; to patients

44-9-90       General rights, duties and powers of Commission

44-9-100     Additional powers and duties of Commission

44-9-110     Acceptance of gifts and grants by Commission

44-9-120     Annual report of Commission

44-9-160     Construction of certain references in Code


TITLE 44    CHAPTER 11   ORGANIZATION AND CONTROL OF STATE MENTAL HEALTH FACILITIES

Section

44-11-10      Facilities which shall be maintained; purposes thereof

44-11-20      Designation of Department of Corrections building as SCDMH facility

44-11-30      South Carolina Veterans Home

44-11-40      "South Carolina Veterans" defined

44-11-60      Establishment of mental health clinics

44-11-70      Appointment and powers of marshals for facilities

44-11-75      Violation for trespassing or refusing  to leave state mental health facility

44-11-80      Salaries of officers and employees of facilities

44-11-110    Easements and rights of way on grounds of facilities


TITLE 44    CHAPTER 13  ADMISSION, DETENTION AND REMOVAL OF PATIENTS AT STATE MENTAL HEALTH FACILITIES

Section

44-13-10      Detention of individual pending removal to facility

44-13-20      Admission of resident ordered committed by foreign court

44-13-30      Removal of patient or trainee who is not a citizen of this state

44-13-40      Removal of alien patient or trainee

44-13-50      Return of patient to out-of-state mental health facility

44-13-60      Transfer of custody of infirm or harmless patient or trainee .

44-13-70      Admission forms shall be kept by probate judges


TITLE 44    CHAPTER 15  LOCAL MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAMS, BOARDS AND CENTERS

Section

44-15-10     Establishment of local mental health programs and clinics authorized

44-15-20     Services for which funds may be granted

44-15-30     Applications for grants by local units

44-15-40     Allocation of funds; review of expenditures

44-15-50     Limitations on amount of grants

44-15-60     Establishment and membership of community mental health boards

44-15-70     Powers and duties of community mental health boards

44-15-80     Powers and duties of Department

44-15-90     Unexpended appropriations


TITLE 44    CHAPTER 17  CARE AND COMMITMENT OF MENTALLY ILL PERSONS

Section

44-17-310      Voluntary admission

44-17-320      Discharge of voluntary patient by superintendent

44-17-330      Discharge at request of patient or another person

44-17-340      Written notice of right to release

44-17-410      Emergency admission of person likely to cause serious harm

44-17-415      Physical examination report to accompany certification 

44-17-420      Notice of hearing

44-17-430      Examination under custody of person requiring immediate hospitalization 

44-17-440      Custody and transport of person requiring emergency admission

44-17-450      Preadmission screening and evaluation in psychiatric emergencies

44-17-460      Examinations prior to emergency admissions to psychiatric facilities

44-17-510      Petition for judicial commitment; certificate of designated examiner

44-17-520      Notice of petition and right to counsel

44-17-530      Appointment of counsel; examination and record thereof

44-17-540      Hearing shall be held if examiners find mental illness

44-17-550      Notice of hearing and rights

44-17-560      Removal of proceedings to another county

44-17-570      Conduct of hearing

44-17-580      Hospitalization of person if court finds mental illness and other conditions

44-17-600      No admission shall be based on order older than thirty days          

44-17-610      Commitment to private, county, veterans' administration or other hospital

44-17-620     Appeal

44-17-630     Right to re-examination; notice

44-17-640     Admission to agency of the United States; jurisdiction retained

44-17-660     Payment  to state employees not acting as state employees 

44-17-810     Release or discharge shall be upon own recognizance

44-17-860     Unlawful taking of person from mental health facility without permission

44-17-865     Notification to law enforcement officials of absent patients

44-17-870     Reconfinement of eloped committed patient

44-17-890     Discharge or leave of absence during Judicial proceeding

44-17-900     Officials not liable for release or discharge of patient


TITLE 44    CHAPTER 22       RIGHTS OF MENTAL HEALTH PATIENTS

Section

44-22-10       Definitions

44-22-20       Right to writ of habeas corpus

44-22-30       Right to counsel for involuntarily committed persons

44-22-40       Consent to electro-convulsive therapy or major medical treatment

44-22-50       Treatment suited to needs; least restrictive care and treatment

44-22-60       Rights with regard to admission and individualized treatment plan

44-22-70       Assessment, individualized treatment plan, discharge and notice

44-22-80       Patients' rights

44-22-90       Communications with mental health professionals privileged; exceptions

44-22-100     Confidentiality of records; exceptions; violations and penalties

44-22-110     Access to medical records; appeal of denial of access

44-22-120     Patients' rights; communication; visitors; property and religious practice

44-22-130     Examination to rule out physical condition mimicking mental illness

44-22-140     Treatment and medication; right with respect to refusal of treatment

44-22-150     Restraint; seclusion; physical coercion

44-22-160     Employment within facility; compensation; right to refuse

44-22-170     Education of school-aged residents

44-22-180     Exercise and exercise facilities; right to go outdoors

44-22-190     Finding employment for mentally disabled citizens

44-22-200     Move of patient to less restrictive setting

44-22-210     Temporary leaves of absence

44-22-220     Grievances concerning patient rights; penalties for denial of patient rights


TITLE 44    CHAPTER 23     PROVISIONS APPLICABLE TO BOTH MENTALLY ILL AND MENTALLY RETARDED PERSONS

 Section

44-23-10      Definitions

44-23-20      Inapplicability to Whitten Center

44-23-30      Nonresident licensed physician may examine resident patient out of state

44-23-40      Appeal to court from rules and regulations

44-23-50      Admission to psychiatric institute maintained for training and research

44-23-210    Transfer to or between mental health or mental retardation facility  

44-23-220    Admission of persons in jail

44-23-240    Causing unwarranted confinement

44-23-250    Signature of superintendent of institution

44-23-410    Determination of capacity to stand trial

44-23-420    Designated examiners; report

44-23-430    Hearing on fitness to stand trial; order of court

44-23-440    Finding of unfitness to stand trial shall not preclude defense on merits

44-23-450    Re-examination of finding of unfitness

44-23-460    Procedure when person no longer requires hospitalization

44-23-1080  Patients denied access to contraband  

44-23-1100  Disclosure of copies of completed forms retained by probate judges

44-23-1110  Charges for maintenance, care and services

44-23-1120   Liability of estate of deceased patient or trainee

44-23-1130   Contracts for care and treatment

44-23-1140   Lien for care and treatment

44-23-1150   Sexual intercourse with patient or trainee


TITLE 44    CHAPTER 24    COMMITMENT OF CHILDREN IN NEED OF MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT

Section

44-24-10      Definitions

44-24-20      Voluntary Admission; notification of guardian ad litem

44-24-30      Admission of child sixteen or older; determination of voluntariness

44-24-40      Discharge of voluntarily admitted child; grounds for not effecting discharge

44-24-50      Periodic notification of right to release

44-24-60      Emergency admission of child to inpatient hospital

44-24-70      Taking custody of child needing emergency admission

44-24-80      Transportation of child to hospital

44-24-90       Notification of petition; right to counsel; examination and conclusions

44-24-100      Notice of hearing for emergency or judicial admission

44-24-110      Examiners' reports; disposition 

44-24-120      Removal of proceedings to another county

44-24-130      Hearing location; testimony; rules of evidence; transcript

44-24-140      Determination after presentation of evidence

44-24-150      Commitment by family court for psychiatric evaluation; judicial admission

44-24-160      Examination and review of child admitted to inpatient program

44-24-170      Right to reexamination

44-24-180      Court review of case and child involuntarily admitted

44-24-190      Notification to court when moved; approval for more restrictive program

44-24-200      Unauthorized absence of child from facility or residential program

44-24-210      Unlawful removal of from inpatient facility or residential program 

44-24-220      Requirement of discharge planning and continuity of service in community

44-24-230      Provision of community-based treatment as alternative to hospitalization

44-24-240      Agency participation in service planning and provision; records exchange

44-24-250     Consultation with parent or guardian; participation in treatment

44-24-260     Right to communicate, consult, or visit 

44-24-270     Personal, civil, and property rights of child in treatment program

44-24-280     Prohibited use of restraint; seclusion, or physical coercion, punishment  


TITLE 44    CHAPTER 25    INTERSTATE COMPACT ON MENTAL HEALTH

Section

44-25-10      Compact enacted into law

44-25-20      Terms of compact

44-25-30      Director of Mental Health and Director of Disabilities and Special Needs

44-25-40      Supplementary agreements with other states

44-25-50      Family of transferee consulted; probate court approval of transfer

44-25-60      Payment of obligations


TITLE 44   CHAPTER 27    PATIENTS AT FEDERAL INSTITUTIONS

Section

44-27-10      Powers of federal institution over patient

44-27-20      Jurisdiction and powers over person ordered admitted by foreign court

44-27-30      Transfer of individual to federal agency


TITLE 44    CHAPTER 48    SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATOR ACT

Section

44-48-10     Short Title

44-48-20     Legislative findings

44-48-30     Definitions

44-48-40     Notification regarding release, hearing or parole; effective dates

44-48-50     Multidisciplinary tem; appointments; review of records; membership

44-48-60     Prosecutor's review committee; scope of review; membership requirements

44-48-70     Petition for probable cause determination

44-48-80     Determination of probable cause; custody; hearing; evaluation

44-48-90     Trial; counsel; access of examiners to person; payment of expenses

44-48-100   Determining predator status; control, care and treatment

44-48-110   Periodic mental examination; report; petition for release; hearing

44-48-120   Petition of release; hearing ordered by court

44-48-130   Grounds for denial of petition for release

44-48-140   Confidential information and records to agencies and attorney general

44-48-150   Evidentiary records; court order to open sealed records

44-48-160   Registration of persons released from commitment

44-48-170   Involuntary detention or commitment; constitutional requirements


TITLE 44    CHAPTER 52    ALCOHOL AND DRUG ABUSE COMMITMENT

Section

44-52-5       Statement of  policy

44-52-10     Definitions

44-52-20     Voluntary admission

44-52-30     Discharge of voluntary patient

44-52-40     Release of voluntary patient

44-52-50     Procedure for emergency admission

44-52-60     Preliminary judicial review; attorney access to documents

44-52-65     Transfer of patients under emergency commitment

44-52-70     Involuntary commitment; examination; report; judicial proceedings

44-52-80     Involuntary commitment; notice of hearing

44-52-90     Contents of report; background investigation; counsel access to reports

44-52-110    Involuntary commitment, conduct of hearing and effect of findings

44-52-120    Involuntary commitment; period of treatment

44-52-130    Transfer of patient

44-52-140    Release of a patient for temporary leave of absence

44-52-150    Reconfinement of committed patient who left facility without permission

44-52-160    Violation of conditions of release; supplemental proceedings; recommitment

44-52-165    Patients receiving alcohol and drug addiction services; offenses

44-52-200    Authority of State Department of Mental Health

44-52-210    Comprehensive program for chemically dependent persons


TITLE 17    CHAPTER 24    MENTALLY ILL OR INSANE DEFENDANTS

Section

17-24-10     Affirmative defense

17-24-20     Guilty but mentally ill; general requirements for verdict

17-24-30     Form of verdict

17-24-40     Commitment of defendant found not guilty by reason of insanity

17-25-50     Length of confinement of defendant guilty by reason of insanity

17-24-60     Petition by attorney of defendant found not guilty by reason of insanity

17-24-70     Sentencing of defendant found guilty but mentally ill

17-24-80     Release of defendant


TITLE 43    CHAPTER 35    ADULT PROTECTION

Section

43-35-5      Short Title

43-35-10    Definitions

43-35-13    Nonmedical remedial treatment by spiritual means is not abuse or neglect of vulnerable adult

43-35-15    Long Term Care Ombudsman Program; Adult Protective Services
                   Program; responsibilities

43-35-20    Additional powers of investigative entities

43-35-25    Persons required to report abuse, neglect, or exploitation of adult; reporting
                   methods

43-35-30    Photographing of visible trauma on abused adult

43-35-35    Reports of deaths believed result of abuse or neglect of adult

43-35-40    Initiation of investigation; reports to law enforcement

43-35-45    Warrant from family court to permit investigation of report; order for protective services; appointment of guardian and attorney; evaluation; hearing; review; semi-annual re-evaluation; payment for services

43-35-50    Abrogation of privilege for certain communications

43-35-55    Protective custody by law enforcement officer; procedure; notification of
                   protective services program; subsequent proceedings

43-35-60    Sharing of report information by investigative entities; public confidentiality

43-35-65    Notices to be displayed at facilities

43-35-70    Reports to occupational licensing boards

43-35-75    Immunity of person making report or participating in investigation in good faith

43-35-80    Action by Attorney General against person or facility for failure to exercise
                   responsible care; fine

43-35-85    Penalties

43-35-90    Article not to affect authority of agencies

43-35-90    Council created; membership filling vacancies

43-35-320  Responsibilities of council

43-35-330  Duties of council

43-35-340  Officers; terms of office; quorum

43-35-350  Meetings


SOUTH CAROLINA PROBATE CODE

TITLE 62    CHAPTER 5      PROTECTION OF PERSONS UNDER DISABILITY AND THEIR PROPERTY

Section

62-5-105     Director of the Department of Mental Health or his designee may act as conservator


Section

87-1     Designated Examiners

87-2     Parking Regulations

87-3     Forms

87-4     Public Record

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