Code of the District of Columbia

§ 21–524. Determination and order of court.

(a) Within a period of 24 hours after the court receives a petition for hospitalization of a person for emergency observation and diagnosis, filed by the administrator of a hospital or chief clinical officer of the Department pursuant to section 21-523, the court shall:

(1) order the hospitalization; or

(2) order the person’s immediate release.

(b) The court, in making its determination under this section, shall consider the written reports of the agent, officer, physician or qualified psychologist who made the application under section 21-522, the certificate of the examining psychiatrist or examining qualified psychologist which accompanied it, and any other relevant information.


(Sept. 14, 1965, 79 Stat. 754, Pub. L. 89-183, § 1; Feb. 24, 1984, D.C. Law 5-48, § 11(a)(10), 30 DCR 5778; Apr. 4, 2003, D.C. Law 14-283, § 2(k), 50 DCR 917.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 21-524.

1973 Ed., § 21-524.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 21-525, § 21-526, and § 21-527.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 14-283, in subsec. (a), substituted “administrator of a hospital or chief clinical officer of the Department” for “administrator of a hospital”.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(j) of Mental Health Commitment Emergency Amendment Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-265, January 30, 2002, 49 DCR 1450).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(k) of Mental Health Civil Commitment Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-546, December 12, 2002, 50 DCR 199).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(j) of Mental Health Commitment Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-350, April 24, 2002, 49 DCR 4417).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(k) of Mental Health Civil Commitment Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-41, March 24, 2003, 50 DCR 2784).

Temporary Legislation

Section 2(j) of D.C. Law 14-131, in subsec. (a), substituted “administrator of a hospital or chief clinical officer of the Department” for “administrator of a hospital”.

Section 5(b) of D.C. Law 14-131 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.