§ 21–903. Apprehension by certain officials of persons believed to have a mental illness; proceedings.
(a) An officer or employee of the United States authorized to make arrests, and a guard or watchman employed by the United States, may apprehend and detain a person whom he believes to be a person with mental illness and found in a place specified by section 21-902, and, except as provided by section 21-904, bring the person for a hearing before a United States commissioner for the district where the person was apprehended, and designated as provided by section 21-902. When an immediate hearing before a commissioner cannot be had, the officer or employee may take the person to Saint Elizabeths Hospital. The Superintendent of Saint Elizabeths Hospital may detain the person pending a hearing before a United States commissioner for the District of Columbia, designated as provided by section 21-902, for a period not exceeding 72 hours.
(b) The United States commissioner specified by subsection (a) of this section shall hold a hearing as promptly as practicable after the apprehension of a person pursuant to that subsection and in any event not later than 72 hours thereafter. The hearing shall be conducted at Saint Elizabeths Hospital if the Superintendent of the hospital certifies that in his opinion it would be prejudicial to the health of the person or unsafe to produce him at a hearing elsewhere. If, after a hearing at a place other than Saint Elizabeths Hospital, the commissioner commits a person to Saint Elizabeths Hospital, an officer, employee, guard, or watchman specified by subsection (a) of this section may transport the person to Saint Elizabeths Hospital in accordance with the order of the commissioner.