Arkansas Law


§ 5-28-301. Emergency custody.

(a)(1) The Department of Human Services or a law enforcement official may take an abused, neglected, or exploited adult into emergency protective custody or any person in charge of a hospital or similar institution or any physician treating any such adult may keep that adult in his custody, whether or not medical treatment is required, if the circumstances or condition of the adult is such that continuing at his place of residence or in the care or custody of a parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the adult's care presents imminent danger to that adult's health or safety and the adult lacks the capacity to comprehend the nature and consequences of remaining in a situation that presents imminent danger to his health or safety.

     (2)(A) However, emergency protective custody shall not exceed seventy-two (72) hours, excluding weekends and holidays, and the Department of Human Services shall be notified immediately upon taking such adult into emergency protective custody.

          (B) An emergency ex parte order of custody shall be obtained on the abused, neglected, or exploited adult within the seventy-two (72) hours.

     (3)(A)(i) When emergency protective custody is exercised pursuant to this section, the person exercising such custody or the department shall have authority to consent to having the abused, neglected, or exploited adult transported by ambulance if medically appropriate, even if the adult objects.

               (ii) No court order shall be required for such ambulance transport.

          (B)(i) When an ambulance driver or company acts in good faith pursuant to this subdivision (a)(3), the immunity provisions of § 5-28-215 shall apply.

               (ii) The good faith of the ambulance driver or company shall be presumed.

(b) If the court grants the ex parte order of emergency custody, a preliminary hearing shall be held within five (5) working days to establish probable cause for grounds for protective custody.

(c)(1) Upon a finding of probable cause, the court may order temporary protective custody for up to fourteen (14) days pending the hearing for long-term protective custody.

     (2) Upon a finding that extenuating circumstances are present and that the hearing cannot be held within fourteen (14) days, the court may extend the period of temporary protective custody for up to nineteen (19) days.

History. Acts 1983, No. 452, § 8; A.S.A. 1947, § 59-1308; Acts 1993, No. 401, § 3; 1995, No. 1338, § 2; 1997, No. 1034, § 4; 1999, No. 753, § 13.