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70.24.024  <<  70.24.034 >>   70.24.050

RCW 70.24.034

Detention — Grounds — Order — Hearing.

(1) When the procedures of RCW 70.24.024 have been exhausted and the state or local public health officer, within his or her respective jurisdiction, knows or has reason to believe, because of medical information, that a person has a sexually transmitted disease and that the person continues to engage in behaviors that present an imminent danger to the public health as defined by the board by rule based upon generally accepted standards of medical and public health science, the public health officer may bring an action in superior court to detain the person in a facility designated by the board for a period of time necessary to accomplish a program of counseling and education, excluding any coercive techniques or procedures, designed to get the person to adopt nondangerous behavior. In no case may the period exceed ninety days under each order. The board shall establish, by rule, standards for counseling and education under this subsection. The public health officer shall request the prosecuting attorney to file such action in superior court. During that period, reasonable efforts will be made in a noncoercive manner to get the person to adopt nondangerous behavior.

     (2) If an action is filed as outlined in subsection (1) of this section, the superior court, upon the petition of the prosecuting attorney, shall issue other appropriate court orders including, but not limited to, an order to take the person into custody immediately, for a period not to exceed seventy-two hours, and place him or her in a facility designated or approved by the board. The person who is the subject of the order shall be given written notice of the order promptly, personally, and confidentially, stating the grounds and provisions of the order, including the factual bases therefor, the evidence relied upon for proof of infection and dangerous behavior, and the likelihood of repetition of such behaviors in the absence of such an order, and notifying the person that if he or she refuses to comply with the order he or she may appear at a hearing to review the order and that he or she may have an attorney appear on his or her behalf in the hearing at public expense, if necessary. If the person contests testing or treatment, no invasive medical procedures shall be carried out prior to a hearing being held pursuant to subsection (3) of this section.

     (3) The hearing shall be conducted no later than forty-eight hours after the receipt of the order. The person who is subject to the order has a right to be present at the hearing and may have an attorney appear on his or her behalf in the hearing, at public expense if necessary. If the order being contested includes detention for a period of fourteen days or longer, the person shall also have the right to a trial by jury upon request. Upon conclusion of the hearing or trial by jury, the court shall issue appropriate orders.

     The court may continue the hearing upon the request of the person who is subject to the order for good cause shown for no more than five additional judicial days. If a trial by jury is requested, the court, upon motion, may continue the hearing for no more than ten additional judicial days. During the pendency of the continuance, the court may order that the person contesting the order remain in detention or may place terms and conditions upon the person which the court deems appropriate to protect public health.

     (4) The burden of proof shall be on the state or local public health officer to show by clear and convincing evidence that grounds exist for the issuance of any court order pursuant to subsection (2) or (3) of this section. If the superior court dismisses the order, the fact that the order was issued shall be expunged from the records of the state or local department of health.

     (5) Any hearing conducted by the superior court pursuant to subsection (2) or (3) of this section shall be closed and confidential unless a public hearing is requested by the person who is the subject of the order, in which case the hearing will be conducted in open court. Unless in open hearing, any transcripts or records relating thereto shall also be confidential and may be sealed by order of the court.

     (6) Any order entered by the superior court pursuant to subsection (1) or (2) of this section shall impose terms and conditions no more restrictive than necessary to protect the public health.

[1988 c 206 § 910.]