Caddo Parish Coroner's Office

Mental Health

Order of Protective Custody (OPC)

The coroner issues emergency certificates, and/or orders of  protective custody on those in need of immediate medical treatment because he/she is dangerous to self or others or gravely disabled (pursuant to LA RS 28:53.2). The Caddo Parish Coroner may order a person to be taken into protective custody and transported to a treatment facility for immediate examination when a credible person executes a statement under private signature specifying that to the best of his/her knowledge and belief, the person is mentally ill and/or is in need of immediate treatment to protect the person or others from physical harm.

The petitioner must come to the Coroner’s office and complete a request for OPC. The individual completing the request form must have seen or witnessed what the person has been saying and/or doing recently.

  1. A statement of facts, including the petitioner’s observations of the individual.
  2. The date and place of any dangerous acts or threats.
  3. The name and surname, if known, of any other person who is in danger.
  4. Facts showing that the person sought has been encouraged to seek treatment and is unwilling to be evaluated on a voluntary basis, and
  5. Acts showing that the petitioner has attempted to contact a specific treatment facility or a specific physician in order to obtain an examination of the person sought to be treated.

The petitioner will also be required to sign a statement regarding the penalty for improper commitment that they are not falsifying any information. Any person who is found guilty of executing a statement that another person is mentally ill or suffering from substance abuse and is in need of immediate treatment to protect the person or others that the petitioner knows or should know is false may be imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not more than one year, or fined not more than one thousand dollars.

The order for custody shall be effective for seventy-two hours from its issuance and shall be delivered to the treatment facility by the police or sheriff deputy. Upon arrival, the person in custody shall be examined immediately by a physician, preferably a psychiatrist, medical psychologist or psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, who shall determine if the person shall be voluntarily admitted, admitted by emergency certificate, admitted as a non-contested admission, or discharged. The person in custody shall be examined within twelve hours of his/her arrival at the treatment facility or he/she shall be released. The Caddo Parish Coroner’s Office has no say in the decision to commit or not to commit. The Caddo Parish Coroner’s Office merely executes the legal order to take the individual against his or her will to the E. R. for evaluation.

Physician Emergency Certificate (PEC) is written by a physician after an individual presents to the emergency room or a treatment facility and is evaluated by a physician.

Coroner’s Emergency Certificate (CEC) is written by after a second evaluation is completed by a board certified psychiatrist that is deputized through the coroners office.

Site built by David Eleuterius - Shreveport Web Design