Caddo Parish Coroner's Office

Mental Health

Order of Protective Custody

An Order of Protective Custody (often called a commitment order) may be issued by the Coroner on an individual who is in need of immediate evaluation because he/she is a danger to self or others or gravely disabled (LA RS 28:53.2). A peace officer or credible person must execute a statement to the Coroner under private signature with information as to why an Order of Protective Custody (OPC) is requested.

Due to the strict conditions of Louisiana law and the severity of such an order, Caddo Coroner’s Office will not issue an Order of Protective Custody over the phone. A petitioner must come to the Coroner’s office to complete a request for OPC. The petitioner completing the request must have witnessed what the individual has been saying and/or doing recently. Filling out a request with our office does not guarantee the OPC will be issued.  Furthermore, an individual requesting an OPC should have attempted other reasonable efforts to get the individual to a hospital for evaluation before resorting to the coroner’s office.

The petitioner will also be required to sign a statement that they are not falsifying any information. Any person who is found guilty of issuing a false statement that another person is mentally ill and in need of immediate treatment may be imprisoned or fined.

If an Order of Protective Custody is issued by the coroner, police will transport the individual to the hospital for an evaluation. The hospital physician will determine whether to keep the individual or not. The Caddo Parish Coroner’s Office does not make the decision as to whether a hospital keeps an individual under OPC. The Caddo Parish Coroner’s Office only issues the legal order for police to take the individual against his or her will to the hospital. The OPC is not a guarantee for long term commitment or treatment.

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