The Lafourche Coroner's Office also has a duty in the mental health area. Contact our office for Emergency Order of Protection ( OPC ) if you meet the following criteria:
The Coroner can order a psychiatric evaluation on a patient under an Order of Protective Custody (OPC).
If the patient meets the required criteria for an Order of Protective Custody (OPC) we will instruct you where to go to meet us to sign the legal paperwork.
Once the paperwork is completed a member of the Sheriff's Office will pick the patient up and bring them to the designated facility for an evaluation. The Coroner's responsibility is to only order the patient to the facility and we have no control on whether the physician will keep the patient or discharge. Please note, the patient will be billed by the hospital. The Lafourche Parish Coroner's Office has no control over bills that are sent to the patient. If the patient is deeemed for necessary hospital stay, the Emergency physician can issue a Physician Emergency Certificate (PEC) and within the next 72-hours a second evalulation will be performed by the Coroner's Office. The Coroner can either find the patient to be kept or to be discharged. This is called a Coroner's Emergency Certificate or CEC. Under the mental health law, the Coroner does not keep a patient in the hospital. Once a patient is committed to a hospital under the mental health law, the attending psychiatrist decides how long the patient stays.
There are limitations under the mental health law that limits the stay to 15 or 28 days depending on the circumstances. However, the psychiatrist can initiate a legal process called a judicial commitment. The patient can be kept in a facility against his/her will if a judicial commitment is issued by a judge.
If the patient is a Mental Health Clinic patient, the Coroner's Office will make every effort to have the patient sent the the clinic where all his/her records are kept and the treating physian at the Mental Health Clinic is aware of the individual patient.
To receive an Order of Protective Custody (OPC) you must contact our office and meet the criteria for the order.
If the patient is out of control or making immediate threats, please call 911
Lafourche Coroner's Office 985-537-7055
Dr. John C. King, Coroner