Welcome to FindLaw's Cases & Codes, a free source of state and federal court opinions, state laws, and the United States Code. For more information about the legal concepts addressed by these cases and statutes, visit FindLaw's Learn About the Law.
(a) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 19a-221 or 19a-265, if the Governor has declared a public health emergency, the commissioner, if so authorized by the Governor pursuant to section 19a-131a, may order into quarantine or isolation, as appropriate, any individual, group of individuals or individuals present within a geographic area whom the commissioner has reasonable grounds to believe to be infected with, or exposed to, a communicable disease or to be contaminated or exposed to contamination or at reasonable risk of having a communicable disease or being contaminated or passing such communicable disease or contamination to other persons if the commissioner determines that such individual or individuals pose a significant threat to the public health and that quarantine or isolation is necessary and the least restrictive alternative to protect or preserve the public health. No individual or group of individuals or individuals present in a geographic area shall be quarantined or isolated unless they meet the conditions in this subsection.
(b) The commissioner shall adhere to the following conditions and principles when quarantining or isolating individuals, groups of individuals or individuals present within a geographic area: (1) Quarantine and isolation shall be by the least restrictive means necessary to prevent the spread of a communicable disease or contamination to others and may include, but not be limited to, confinement to private homes or other private or public premises; (2) quarantined individuals shall be confined separately from isolated individuals; (3) the health status of quarantined or isolated individuals shall be monitored frequently to determine if they continue to require quarantine or isolation; (4) if a quarantined individual subsequently becomes infected or contaminated or is reasonably believed to have become infected with a communicable disease or contaminated, such individual shall be promptly moved to isolation; (5) quarantined or isolated individuals shall be immediately released when they are no longer infectious or capable of contaminating others or upon the order of a court of competent jurisdiction; (6) the needs of individuals quarantined or isolated shall be addressed in a systematic and competent fashion, including, but not limited to, providing adequate food, clothing, shelter, means of communication with those in quarantine or isolation and outside those settings, medication and competent medical care; (7) premises used for quarantine and isolation shall be maintained in a safe and hygienic manner and be designed to minimize the likelihood of further transmission of infection or other harms to individuals quarantined or isolated; (8) to the extent possible without jeopardizing the public health, family members and members of a household shall be kept together, and guardians shall stay with their minor wards; and (9) to the extent possible, cultural and religious beliefs shall be considered in addressing the needs of individuals and establishing and maintaining premises used for quarantine and isolation.
(c) An order to quarantine or isolate issued by the commissioner shall be in writing and shall include: (1) The name of any individual, group of individuals or individuals present within a geographic area to be quarantined or isolated, or the geographic area where such communicable disease is present or contamination exists; (2) the basis for the commissioner's belief regarding the presence of a communicable disease or that contamination exists within the geographical area; (3) the period of time during which the order shall remain effective; (4) the premises subject to quarantine or isolation, that may include, but need not be limited to, private homes or other private or public premises; and (5) other terms and conditions as may be necessary to protect and preserve the public health. In determining the length of such order, the commissioner shall consider, to the extent known, the length of incubation of the communicable disease or contamination, the date of the individual's exposure and the individual's medical risk of exposing others to such communicable disease or contamination. The order shall be effective for not more than twenty days, provided further orders of quarantine or isolation meeting the requirements of this section may be issued as to any respondent for successive periods of not more than twenty days if issued before the last business day of the preceding period of quarantine or isolation.
(d) Such order shall also inform the individuals quarantined or isolated that they have the right to consult an attorney, the right to a hearing pursuant to this section, clear instructions on how to request a hearing, and that if such a hearing is requested, such individual has the right to be represented by counsel, that counsel will be provided at the state's expense if such individual is unable to pay for such counsel, and that if such a hearing is requested, court fees shall be waived. A copy of the order shall be provided to each individual quarantined or isolated or notice of the order shall be provided by a means likely to reach those affected.
(e) Any individual subject to a quarantine or isolation order under this section shall be confined in a place designated by the commissioner until such time as the commissioner determines such individual is no longer infectious or capable of contaminating others, or is released by order of a court of competent jurisdiction for the district in which such individual is isolated or quarantined. Any individual who desires treatment by prayer or spiritual means without the use of any drugs or material remedies, but through the use of the principles, tenets or teachings of any church incorporated under chapter 598 1 or any other religious or spiritual practice, may be so treated during such individual's quarantine or isolation.
(f) An individual subject to a quarantine or isolation order under this section may appeal such order to the Probate Court for the district in which such person is quarantined or isolated and, if such individual or such individual's representative asks the court, in writing, including, but not limited to, by means of first class mail, facsimile machine or the Internet, for a hearing, notwithstanding the form of such request, the court shall hold a hearing not later than seventy-two hours after receipt of such request, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays. The court may extend the time for a hearing based on extraordinary circumstances. No fee shall be charged to file an appeal in the Probate Court under this section. If such individual cannot appear personally before the court, a hearing shall be conducted only if his or her representative is present. The commissioner shall be a party to the proceedings. Such hearing may be held via any means that allows all parties to fully participate in the event an individual may infect or contaminate others. A request for a hearing shall not stay the order of quarantine or isolation issued by the commissioner under this section. The hearing shall concern, but need not be limited to, a determination of whether (1) the individual ordered confined is infected with a communicable disease or is contaminated or has a reasonable risk of having a communicable disease or having been contaminated or passing a communicable disease or contamination to other individuals, (2) the individual poses a reasonable threat to the public health, and (3) the quarantine or isolation of the individual is necessary and the least restrictive alternative to prevent the spread of a communicable disease or contamination to others in order to protect and preserve the public health.
(g) Notice of the hearing shall be given to the respondent and shall inform the respondent that his or her representative has a right to be present at the hearing; that the respondent has a right to counsel; that the respondent, if indigent or otherwise unable to pay for or obtain counsel, has a right to have counsel appointed to represent the respondent; and that the respondent has a right to cross-examine witnesses testifying at the hearing. If the court finds such respondent is indigent or otherwise unable to pay for or obtain counsel, the court shall appoint counsel for such respondent, unless such respondent refuses counsel and the court finds that the respondent understands the nature of his or her refusal. The court shall provide such respondent a reasonable opportunity to select such respondent's own counsel to be appointed by the court. If the respondent does not select counsel or if counsel selected by the respondent refuses to represent the respondent or is not available for such representation, the court shall appoint counsel for the respondent from a panel of attorneys admitted to practice in this state provided by the Probate Court Administrator. If the order of quarantine or isolation applies to individuals present in a described geographic area, the court may appoint one or more attorneys to represent all the individuals present in the described geographic area where there is a commonality of interests of such individuals, except that an individual may choose to be represented by his or her own attorney on an individual basis. The reasonable compensation of appointed counsel shall be established by, and paid from funds appropriated to, the Judicial Department, but, if funds have not been included in the budget of the Judicial Department for such purposes, such compensation shall be established by the Probate Court Administrator and paid from the Probate Court Administration Fund.
(h) Prior to such hearing, the Probate Court, such respondent or such respondent's counsel and the commissioner shall be afforded access to all records including, but not limited to, hospital records if such respondent is hospitalized, and shall be entitled to take notes therefrom. If such respondent is hospitalized at the time of the hearing, the hospital, upon order of the Probate Court, shall make available at such hearing for use by the respondent or his or her counsel all records in its possession relating to the condition of the respondent. All records relating to the condition of the respondent shall be admissible at the request of any party or the Probate Court at the hearing. Nothing in this subsection shall prevent timely objection to the admissibility of evidence in accordance with the rules of civil procedure.
(i) The court shall cause a recording of the testimony at such hearing to be made, to be transcribed only in the event of an appeal from the order rendered. A copy of such transcript shall be furnished without charge to any appellant whom the Probate Court finds unable to pay for the same. The cost of such transcript shall be paid from the funds appropriated by the Judicial Department, but, if funds have not been included in the budget of the Judicial Department for such purposes, the cost of such transcription shall be established by the Probate Court Administrator and paid from the Probate Court Administration Fund.
(j) At such hearing, the commissioner shall have the burden of showing, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the conditions of this subsection are met. If the court, at such hearing, finds that the respondent is infected with a communicable disease or is contaminated, or is reasonably believed to have been exposed to a communicable disease or to contamination, or is at reasonable risk of having a communicable disease or having been contaminated and poses a reasonable threat to the public health and that quarantine or isolation of the respondent is necessary and the least restrictive alternative to protect and preserve the public health, it shall order (1) the continued quarantine or isolation of the respondent under such terms and conditions as the court deems necessary to prevent the exposure of others to a communicable disease or contamination, until such time as it is determined by the commissioner that release of the respondent would not constitute a reasonable threat to the public health, or (2) the release of the respondent under such terms and conditions as it deems appropriate to protect the public health.
(k) If the court, at such hearing, fails to find that the conditions required for an order for quarantine or isolation under subsection (a) of this section have been proven, it shall order the immediate release of the respondent.
(l) A respondent may, not more than every thirty days, move the court to terminate or modify an order made under subsection (j) of this section, in which case a hearing shall be held in accordance with this section. If the court, at a hearing held upon motion of the respondent or its own motion, fails to find that the conditions which required quarantine or isolation still exist, it shall order the immediate release of the respondent. If the court finds that such conditions still exist but that a different remedy is appropriate under this section, the court shall modify its order accordingly.
(m) Any person aggrieved by an order of the Probate Court under this section may appeal to the Superior Court. The appeal shall be confined to the record, which shall consist of the transcript of the hearing and all evidence received or considered by the Probate Court.
Cite this article: FindLaw.com - Alabama Code Title 26. Infants and Incompetents § 26-23E-6 - last updated January 01, 2019 | https://codes.findlaw.com/al/title-26-infants-and-incompetents/al-code-sect-26-23e-6.html
FindLaw Codes may not reflect the most recent version of the law in your jurisdiction. Please verify the status of the code you are researching with the state legislature or via Westlaw before relying on it for your legal needs.
Was this helpful?