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Georgia Code Title 31. Health § 31-14-3

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(a) Immediately upon the filing of a petition pursuant to Code Section 31-14-2, the judge of the superior court shall set the matter for a full and fair hearing on the petition.  Such hearing shall be held no sooner than seven days and no later than 12 days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, subsequent to the time of filing of the petition.  The court shall serve personal notice of the hearing upon the person named in the petition and upon the petitioner.  The notice required by this Code section shall include the time and place of the hearing;  notice of the person's right to counsel, that the person may apply for court appointed counsel if the person cannot afford counsel, and that the court will appoint counsel unless the person indicates in writing that he or she does not wish to be represented by counsel;  and notice that the person may waive his or her rights to a hearing under this Code section.  A copy of the petition and physician's certificate filed under Code Section 31-14-2 shall be attached to the notice.  The judge shall, where prayed for in the petition, provide for the examination of the person named therein by a physician licensed under Chapter 34 of Title 43, which examination shall include sputum examinations by a laboratory approved by the department and a recent chest X-ray of good diagnostic quality interpreted by a physician licensed to practice under Chapter 34 of Title 43, as a part of the order setting the matter for hearing;  the order shall require the person or persons named therein to make such examination.  Any X-ray and accompanying report or any written report as to a sputum examination shall be admissible as evidence without the necessity of the personal testimony of the person or persons making such examination and report.  A physician may rely upon this evidence as the basis for the diagnosis of active tuberculosis and the defendant may offer opposing evidence on this issue by testimony or otherwise.  All court costs incurred in proceedings under this chapter, including costs of examinations required by order of court but excluding any examinations procured by the person named in the petition, shall be borne by the county wherein the proceedings are brought.  The fee to be paid to an attorney appointed under this Code section to represent a person who cannot afford counsel shall be paid by the county board of health instituting proceedings for commitment.

(b) A full and fair hearing shall mean a proceeding before a hearing examiner under Code Section 31-14-8.1 or before the superior court in a proceeding under subsection (a) of this Code section.  The hearing may be held in a regular court room or in an informal setting, in the discretion of the hearing examiner or the court, but the hearing shall be recorded electronically or by a qualified court reporter.  The person named as defendant shall be provided with the opportunity for the assistance of counsel.  If the defendant cannot afford counsel, the court shall appoint counsel for the defendant or the hearing examiner shall request that the court appoint such counsel;  provided, however, that the defendant shall have the right to refuse in writing appointment of counsel.  Both parties shall have the right to confront and cross-examine witnesses, to offer evidence, and to subpoena witnesses.  Both parties shall have the right to require testimony before the hearing examiner or in court in person or by deposition from any physician upon whose evaluation the decision of the hearing examiner or the court may rest.  The hearing examiner and the court shall apply the rules of evidence applicable in civil cases, except as otherwise provided for in this chapter.  The burden of proof shall be upon the party seeking commitment of the defendant.  The standard of proof shall be by clear and convincing evidence.  At the request of the defendant, the public may be excluded from the hearing.  The defendant may waive his or her right to be present at the hearing.  The reason for the action of the court or the hearing examiner in excluding the public or permitting the hearing to proceed in the defendant's absence shall be reflected in the record.

Cite this article: - Georgia Code Title 31. Health § 31-14-3 - last updated April 14, 2021 |

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