(a) Whenever any court of inferior or general jurisdiction is informed by verified statement that a person is apparently mentally ill and is conducting himself in a manner which in a person who is not mentally ill would be deemed disorderly conduct or which is likely to result in serious harm to himself or others as defined in section 31.39, such court shall issue a warrant directing that such person be brought before it. If, when said person is brought before the court, it appears to the court, on the basis of evidence presented to it, that such person has or may have a mental illness which is likely to result in serious harm to himself or others, the court shall issue a civil order directing his removal to any hospital specified in subdivision (a) of section 31.39 willing to receive such person for a determination by the director of such hospital whether such person should be retained therein pursuant to such section.
(b) Whenever a person before a court in a criminal action appears to have a mental illness which is likely to result in serious harm to himself or others and the court determines either that the crime has not been committed or that there is not sufficient cause to believe that such person is guilty thereof, the court may issue a civil order as above provided, and in such cases the criminal action shall terminate.
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