State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Georgia > Title-30 > Chapter-5 > 30-5-5

O.C.G.A. 30-5-5 (2010)
30-5-5. Investigation of reports of need for protective services; interference with investigation; provision of protective services

(a) When the director receives a report that a disabled adult or elder person is in need of protective services, he or she shall conduct or have conducted a prompt and thorough investigation to determine whether the disabled adult or elder person is in need of protective services and what services are needed. The investigation shall include a visit to the person and consultation with others having knowledge of the facts of the particular case. Within ten days after receipt of the report, the director shall acknowledge receipt of the report, in writing, to the person making the report.

(b) Any person conducting an investigation required by this Code section who is unable to gain access to the disabled adult or elder person as a result of interference by another person may petition the court for an order authorizing the investigation and prohibiting interference therewith, which petition shall allege specific facts in support thereof. A hearing upon such petition and notice thereof shall be carried out pursuant to subsection (f) of this Code section. If as a result of the hearing the court finds probable cause to believe that the person named in the petition is a disabled adult in need of protective services or an elder person needing protective services and that any other person is interfering with the conduct of an investigation required under this Code section, the court may issue an order authorizing that investigation and prohibiting interference therewith by any person.

(c) If as a result of an investigation conducted under this chapter the director determines that a disabled adult or elder person is in need of protective services, the director shall immediately provide or arrange for protective services for any disabled adult or elder person who consents thereto.

(d) Any person providing protective services as authorized by subsection (c) of this Code section who determines that another person is interfering with the provision of such services may petition the court for an order authorizing such services and prohibiting interference therewith. Such petition shall allege specific facts in support thereof, including, but not limited to, the results of any investigation required to be made under this chapter. A hearing upon such petition and notice thereof shall be carried out pursuant to subsection (f) of this Code section. If as a result of the hearing the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the person named in the petition is a disabled adult in need of protective services or an elder person needing protective services and that any other person is interfering with the provision of such services, the court may issue an order authorizing the provision of such services and prohibiting the interference therewith by any person.

(e) Protective services may not be provided under this chapter to any person who does not consent to such services or who, having consented, withdraws such consent. Nothing in this chapter shall prohibit the department from petitioning for the appointment of a guardian for a disabled adult or elder person pursuant to Chapters 4 and 5 of Title 29.

(f) A hearing on any petition filed under this Code section shall be held no sooner than five and no later than ten days after such petition is filed, unless a continuance is granted. At least three days prior to such hearing, notice thereof shall be served on the petitioner and notice and copy of the petition shall be served on the person alleged to be a disabled adult in need of protective services or an elder person needing protective services and on such person or persons named in the petition as interfering with the investigation or with the provision of protective services, as applicable. Notice shall be served either in person or by first-class mail. Any person willfully violating any order issued pursuant to this Code section shall be in contempt of the court issuing such order and may be punished accordingly by the judge of that court.

(g) The expenses of the court and the hearing officer for any hearing conducted under this Code section shall be the same as those provided in Code Section 37-3-122 and shall be paid as provided therein. A disabled adult or elder person shall be deemed to be a patient under Code Section 37-3-122 only for purposes of determining hearing expenses thereunder. Nothing in this Code section shall authorize the payment of attorney’s fees for any hearing conducted under this Code section.

(h) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Code section, if the director or adult protection agency employee receives a report or gains knowledge that a disabled adult or elder person is in need of protective services and such disabled adult or elder person may be in imminent danger resulting from abuse, exploitation, or neglect, the director or designee of the director may file a petition with the probate or superior court stating the grounds on which the director or designee of the director believes that the disabled adult or elder person may be in imminent danger and seeking immediate access to such person. The judge, in his or her discretion, may issue an ex parte order requiring the caretaker or any other person at the place where the disabled adult or elder person resides to afford an adult protection agency employee immediate access to such person to determine the person’s well-being. If the adult protection agency employee is denied access to the disabled adult or elder person, the employee shall contact immediately a law enforcement officer to assist the employee in enforcing such order. Any person willfully violating any order issued pursuant to this subsection shall be in contempt of the court issuing such order and may be punished accordingly by the judge of the court. The adult protection agency employee shall conduct a brief investigation to determine the condition of the disabled adult or elder person.