The Mental Health Division of the Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office responds to the public on a 365 days and 24/7 hours basis in mental health crisis situations, particularly when persons are unwilling or unable to seek treatment themselves. Access is gained by calling the general coroner’s office number (504) 658-9660 at any time.

Order Of Protective Custody

  • Pursuant to LA R.S. 28:53.2, the office may issue an Order for Protective Custody (OPC) upon the request of a credible person who reasonably asserts that a person is a danger to themselves or others or gravely disabled. This impairment must be a result of mental illness or substance abuse, and the person is unwilling to seek treatment on their own.
  • The OPC will authorize the new Orleans Police Department to transport the subject to a treatment facility (commonly a hospital emergency room) for a mental status evaluation by a medical professional.
  • This OPC process requires a credible person to sign an affidavit and physically sign the request for an OPC, under penalty of perjury.
  • Once at the treatment facility, the subject will be examined by a medical professional who will determine if the subject is a danger to themselves, a danger to others or is gravely disabled as a result of mental illness or substance abuse and is unwilling to do a voluntary admission. If the person is determined to legally need treatment, the physician can execute a Physician’s Emergency Certificate (PEC).
  • This detains the person against their will for up to 72 hours.
    If a PEC is issued and the subject remains detained, the law requires a second examination by the Coroner.
  • The coroner’s deputy shall examine the patient. If the person remains dangerous or disabled, then the deputy shall issue a Coroner’s Emergency Certificate. This permits the person to be held against their will for up to 15 days at the treatment facility or until discharged by the treatment facility.