North Carolina Department of Justice
North Carolina Department of Justice
North Carolina Department of Justice
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April 5, 1977 Mental Health; Infants and Incompetents; Voluntary Admissions; Applications for Admission to Treatment Facilities by Married Minors



Requested By: Mrs. Kim A. Bell, RRA Medical Record Administrator Walter B. Jones Alcoholic Rehabilitation Center


Question: May a seventeen year old married individual be treated in the same manner as a person who has reached the age of majority for purposes of voluntary admission to an Alcoholic Rehabilitation Center operated by the State of North Carolina?


Conclusion: Yes.


Article 4, Chapter 122 deals with voluntary admission to treatment facilities in this State. Institutions and hospitals (such as the Alcoholic Rehabilitation Centers) operated by North Carolina and designated for persons in need of care and treatment due to inebriety are treatment facilities. G.S. 122-56.2(b). While adult individuals may be admitted upon their own applications

(G.S. 122-56.3), parents, guardians or persons standing in loco parentis act for minors in making applications to these treatment facilities (G.S. 122-56.5. Additionally, in order to retain a minor in one of these facilities, a judicial determination that the person is inebriate and in need of further treatment at the facility must be made within ten days after admission. G.S. 122-56.7

In North Carolina the age of majority is eighteen. G.S. 48A-2. The parental right to control the limitations on a child's right to independently act exists until the age of majority or until the minor is otherwise emancipated. Shoaf v. Shoaf, 282 N.C. 287, 290 (1972). In this State, before achieving the statutory age of majority:

"The emancipation of a child may be complete or partial. A minor may be emancipated for some purposes and not for others, and similarly a parent may be freed of some of his obligations and divested of some of his rights yet not be freed and divested of others . . . Complete emancipation arises by operation of law irrespective of the parent's consent when a child marries . . ." Gillikin

v. Burbage, 263 N.C. 317, at pages 321-322 (1965); Church v. Hancock, 261 N.C. 764, 765 (1964).

In light of the above quoted language of the Supreme Court of North Carolina, for voluntary admission to a treatment facility under Article 4, a married minor would be treated in the same fashion as an individual who has achieved the age of majority.

Rufus L. Edmisten Attorney General

William F. O'Connell Special Deputy Attorney General