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People v. Bradley

SEPTEMBER 24, 1974.




APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. ROBERT J. DEMPSEY, Judge, presiding.


This appeal arises from an order finding respondent, Gregory Bradley, in need of mental treatment and ordering his commitment to the Department of Mental Health pursuant to the Illinois Mental Health Code. *fn1

Respondent contends on appeal:

1. He was not proved to be in need of mental treatment;

2. Proper notice of the commitment hearing, as required by Section 7-6 of the Mental Health Code, *fn2 was not served upon respondent's wife; and

3. Respondent did not knowingly waive his right to a jury trial on the issue of his need for mental treatment.

In a petition for emergency hospitalization, *fn3 dated February 4, 1972, and signed by one Walter Borchard (described only as a "reputable citizen of Illinois"), respondent was alleged to be in need of mental treatment. Petitioner stated that the facts were established by the attached certificate of Dr. S. Lipkin. Petitioner alleged that an emergency existed, and that he believed that the respondent "is in such condition that he is likely to physically harm himself or others if not immediately hospitalized." The space provided for a summary of the facts upon which petitioner based his belief was left blank.

The petition was accompanied by a "Certificate of Need for Hospitalization" signed by S. Lipkin, M.D. *fn4 This certificate asserted that Dr. Lipkin is a licensed psychiatrist, and that he personally examined respondent on February 4, 1972 and found:

"Previously at Tinley State Hosp. Presently uncooperative, suspicious and self-protective without cause, loss of sense of reality and paranoid in his thinking. Behavior becomes assaultive and uncontrolled on the slightest stimulation."

Dr. Lipkin certified that in his opinion respondent was in need of mental treatment and that he should be hospitalized immediately "for the protection from physical harm of himself and others."

The record also contains a second "Certificate of Need for Hospitalization." *fn5 This also purportedly was filed with the clerk of the court on February 4, 1972; however, it is not stamped filed. This certificate indicates that one Dr. Rebic, a licensed phychiatrist, examined respondent on February 8, 1972 (not on February 4, 1972), and found:

"Pt. withdrawn, suspicious, very resentful of physician interview. Vague, on guard and evasive when finally did allow himself into dialog. It was learned that he was arrested Jan. 18 at CCIL when he decided not to lieve [sic] bedside of his wife. Dr. called the police. During the court appearance Judge charged him [with] contempt of court and sentenced him [to] 6 months to [sic] jail. He does not know of any reason why he was taken here in the middle of his sentence. He believes this is a `railroad' or it was about 2 years ago when he was hosp. of [sic] Tinley and from there to Downey where he stayed a year and decided to leave on his own because `they would not let him go.'

Pt. believes `he cannot get fair trial in America' and is not going to give me a chance to alalize [sic] him and there is no use trying. He avoided relating on interpersonal level. Appeared preoccupied. I believe autistic and did say that all his life is based on anti-Americanism and when one day he gets chance to speak on Radio, TV and write for newspaper he'll express more to the point and we'll know what he has been concerned about. Pt. seems more depressed and more disturbed than he allows to meet the eye."

Dr. Rebic certified that in her opinion respondent was in need of mental treatment and that he be "hospitalized in a suitable public or private hospital." This certificate also contains a notation "paranoid state" written in the margin.

Also shown as filed on February 4, 1972 is a "Notice of Hearing" directed to respondent's wife, Debra Bradley. *fn6 A deputy sheriff noted that a copy was personally served on Mrs. Bradley on February 9, 1972. The notice was captioned "In the matter of Gregory Bradley * * * asserted to be in need of mental treatment." Following this statement Mrs. Bradley was informed that on February 4, 1972, a petition was filed. The printed notice form then lists four explanations for the petition: "is in need of mental treatment and requires hospitalization," "is mentally retarded and requires hospitalization," "is in need of continued hospitalization," and "is not in need of mental treatment or hospitalization." None of these explanations were checked. Finally, the notice informed Mrs. Bradley that a hearing had been set for February 10, 1972, at 9:30 A.M. at 6500 Irving Park Road, Chicago, Illinois.

On February 9, 1972, a timely order for hearing on the petition was filed. *fn7 The hearing was set for February 10, 1972. The sentence on the order form "A jury be impanelled consisting of six persons" was stricken.

On February 16, 1972, the evidentiary hearing was held (the record does not reflect what proceedings, if any, occurred on February 10, 1972). Respondent elected to act pro se; an assistant public defender was present to "assist" him. The court initiated the proceedings by asking for "some background on the patient." A person identified only as a "Social Worker" then testified without objection that:

"Mr. Bradley was previously hospitalized at Tinley Park transferred from Chicago State on July the 31, of 1970 and then was transferred at that date to Tinley Park. From 8/7/70 and was discharged 9/29/70. He was also at V.A. Hospital, Downey, in particular in 1971 from September until August. Patient, uh, was not cooperative with me and gave me very little information to his family ...

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