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People v. Wilson

OPINION FILED AUGUST 13, 1976.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

WOODROW WILSON, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. LAWRENCE I. GENESEN, Judge, presiding.

MR. PRESIDING JUSTICE LORENZ DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Defendant appeals from an order for his treatment and hospitalization by the Department of Mental Health. He contends (1) the petition for hospitalization on an emergency basis and the accompanying doctors' certificates failed to allege sufficient facts for his involuntary admission, and (2) a need for treatment was not shown by clear and convincing evidence.

On March 5, 1975, defendant's mother, Edna Wilson, filed a Petition for Hospitalization on an emergency basis against defendant. The petition alleged that on March 5, 1975, Edna and Armeania Wilson witnessed defendant acting in a "violent, destructive, uncontrollable, and bizarre manner" at 8006 South St. Lawrence.

The petition was accompanied by a Certificate of Need for Hospitalization by a Doctor Barrera. He stated that defendant was in need of mental treatment on an emergency basis because defendant had been "violent, destructive, uncontrollable, bizarre" at 8006 South St. Lawrence for the week preceding March 5. Edna Wilson and an Officer Cappeto were listed as witnesses to these acts.

A second Certificate of Need for Hospitalization was filed by Doctor Zita Lezeau based upon her personal examination of defendant on March 10. She based her conclusions upon an "interview, previous history and petition for hospitalization." She listed the Tinley Park Mental Health Center and Edna Wilson's home as the sites of the acts and the Center's staff and Edna Wilson as the witnesses to the acts.

Defendant moved to dismiss the petition at the outset of the hearing on the grounds that Doctor Barrera's certificate was incomplete because it repeated the acts alleged in the petition and Doctor Lezeau's certificate was legally insufficient. After commenting on the vagueness of the certificates and allowing the State to amend certain portions of Doctor Lezeau's certificate, the trial court found the documents to be descriptive and sufficient. The court cited People v. Gerich, 22 Ill. App.3d 575, 317 N.E.2d 724, for the propriety of incorporating the petition into the certificate, and denied the motion.

The following pertinent evidence was adduced at the hearing on the petition.

For the State

Edna Wilson

She is defendant's mother. Defendant had been in a mental hospital approxmiately ten times in the past four years, and had been released from the Tinley Park Mental Health Center one year ago. He was currently on welfare and was staying at her home "against her will." She admitted that defendant occasionally lived with his father.

Defendant had received some treatment at an out-patient clinic, but he would not take his medication. He admitted starting a fire in her basement and killing her cat. He had also blinded her dog with acid. Whenever she attempted to call the police, he would threaten her.

Armeania Wilson

She is defendant's sister. Defendant said that the rats were eating his brains and that he heard voices inside his head. The night before he was taken away he had been beating the walls and tearing things up. He had been trying to burn a bug ...


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