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People v. Williams

OPINION FILED APRIL 7, 1977.

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

v.

WILLIE WILLIAMS, A/K/A JAMES WILLIAMS, DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. CORNELIUS J. COLLINS, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE LINN DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

On March 6, 1975, the respondent, Willie Williams, was found mentally not fit to stand trial. He was remanded to county jail for transfer to the Department of Mental Health "as soon as possible." At a subsequent hearing, he was found to be a person in need of mental treatment and he was ordered committed to the Manteno State Hospital. Respondent appeals from the order of commitment.

We affirm.

The issues for review are (1) whether the failure of the order of March 6, 1975, to conform in its entirety to section 5-2-2 of the Unified Code of Corrections (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 38, par. 1005-2-2) rendered the subsequent proceedings void and entitled the respondent to be released on bail or recognizance; (2) whether the competency hearing on April 14, 1975, was void for failure to comply with due process and the requirements set forth in article VIII of the Mental Health Code of 1967 (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 91 1/2, par. 1-1 et seq.); (3) whether section 1-11 of the Mental Health Code of 1967 is unconstitutional because it allows institutionalization without an explicit finding that the patient is "dangerous" to himself or others; and (4) whether clear and convincing evidence supports the finding that the respondent was in need of hospitalization.

On March 6, 1975, the court found that the respondent was not fit to stand trial and entered an order that he be taken to the Cook County Jail and remanded to the Department of Mental Health "as soon as possible." Paragraphs 3 and 4 of the order provided that the respondent was to be confined until he had recovered from the condition of unfitness to stand trial or until ordered released. The paragraph of the printed order form which provided that a hearing was conducted in accordance with the procedures and within the time periods specified in the Mental Health Code was not completed by inserting the proper words to indicate that the "court" had made the "finding" rather than a "jury" had returned a "verdict."

On March 20, 1975, Dr. Goldsmith and Dr. Siomopoulos examined the respondent in the Cook County Jail and found him to be in need of hospitalization. The certificate of need for hospitalization signed by Dr. Goldsmith was not filed until March 26, 1975, the same date when the petition for hospitalization was filed. Also on March 26, 1975, the court set a hearing on a petition for March 31, 1975, and served the respondent with a notice of the hearing.

No hearing was held on March 31, 1975, and on April 1, 1975, after 24 days in the Cook County Jail, the respondent was transferred to the Illinois State Psychiatric Institute where he was again examined by Dr. Siomopoulos on April 1, and by Dr. Goldsmith on April 4. A second certificate of need for hospitalization was filed by Dr. Goldsmith on April 4, 1975. After a hearing on April 14, 1975, the respondent was found to be in need of mental treatment and he was ordered to be hospitalized at Manteno State Hospital.

At the hearing on April 14, counsel for the respondent made an oral motion that the petition be dismissed for failure of the State to comply with section 5-2-2 of the Unified Code of Corrections (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 38, par. 1005-2-2) which requires that the respondent be remanded directly to a hospital, rather than to the county jail, for transfer to the Department of Mental Health. The assistant State's Attorney argued that the respondent was brought to the hospital within a reasonable time and that there were limitations with respect to the number of beds available at the Illinois State Psychiatric Institute. The court denied the motion for a discharge.

Dr. Siomopoulos testified that in both examinations the respondent was:

"[D]isoriented, coherent, but congenial and circumstantial in his associations. He was guarded, vague, and evasive and volunteered very little information about himself. His attention span was limited, and he had difficulty in concentrating, and it took him a long time to answer questions. * * * From time to time he would make grimaces.

The most prominent thing of his mental status was an extremely flat affect; marked flat affect. He stated that he has been in jail for almost three years awaiting trial, but he expressed no complaints about it. No anger. No fear of any sort, and he seemed to have no plans about his future."

When Dr. Siomopoulos stated the respondent had told him he had been carrying a gun, the respondent's attorney objected to the recitation of any circumstances surrounding the arrest. The court held that if the evidence does not tend to incriminate the person in the proceedings on trial, the conversation could be available in this proceeding. Dr. Siomopoulos then related what the respondent told him, that he had dropped the gun he was carrying, and, as a result, a policeman was shot.

Dr. Siomopoulos testified that the respondent was suffering from schizophrenia, simple type, and he did not believe the respondent would be able to take care of himself. He doubted the respondent would be able to function in the community or rent an apartment or get a job. When asked whether he believed the respondent might intentionally or unintentionally harm others, Dr. Siomopoulos stated, "I have no information on which to base that opinion." He stated that the respondent was dangerous to himself or others.

Dr. Siomopoulos also testified that the respondent made psychotic grimaces which are very frequent in schizophrenic patients and that he communicated minimally and was unable to interact and mingle with others. He would be able to buy his own food and dress himself but he would not be able to find or hold a job.

The respondent testified he did not think he was in need of hospitalization and believed he could get a job. He stated he was in a hospital in Little Rock, Arkansas, for 5 months in 1971, and he had taken medication for his mental problems.

In its closing argument, the State argued that there was testimony that the respondent told the doctor he had committed certain acts of violence. Defense counsel objected and the court overruled, stating, "This is a summation, and he is allowed a reasonable latitude." The court held that the ...


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