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In Re Doe

OPINION FILED JANUARY 9, 1978.

IN RE JANE DOE. — (THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PETITIONER-APPELLEE,

v.

JANE DOE, RESPONDENT-APPELLANT.)



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. MARTIN F. BRODKIN, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE O'CONNOR DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Respondent was asserted to be in need of mental treatment by a petition, supported by certification of two physicians, filed in the circuit court of Cook County. After an evidentiary hearing, the court found respondent to be in need of mental treatment and ordered her to be hospitalized by the Department of Mental Health. Respondent appeals from the finding and order of the court.

The sole issue on appeal is whether the State proved by clear and convincing evidence that the respondent was suffering from a mental disorder and, as a result of that disorder, was unable to care for herself. Respondent argues that (1) the testimony of the physician was not clear and convincing and (2) the trial judge based his finding on his conclusion that the respondent could not economically support herself, which is contrary to law.

Each of the two physician's certifications attested to the examining psychiatrist's conclusion that the respondent was in need of mental treatment. The first described the respondent's "multiple bizarre paranoid delusions" involving snakes and devils, and respondent's hostile and suspicious attitude. The second, prepared by Dr. Tahhri, reported that respondent was unable to care for herself, refused to tell her name and had delusions about snakes and devils in her house. The petition for hospitalization alleged that respondent had been picked up by the police while wandering about the Greyhound Bus Station. She was, at that time, "grandiose, delusional and hostile."

A hearing on the petition was held on May 10, 1976. The respondent asked to represent herself, but the court appointed the public defender to assist in respondent's defense. Respondent waived a jury, stating that she was "no criminal" and did not need a jury.

Dr. Tahhri testified for the State that he had met with the respondent and tried to speak with her "about ten times" but that she refused to speak to him and was verbally abusive. He asked her a number of times to tell him her name, but she responded only once, saying her name was Miss Clark. The doctor attempted to give respondent a physical examination, but respondent swung at him and other staff members; therefore, respondent was restrained to enable the doctor to complete the examination. He found that she suffered from hypertension. She refused medication and kept telling him that people put snakes and devils in her house and some people came to her house and stole everything, which is why she went to the bus station.

The respondent here interjected her denial of the doctor's testimony. The court asked the respondent to wait her turn.

The doctor testified that he also considered in making his diagnosis that respondent claimed to be able to read minds and claimed she was in danger in the hospital. He observed that she always wore the same clothes, although she had other clothes with her, and that she wore a muffler about her face at all times. She would not tell him why she wore the muffler.

The respondent interrupted, stating that the witness was lying.

The doctor concluded that the respondent was suffering from the mental disease paranoia schizophrenia. The respondent stated, "I am suffering from nothing. I feel just fine. How can you get inside of me and say what I am suffering from. Where is your diploma and your degrees from?" She interrupted the next question with a statement, the general import of which was that she was not interested in others, she was interested only in her children and she wanted to go home to care for them.

The doctor testified that she could unintentionally harm other people, basing his opinion on the fact that she swung at the staff with her bag. She refused medication for treatment of her severe hypertension, and if she continued to refuse medication the doctor believed that she would deteriorate and "that can cause death." The respondent then declared that the doctor was "lying because they paying you * * *."

The doctor testified that respondent fed and dressed herself. He had no opinion about respondent's financial affairs, but his opinion was that she could not care for herself emotionally or physically. He recommended further treatment. Respondent interrupted again, saying that the doctor had been paid off and was working for the devil.

The court then asked the doctor if respondent could "care for herself" and the doctor answered, "Yes." The court asked if she could protect herself from harm and the doctor said she might be able to, but that she was unable to function in society.

The respondent made a statement in which she explained that she had been restrained after "some people" had started a fight with her; that the doctor came in, and that she does not "associate" ...


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