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People v. Dublin

OPINION FILED AUGUST 23, 1978.

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

v.

JOHN DUBLIN, JR., DEFENDANT. — (THE DEPARTMENT OF MENTAL HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES, PETITIONER-APPELLANT.)



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Winnebago County; the Hon. JOHN GHENT, Judge, presiding.

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

This appeal principally poses the question whether the circuit court has authority to remand a defendant to the Department of Mental Health for further treatment when the defendant has been found unfit to stand trial but has been determined by the Department to be in no further need of mental treatment requiring hospitalization and has been administratively discharged. We conclude that the circuit court does possess such authority.

John Dublin, Jr., the defendant, was charged with the crimes of rape and indecent liberties with a child. Following a hearing, the court, on July 13, 1976, found the defendant unfit to stand trial pursuant to section 5-2-1 of the Unified Code of Corrections (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 38, par. 1005-2-1) and remanded him to the custody of the H. Douglas Singer Zone Center, a mental hospital. On August 9, 1976, after a hearing in the circuit court, the defendant was found to meet the criteria for civil commitment under the Mental Health Code of 1967 (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 91 1/2, par. 1-11); shortly thereafter, the superintendent of the Singer Zone Center granted the defendant an absolute discharge (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 91 1/2, par. 10-4). *fn1 The Department then filed a petition, pursuant to section 5-2-2 of the Unified Code of Corrections (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 38, par. 1005-2-2), praying the circuit court to release the defendant on bail or recognizance under such conditions as the court finds appropriate.

The circuit court subsequently conducted a hearing on the issues whether the defendant was fit to stand trial and whether he continued to require custodial treatment. At this hearing, a Department physician (a nonpsychiatrist) testified that, in her opinion, the defendant understood the nature and purpose of a criminal proceeding and could assist his lawyer in preparing a defense. She also testified that the defendant was mildly retarded; she did not indicate nor was she asked whether the defendant suffered from a mental disorder other than retardation. She stated that he would not pose a threat to society if he were released but kept under close supervision.

The People called two psychiatrists; one testified that, because of the defendant's inability to control his violent impulses, he should not be "at large among people"; the other testified that, in his opinion, the defendant "is a danger to society" and should not be released even for short periods of time. Although both psychiatrists indicated that the defendant was mildly retarded, neither testified that he suffered from a mental disorder other than mental retardation. Neither, however, was specifically asked if the defendant suffered from such a disorder. The People's two psychiatrists both testified that the defendant remained unfit to stand trial.

The circuit court found that the defendant remained unfit to stand trial; the court also found that the defendant continued to meet the criteria for civil commitment, which finding was contrary to the superintendent's finding that the defendant was no longer in need of custodial treatment. The court accordingly denied the petition for bail or recognizance and ordered the Department to retain custody of the defendant. The Department appeals.

• 1 It is now well settled that where a trial court determines that a criminal defendant is unfit to stand trial but also determines that he does not meet the standards for civil commitment, it must conduct a hearing on the question of release on bail or recognizance. People ex rel. Martin v. Strayhorn, 62 Ill.2d 296, 301-02 (1976); People v. Ealy, 49 Ill. App.3d 922, 930-31 (1977); People v. Theim, 52 Ill. App.3d 160, 161-63 (1977); People v. Lang, 62 Ill. App.3d 688, 378 N.E.2d 1106 (1978).

• 2 As a general rule, it may be said that where a court, after a hearing, commits a person to a mental hospital, it loses jurisdiction over the person so committed upon the latter's reception into the hospital (see, e.g., Hill v. Relyea, 34 Ill.2d 552, 555-56 (1966)); thereafter, the superintendent of the hospital may grant an absolute discharge to any patient so committed without the advice or consent of the committing court. Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 91 1/2, par. 10-4. *fn2

• 3 Section 5-2-2(a) of the Unified Code of Corrections (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 38, par. 1005-2-2(a)) provides that the court shall order a hearing on the need for commitment whenever a criminal defendant is found unfit to stand trial; the same subsection provides:

"The disposition of defendant pursuant to such hearing, and the admission, detention, care, treatment and discharge of any such defendant found to be in need of mental treatment, shall be determined in accordance with [the Mental Health Code]." (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 38, par. 1005-2-2(a).)

The foregoing two provisions of section 5-2-2(a) of the Unified Code of Corrections, when read together with section 10-4 of the Mental Health Code (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 91 1/2, par. 10-4), might appear to confer upon a superintendent of a mental hospital the authority to grant an absolute discharge to a patient remanded to such a hospital after a section 5-2-2 hearing. A careful reading of the entire section (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 38, par. 1005-2-2), however, makes clear that a superintendent of a mental hospital may not discharge a section 5-2-2 patient without a prior judicial determination that the patient is, indeed, no longer in need of custodial treatment.

Section 5-2-2 of the Unified Code of Corrections (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 38, par. 1005-2-2) appears to require the Department, when it wishes to discharge a person committed pursuant to section 5-2-2, to first petition "the trial court to release the defendant on bail or recognizance, under such conditions as the court finds appropriate * * *"; this is the procedure that was followed in the instant case. Further, section 5-2-2 contemplates that the trial court, upon the filing of such a petition, shall conduct a hearing to determine if the defendant is still unfit for trial and if he is, indeed, no longer in need of custodial treatment. (See People v. Patterson, 54 Ill. App.3d 931, 934-35 (1977).) The statute also provides, on the 90-day and one-year re-examination, that (1) if the trial court finds that the defendant continues to be unfit for trial and (2) if the trial court finds that the defendant no longer requires hospitalization, "the defendant shall be released under paragraph (a) of this Section on bail or recognizance." (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 38, par. 1005-2-2(b).) While these provisions do not directly deal with the problem before us we find a strong suggestion that a judicial finding of "no further need for hospitalization" is a predicate to the release of a section 5-2-2 patient.

• 4 "All parts, provisions or sections of a statute must be construed together, in light of the general purpose and object of the statute, so as to make it harmonious and consistent in all its parts." (People v. Schaffra, 30 Ill. App.3d 600, 602 (1975).) When subsections (a) and (b) of section 5-2-2 of the Unified Code of Corrections (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 38, par. 1005-2-2) are read as a whole, it becomes manifest that where a defendant, unfit to stand trial, is also found to meet the criteria for civil commitment and is so committed, the superintendent of the receiving hospital may not discharge such a defendant prior to a judicial determination that such a defendant is no longer in need of custodial treatment. (Patterson, 54 Ill. App.3d 931, 934-35 (1977).) Such a determination may be initiated by petition at any time. Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 91 1/2, par. 10-1.

• 5 Here, the Department filed a petition seeking to discharge the defendant and the court conducted what appears from the record to be in the nature of a civil commitment hearing on the defendant's need for continued custodial treatment. The notice provisions of section 10-3 of the Mental Health Code (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 91 1/2, par. 10-3), however, were apparently not followed. Although the Department does not raise this issue, we would be inclined, on this ground alone, to reverse the judgment and remand the cause for a new hearing (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 110A, par. 366(a)(5); cf. Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 110A, par. 615(b)). Further, the record indicates that the litigants as well as the trial court were somewhat confused as to the nature of the hearing required upon the submission of the ...


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