Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

In Re Janovitz

OPINION FILED MARCH 27, 1980.

IN RE MAURY JANOVITZ. — (THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PETITIONER-APPELLEE,

v.

MAURY JANOVITZ, RESPONDENT-APPELLANT.)



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. MARJAN PETER STANIEC, Judge, presiding.

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

The respondent, Maury Janovitz, was found to be a person subject to involuntary admission and was then ordered by the trial court to undergo involuntary hospitalization. (Ill. Rev. Stat., 1978 Supp., ch. 91 1/2, par. 1-119.) Respondent appeals from this order, contending that the State failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that he was a person subject to involuntary admission.

On February 16, 1979, a petition for involuntary admission was filed, alleging that respondent was subject to involuntary admission to a mental hospital in that he had threatened to kill his hospital roommate and that he had also threatened to "get" two members of the hospital staff. The petitioner was a registered nurse at Rush Presbyterian St. Luke's Hospital, where respondent was a patient.

A hearing on this petition was held on February 21, 1979, and the following facts were adduced: Robert G. Zadylak, a psychiatrist, testified for the State and indicated the respondent had been under his care for approximately 2 1/2 years; that, during that period, respondent had to be hospitalized 23 times for psychiatric disorders; and that these prior disorders involved symptoms of severe depression and suicidal thinking, which were consistent with respondent's symptoms at the time of the hearing. Dr. Zadylak related that on February 2, 1979, he received a telephone call from respondent. During this communication respondent said he intended to get a gun and kill his business associate, Manny Riba, and himself. Dr. Zadylak then notified Mr. Riba and the Glenview and Chicago police departments of respondent's stated intention. On that same day, respondent was hospitalized for combined treatment of his mental condition and a chronic lower lumbar condition, which he had recently aggravated.

On February 3, 1979, Dr. Zadylak examined respondent regarding his mental status. Dr. Zadylak found respondent still to be preoccupied with homicidal and suicidal thoughts. On February 19, 1979, Dr. Zadylak again saw respondent together with respondent's wife and a nurse. At that time, respondent stated that he had taken an overdose of pills, which he had saved, in an attempt to become "aggravated" so that he would be put in restraints and die in the hospital. At a subsequent meeting that day, respondent indicated that he wanted to kill himself.

Dr. Zadylak further testified that he saw respondent at the hospital on a regular basis from February 3, 1979, until the date of the hearing. The psychiatrist characterized respondent's behavior as quite sporadic and indicated that respondent's judgment and insight were "impaired." Dr. Zadylak stated that sometimes respondent was cooperative and at other times he was agitated; that he threatened the staff and other patients; and that, on one occasion, he had to be placed in restraints. As the result of the overdose incident, respondent was placed on "suicide risk" and continually watched by the hospital staff. In response to inquiries by the trial court, Dr. Zadylak testified that respondent's condition was highly variable. For example, this physician stated that two nights before the hearing respondent was intent on killing himself.

In the opinion of Dr. Zadylak, respondent could be reasonably expected, in the near future because of his behavior, to hurt himself or another person. Upon further questioning by the trial court, the psychiatrist testified to three separate diagnoses of respondent's condition: psychotic depressive response, personality disorder and chronic pain syndrome. Dr. Zadylak further testified that, while all three problems were active, "the acute problem is psychotic depressive response." When questioned as to the probability of respondent's injuring himself or other individuals, Dr. Zadylak indicated that the probability was very high.

On cross-examination, Dr. Zadylak stated that respondent had been suffering previously from chronic lumbar rheumatitis, which is an inflammation in the joints of an individual's lower back, spinal cord and legs. According to Dr. Zadylak, this condition can cause extreme pain. Dr. Zadylak further testified that the death of respondent's mother, his brother's inoperable cancer condition, and a severe business loss in his association with Manny Riba were the precipitating causes of his depression. The psychiatrist also indicated that these were events to which most people would react with anger or depressive symptoms but would not necessarily become depressed for a prolonged period. Dr. Zadylak also stated that at times people might state things in response to extreme pain that they would not ordinarily say. Lastly, the psychiatrist informed the court that the pills which respondent took on February 19, 1979, were muscle relaxants and analgesics.

Respondent testified in his own behalf and denied telling Dr. Zadylak that he took the aforementioned pills because he wanted to die in restraints. Respondent maintained that he took this medication to relieve his back pain, which had become extreme. Regarding his telephone conversation of February 2 with Dr. Zadylak, respondent stated that he no longer had any intention to kill Mr. Riba or himself. However, he admitted that he still felt anger toward Mr. Riba because of the great financial loss he had suffered on his account. Further, respondent asserted that he had sought outpatient treatment from two other psychiatrists. On cross-examination, respondent denied telling Dr. Zadylak that he was going to kill Mr. Riba. However, he stated that he did tell Dr. Zadylak that he "wanted" to kill Mr. Riba and that he was "thinking seriously" of obtaining a weapon. Respondent did not deny making threats toward hospital staff or other patients or having been placed in restraints.

As stated above, respondent contends that the State failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that he was a person subject to involuntary admission. We cannot agree with this contention.

In his initial contention, respondent cites section 1-11 of the 1967 Mental Health Code (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 91 1/2, par. 1-11), which defined a person in need of mental treatment as the substantive standard for civil commitment. However, the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code has repealed par. 1-11 effective January 1, 1979, by Public Act 80-1414. (Ill. Rev. Stat., 1978 Supp., ch. 91 1/2, pars. 6-106 and 6-107.) The present proceedings were conducted entirely during 1979. Consequently, the pertinent standard for civil commitment is now found in section 1-119 of the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code. This section provides:

"`Person subject to involuntary admission' or `subject to involuntary admission' means:

(1) A person who is mentally ill and who because of his illness is reasonably expected to inflict serious physical harm upon himself or another in the near future; or

(2) A person who is mentally ill and who because of his illness is unable to provide for his basic physical needs so as to guard himself from serious harm. * * *" Ill. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.