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In Re Collins

OPINION FILED NOVEMBER 25, 1981.

IN RE QUINCE COLLINS. — (THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PETITIONER-APPELLEE,

v.

QUINCE COLLINS, RESPONDENT-APPELLANT.)



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Sangamon County; the Hon. JOHN B. CRAIN, Judge, presiding.

JUSTICE MILLS DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

The mandate of State mental health legislation is unequivocal: in an involuntary admission, an examining physician or psychiatrist must first personally inform the patient of his rights or that examiner will not be permitted to testify as to the patient's admissions at any subsequent court hearing.

The intent and direction of the legislature here is manifest — yet such command has clearly been flouted in this case.

We reverse and remand.

Respondent appeals his involuntary admission to the Department of Mental Health. The premier issue before this court is whether the order finding him subject to involuntary admission must be reversed because the trial court failed to suppress testimony of the examining physician and psychiatrist for their failure to comply with the statutory requirement that they personally inform respondent of his right to remain silent and that any statements he made could be disclosed at a court hearing on the issue of involuntary admission.

On February 27, 1981, a petition for involuntary admission was filed in the Sangamon County circuit court. Prior to trial, respondent moved to suppress the testimony of the examining physicians on the grounds that they had not informed him of his rights prior to the examination. The trial court reserved ruling on the motion pending testimony on the subject.

Randall von Lisky, downstate coordinator of the Governor's Office of Interagency Cooperation, testified that on February 20, 1981, respondent appeared in his office asking to see the governor. After being advised by a receptionist that respondent appeared dangerous, von Lisky called for additional security.

Respondent appeared to be nervous, upset, and intense. Respondent told von Lisky that in 1965 his stepfather had murdered his grandmother. According to his grandmother's will, respondent was to receive $250,000 which was held in trust until he came of age. When respondent was 21 years old and asked for the money, his stepfather denied its existence. Respondent could no longer remember the name of the bank or the account number in which the funds were placed. Because of his lack of money, respondent was forced to commit an armed robbery for which he was sent to prison. Upon his release from prison he was placed in an alternative prison program at Northeastern University where he was subjected to mind experiments involving drugs.

Respondent heard voices which told him to rape and murder people. He was frustrated by the governor's lack of response to his repeated cries for investigation. Respondent then told von Lisky that he was going to remain in Springfield until he saw the governor and that if nobody listened to him he would obtain a gun and "take care" of unnamed officials. Respondent also told von Lisky that there was a little man with a television camera in respondent's eye who was filming the interview.

Respondent agreed to talk to medical personnel, and the governor's security staff transported him to McFarland Zone Center. Respondent's cooperation was voluntary and no physical restraints were used.

Aziz Salama, a physician and psychiatrist at the Zone Center, testified that he was present during an examination of the respondent on February 20, 1981. A certificate signed by Dr. Salama also indicates that he conducted a second examination on February 23. Prior to the initial intake examination, Salama ascertained that a nurse who admitted respondent to the Zone Center informed him of his rights. Salama was not present when these rights were read to respondent. Salama testified that respondent appeared to understand his rights and was willing to talk to personnel. Respondent did not ask for a lawyer.

Dr. Williams conducted the examination. Respondent retold the story about his grandmother and his inheritance. In addition, he stated that while in the army, drugs were used on him. As a result respondent now had "bionic" properties. The voices in his head also told him to kill white children and white people.

Based on his observations and clinical knowledge, Dr. Salama diagnosed respondent as paranoid schizophrenic. He concluded that respondent was in need of hospitalization, was mentally ill, and that because of the illness respondent could reasonably be expected to inflict serious damage either upon himself or someone else without treatment. Salama also stated that he had considered other forms of treatment and found them to be inappropriate.

Upon questioning by the court, Salama acknowledged that though his signature appeared on the certificate indicating that Salama had personally informed respondent of his rights, Salama admitted that he did not personally advise respondent of these rights. The only thing Salama told respondent at the first interview was that respondent did not have to talk to the doctors. There was no testimony with regard to whether Salama informed respondent of any rights at the subsequent interview on February 23.

Dr. Nelson Williams, a second-year psychiatric resident, testified that he examined the respondent with Dr. Salama on February 20, 1981. Williams did not read respondent his rights because he ascertained that the admitting nurse had read the rights to respondent. It was Williams' opinion that respondent understood his rights, did not ask for an attorney, and voluntarily spoke with the doctors. Williams admitted that although his signature also appeared on the certificate acknowledging that he had personally informed respondent of his rights, Williams nevertheless had never done so.

In addition to the other delusions previously related by the witnesses, respondent told Williams that the governor had conspired with Northeastern University officials and his family to bilk him out of his inheritance through a scheme involving government sponsored drug experiments. The experiments caused respondent to hear voices which told him to commit violent acts, vandalize property of white people, and kidnap and murder white children. Williams' ...


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