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01/26/87 In Re Richard Williams

January 26, 1987

IN RE RICHARD WILLIAMS, ASSERTED TO BE A PERSON SUBJECT TO


Before discussing legal principles, several points must be made with regard to the lower court proceedings, specifically the respondent's motion for immediate discharge and the court's apparent dismissal of the April 26, 1985, petition.

APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, SECOND DISTRICT

Involuntary Admission (The People of the State of

Illinois, Petitioner-Appellee, v.

Richard Williams, Respondent-Appellant

503 N.E.2d 816, 151 Ill. App. 3d 911, 104 Ill. Dec. 954 1987.IL.57

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Kane County; the Hon. Joseph M. McCarthy, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE HOPF delivered the opinion of the court. NASH and REINHARD, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE HOPF

The respondent, Richard Williams, appeals from the order of the circuit court of Kane County entered on March 16, 1986, which found him subject to involuntary admission and hospitalization in the Department of Mental Health. In this appeal the respondent contends that the court erred when it: (1) allowed the State to proceed on its February 27, 1986, petition for involuntary admission and (2) found him subject to involuntary admission in the absence of clear and convincing evidence that because of mental illness, the respondent is reasonably expected to inflict serious harm upon himself or others. For the reasons set forth, we affirm the decision of the circuit court.

As this case involves extensive litigation, a summary of the respondent's prior history is required. The respondent has been involved with the Illinois legal system since 1971, when the court found him not guilty by reason of insanity for the murder of his first wife. In 1979, the court found the respondent guilty of aggravated battery and sent him to the Menard maximum-security mental-health facility.

On July 17, 1984, the circuit court of Kankakee County entered a commitment order which found the respondent subject to involuntary admission and hospitalization in the Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities for a period not to exceed 60 days. The respondent appealed from the July commitment order, and on May 14, 1985, the Appellate Court for the Third District reversed and remanded the case for a new hearing based on the ground that the respondent, who is indigent, was entitled to an independent psychiatric examination at State expense pursuant to section 3-804 of the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code (the Code) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 91 1/2, par. 3-804). (In re Williams (1985), 133 Ill. App. 3d 232, 478 N.E.2d 867 (Williams I).) We note that, though the court reversed the order for the reasons stated above, it did find, nonetheless, sufficient evidence to support the July order of commitment.

On February 28, 1985, prior to the reversal of the July commitment order, the circuit court of Kankakee County entered a second commitment order which found the respondent subject to involuntary admission and hospitalization in the Department of Mental Health for a period not to exceed 60 days. The Appellate Court for the Third District found the second commitment order to be invalid, however, and reversed its entry on January 17, 1986. (In re Williams (1986), 140 Ill. App. 3d 708, 489 N.E.2d 347 (Williams II).) Specifically, the appellate court found that although it was clear the respondent was subject to involuntary admission and hospitalization, the circuit court had entered the second commitment order before Williams I had been retried on remand, and, thus, the respondent had not yet received his independent psychiatric examination. Thus, the court reversed the second commitment order based on the circuit court's failure to authorize an independent psychiatric examination as required by statute.

In Williams II the appellate court determined that a remand for a new hearing would be pointless since the State had filed yet a third petition for involuntary admission against the respondent. The court noted that the third petition was still pending in the circuit court. The court also noted that the hearing after remand on the first commitment order had been held on October 17, 1985, and at that time the circuit court again found the respondent subject to involuntary admission. The respondent filed an appeal from that order. The appellate court reasoned that as: (1) the respondent was confined pursuant to the October 17, 1985, order, as well as pursuant to the order which was the subject of that appeal, (2) the validity of the commitment order on the first petition had not been finally determined, and (3) a third petition was pending, no useful purpose would be served by remand.

It is necessary at this time to track the proceedings of record with regard to this third petition filed on April 26, 1985. The court set the case for hearing on April 30, 1985. On that date, the court continued the case, on its own motion, until May 7, 1985. On May 7, 1985, the respondent requested a trial by jury. The court subsequently set the case for a jury trial on July 24, 1985. On that date, however, the Kankakee County circuit court found it improper to proceed until after the remand hearing on the first petition. On October 21, 1985, after the remand hearing, the court set the third petition for jury trial on November 19, 1985. On October 11, 1985, the respondent was transferred to the Elgin Mental Health Center. On ...


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