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07/19/89 In Re Charles Cutsinger (the People of the State of

July 19, 1989

IN RE CHARLES CUTSINGER (THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF


APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, SECOND DISTRICT

Illinois, Petitioner-Appellee, v.

Charles Cutsinger, Respondent-Appellant)

542 N.E.2d 414, 186 Ill. App. 3d 219, 134 Ill. Dec. 235 1989.IL.1123

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Winnebago County; the Hon. Frederick J. Kapala, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE LINDBERG delivered the opinion of the court. WOODWARD and REINHARD, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE LINDBERG

Respondent, Charles Cutsinger, appeals from an order of the circuit court of Winnebago County finding respondent to be a person subject to involuntary admission (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1987, ch. 91 1/2, pars. 1-119, 3-809) and hospitalizing him in the Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1987, ch. 91 1/2, par. 3-700 et seq.). Respondent contends on appeal that the trial court erred in finding him to be a person subject to involuntary admission. We agree and reverse.

The Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code (the Code) 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. Rev. Stat. 1987, ch. 91 1/2, par. 1-119.)

On October 18, 1988, Irene Hulick filed a petition for the involuntary admission of respondent. She alleged that respondent was mentally ill and because of his illness was both "reasonably expected to inflict serious physical harm upon himself . . . or another in the near future" and "unable to provide for his . . . basic physical needs so as to guard himself . . . from serious harm." Certificates from clinical social worker Karl W. Noltemeier and psychiatrist Grace M. Thundiyil were also filed on October 18, 1988. The certificates indicated that both were of the opinion that respondent was mentally ill and that because of his illness he was "reasonably expected to inflict serious physical harm upon himself . . . or another in the near future" but did not indicate that either was of the opinion that because of his illness respondent was "unable to provide for his . . . basic physical needs so as to guard himself . . . from serious harm."

On October 20, 1988, the court appointed psychiatrist Warren C. Lewis to examine respondent. Dr. Lewis' certificate, filed October 24, 1988, indicated Dr. Lewis was of the opinion that respondent was mentally ill and that because of his illness he was "reasonably expected to inflict serious physical harm upon himself or another in the near future" but did not indicate that Dr. Lewis was of the opinion that because of respondent's illness he was "unable to provide for his . . . basic physical needs so as to guard himself . . . from serious harm."

A hearing on the petition was held on October 24, 1988. Five witnesses testified: Jacelyn Baney and Lynn Lawrence, who are two of respondent's children; Gloria Sarver, who was a technician at Singer Mental Health Center (Singer); Irene Hulick, who was a mental health specialist at Singer; and Dr. Warren C. Lewis, who was a psychiatrist.

At the Conclusion of this hearing, the court found:

"I am persuaded by Dr. Lewis' testimony as to the fact that Mr. Cutsinger is a person who is mentally ill.

I place emphasis and a great deal of weight on these three specific instances of threatening and insultive behavior and also the several references to other episodes of threatening behavior.

I am also very troubled and worried about Mr. Cutsinger's suicide attempt, which would have been successful if it hadn't been ...


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