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February 22, 1994


Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. Honorable Richard Dowdle and Marjian Staniec, Judges Presiding.

Released for Publication April 19, 1994.

McCORMICK, Hartman, Scariano

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Mccormick

Justice McCORMICK delivered the opinion of the court:

Joan Ohlman appeals from an order appointing the Office of State Guardian as Ohlman's plenary guardian in docket number 1-91-1308. Following the appointment the Office of State Guardian sought approval of antipsychotic drug therapy. The trial court entered two interlocutory orders in the course of proceedings on the petition which directed the Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities (the Department) to engage in specified therapies for Ohlman for six-week periods. The Department appeals from the two interlocutory orders in docket numbers 1-91-2526 and 1-91-3088.

We find that the trial court did not follow statutory procedures by permitting Ohlman to represent herself in the proceeding. Therefore, in part I of the opinion we reverse the appointment of the Office of State Guardian as plenary guardian of Ohlman.

In part II we find that the trial court ordered specific treatment for Ohlman without adequate testimony from qualified professionals to warrant imposition of the course of treatment specified. Therefore we reverse the interlocutory orders.


The Illinois State Psychiatric Institute (ISPI), a mental health facility the Department operates, admitted Joan Ohlman following her involuntary commitment to the Department in March 1990. On July 10, 1990, the Office of State Guardian petitioned the probate division of the circuit court of Cook County for appointment of a guardian for Joan Ohlman. After a brief hearing at which Ohlman, who had no counsel, did not contest the petition, the trial court appointed a plenary guardian on the basis of a one-page report by Dr. James Patras. In the report Dr. Patras that Ohlman suffered from a schizoaffective disorder with paranoid delusions and that she was unable to make decisions about her personal health. The trial court also appointed an attorney, Patricia Hogan, to represent Ohlman in further proceedings. In the order appointing Hogan the trial court stated: "Appointment of a Guardian ad Litem is waived."

Hogan filed a petition to vacate the order appointing a guardian. The trial court granted that petition and set the petition for appointment of a guardian for a contested evidentiary hearing on January 28, 1991. At the hearing Ohlman stated that she wished to represent herself. Hogan told the trial court that she consulted with Ohlman, who permitted her to file the motion to vacate, but she told Hogan that she would represent herself at the hearing. Hogan raised no objection to Ohlman representing herself, but she said because of that choice Hogan was in court "to assist" Ohlman. Hogan told the trial court, "I think she has a right to represent herself." The court discharged Hogan from her appointment as attorney for Ohlman. Although the record does not clearly indicate whether Hogan remained in court, she said nothing through the remainder of the hearing and effectively provided Ohlman no assistance.

Dr. Patras testified that Ohlman had a history of psychotic symptoms which led to seven voluntary hospitalizations between 1980 and 1989. Her prior hospitalization, which lasted from November 1989 until February 1990, ended when Ohlman signed herself out of ISPI with substantial funds but with no place to stay. She lived at O'Hare Airport until her money was stolen, and then airport personnel referred her back to the hospital. Dr. Patras saw Ohlman in individual therapy sessions twice a week, and he saw her another two times a week on regular rounds. She refused treatment for an infection in her legs, which she attributed to a machine controlled by the President of the United States. Ohlman also refused to take the antipsychotic medication her doctors prescribed. In Dr. Patras' opinion, Ohlman was not capable of making decisions concerning her medical treatment or her living arrangements.

Patricia Hansen, a social worker at ISPI, testified that Ohlman mostly avoided activities available at ISPI. She interacted with staff as little as possible and she avoided other patients altogether. Hansen tried to work with Ohlman to develop a discharge plan. Ohlman said she would stay at a hotel for transients, and she rejected Hansen's suggestion of a structured living environment where staff could help her. Ohlman asked no questions of either witness.

Ohlman testified that she was not mentally ill and she chose not to see doctors. After she signed out of ISPI in February 1990, she "was manipulated to O'Hare Airport," although she would not say how or by whom. She testified that she "was informed" that the people she had thought were her parents "were computers pretending to be" her parents. She said she wanted a "financial settlement * * * [of] 105 million dollars" from the "people that have harmed" her, so that she can leave ISPI and "have a nice life." She could not tell the trial court who harmed her. When the trial court asked if she had other witnesses she said, "I choose to say nothing else unless that is a problem with the request that I have given you about the settlement." The court explained that she would not receive a financial settlement in these proceedings.

The trial court found Ohlman disabled and "totally without understanding or capacity" to make responsible decisions regarding herself. The court based its findings on all the testimony and Dr. Patras' report. By order dated January 28, 1991, the trial court again appointed the Office of State Guardian as Ohlman's plenary guardian. The court appointed Hogan to assist Ohlman with this appeal. The probate division of the circuit court then transferred the case to the county division to consider the State Guardian's petition for administration of antipsychotic medication.

Ohlman asks this court to assume jurisdiction over her appeal pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 301 (134 Ill. 2d R. 301), arguing that the order appointing a guardian was a final judgment. We disagree. The trial court retained jurisdiction to determine substantial rights of the parties following the appointment of a guardian, so the appointment was not a final Disposition of the entire proceeding. (See Mendelson v. Lillard (1980), 83 Ill. App. 3d 1088, 1092, 404 N.E.2d 964.) Instead we find that we have jurisdiction under Supreme Court Rule 304(b)(1), which provides that "[a] judgment or order entered in * * * [a] guardianship * * * proceeding which finally determines a right or status of a party" is an appealable judgment although it does not dispose of an entire proceeding. 134 Ill. 2d R. 304(b)(1).

Ohlman argues that the finding of disability and the appointment of a guardian is contrary to the manifest weight of the evidence. The Probate Act of 1975, which governs proceedings for appointment of guardians, defines a disabled person as a person who "is mentally ill * * * and who because of his mental illness * * * is not fully able to manage his person or estate." (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1991, ch. 110 1/2, par. 11a-2(b).) Under section 11a-3 of the Probate Act,

"the court may adJudge a person to be a disabled person and may appoint (1) a guardian of his person, if because of his disability he lacks sufficient understanding or capacity to make or communicate responsible decisions concerning the care of his person, or (2) a guardian of his estate, if because of his disability he is unable to manage his estate or financial affairs, or (3) a guardian of his person and of his estate." Ill. Rev. Stat. 1991, ch. 110 1/2, par. 11a-3(a).

Ohlman cites In re Phillips (1978), 62 Ill. App. 3d 408, 379 N.E.2d 97, as authority showing that the evidence here does not support appointment of a guardian. In Phillips a psychiatrist testified that Phillips was schizophrenic, and she had no plans for taking care of herself if she left the hospital. The trial court ruled that Phillips was subject to involuntary commitment under the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 91 1/2, par. 1-11.) The Mental Health Code defined a person subject to involuntary admission as one who "is afflicted with a mental disorder * * * [and], as a result of such mental disorder * * * is unable to care for himself so as to guard himself from physical injury or to provide for his own physical needs." (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. ...

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