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07/11/95 MATTER PHIL DENBY v. PHIL DENBY

July 11, 1995

IN THE MATTER OF PHIL DENBY, A PERSON FOUND SUBJECT TO INVOLUNTARY ADMISSION, THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PETITIONER-APPELLEE,
v.
PHIL DENBY, RESPONDENT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from Circuit Court of Sangamon County. No. 94MH127. Honorable George H. Ray, Judge Presiding.

As Corrected July 31, 1995. Petition for Rehearing Denied and Released for Publication August 15, 1995. Petition for Leave to Appeal Denied December 6, 1995.

Honorable Robert W. Cook, J., Honorable Frederick S. Green, J., Concurring, Honorable James A. Knecht, P.j., Dissenting

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Cook

JUSTICE COOK delivered the opinion of the court:

On July 15, 1994, the trial court determined respondent Phil Denby remained in need of involuntary admission for mental health treatment following a hearing on respondent's petition for discharge. Respondent appeals that determination, contending the trial court improperly allowed respondent to represent himself at the hearing. We affirm.

Respondent's petition for discharge, filed July 7, 1994, requested that respondent be released from the McFarland Mental Health Center and offered the following as the reason:

"Formal Discharge 'U.S. Army'

Scotch Scotish [sic] Guard and British War Ministry[.]"

At the beginning of the hearing, respondent's counsel, William Conroy, stated respondent had indicated he did not wish to be represented by Conroy. When the trial judge asked respondent if this was true, respondent replied, "That's correct." The court noted respondent's brother, a lawyer, who was serving as respondent's guardian, was present. The following exchange then took place:

"THE COURT: Again, Mr. Denby, did you indicate to Mr. Conroy that you do not wish him to represent you?

[Respondent]: I did.

THE COURT: And are you going to represent yourself or how do you wish to proceed?

[Respondent]: I wish to represent myself.

THE COURT: All right, you are here in no other capacity than as his brother, ...


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