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05/01/97 PEOPLE STATE ILLINOIS v. CHARLES CHIAKULAS

May 1, 1997

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
CHARLES CHIAKULAS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. No. 85--CO--12606. Honorable Themis Karnezis, Judge Presiding.

Released for Publication June 25, 1997.

The Honorable Justice Cerda delivered the opinion of the court. Wolfson, P.j., and Burke, J., concur.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Cerda

JUSTICE CERDA delivered the opinion of the court:

This is an appeal by defendant, Charles Chiakulas, who has been confined at the Elgin Mental Health Center (Elgin) of the Illinois Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities (DMHDD) since being found not guilty of aggravated battery (720 ILCS 5/12-4 (West 1992)) and attempted murder (720 ILCS 5/8-4, 9-1 (West 1992)) by reason of insanity (NGRI). After the trial court denied defendant's motion to review his treatment plan, he appealed. He asserts that the trial court denied him statutorily guaranteed treatment when it refused to review his treatment plan or to order an independent psychiatric examination. For the following reasons, we reverse and remand.

The main issue on appeal is whether an NGRI acquittee has the right to have his or her treatment plan reviewed by the court. Defendant asserts that section 5-2-4(b) of the Unified Code of Corrections (730 ILCS 5/5-2-4(b) (West 1994)), read together with section 3-814 of the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code (MHDDC) (405 ILCS 5/3-814 (West 1994)) and the legislative history of section 5-2-4(b), provides that the trial court has a duty to review his treatment plan.

In April 1996, the Elgin director, Nancy Staples, filed a treatment plan with the circuit court. Because defendant found the treatment plan to be deficient, he filed a motion asking the court to review his treatment plan, to require the facility director to modify the plan to conform with the statute's requirements, and to order an independent psychiatric examination. Defendant argued that the treatment plan failed to provide an evaluation of his progress or to state the extent to which he was benefiting from treatment. He also contended that an independent psychiatric examination was necessary because the facility director's report indicated that he was not making any progress. The State argued that the DMHDD had fulfilled its statutory obligations and voiced concerns that the court would become a micromanager of the DMHDD if it granted defendant's motion.

The trial court refused to review defendant's treatment plan. The following order was entered:

"This matter coming before the court pursuant to a Motion for Review of Treatment Plan. It is hereby ordered that [] motion is hereby denied and this matter shall be taken from the call."

The State argues that defendant's request for a review and modification of his treatment plan is controlled solely by section 5-2-4(b), which does not grant him the right to a hearing on his motion. Further, the State contends that the legislative history of section 5-2-4 indicates that the only purpose of the statute was for the trial court to be apprised or notified of a defendant's current condition while receiving treatment.

The State relies on People v Owens, 269 Ill. App. 3d 152, 154, 645 N.E.2d 483, 206 Ill. Dec. 478 (1994), which involved the defendant's motion for a modification of treatment to include unsupervised on-grounds privileges. The reviewing court affirmed the judgment of the trial court, which had reviewed the defendant's treatment plan and concluded that no change was necessary in order to provide unsupervised on-grounds privileges. Owens, 269 Ill. App. 3d at 158-60. Owens involved that part of section 5-2-4(b) which provides:

"The defendant shall not be permitted to be in the community in any manner, including***unsupervised on-grounds privileges, discharge or conditional or temporary release, except by a plan as provided in this Section."

The court stated that 405 ILCS 5/3-814 of the MHDDC Code was not involved and only section 5-2-4(b) of the Unified Code of Corrections was involved.

Owens is distinguishable because that portion of section 5-2-4(b) is not part of this case. Therefore, Owens is not dispositive to the issues here. We agree that if only unsupervised on-grounds privileges, discharge or conditional or ...


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