Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

In re Miller

December 31, 1998

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



Appeal from Circuit Court of Vermilion County No. 98MH2 Honorable Claudia Smith Anderson, Judge Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Steigmann

On January 27, 1998, following a bifurcated hearing, the trial court entered two separate orders (1) finding that respondent, Darrell W. Miller, was in need of involuntary admission to the Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities (Department) at the George A. Zeller Mental Health Center (Zeller) (405 ILCS 5/3-700 et seq. (West 1996)); and (2) directing the staff at Zeller or Provena United Samaritans Medical Center (Provena) to administer psychotropic medication to respondent (405 ILCS 5/2-107.1 (West Supp. 1997) (eff. December 1, 1997)).

Respondent appeals, arguing as follows: (1) certain procedural de- fects require reversal of the trial court's order, including (a) the State's failure to provide formal notice of the petition for administra- tion of psychotropic medication and the hearing to be held thereon, and (b) the trial court's conducting a single, combined proceeding on that petition and the petition for involuntary hospitalization; (2) certain omissions in the petition for administration of psychotropic medication require reversal; (3) certain omissions in the court's order directing the administration of psychotropic medication require reversal of the order; and (4) the evidence presented was insufficient to support the court's orders directing involuntary hospitalization and administration of psychotropic medication. We affirm.

I. BACKGROUND

On January 19, 1998, respondent's community caseworker filed a petition under section 3-700 of the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code (Code) (405 ILCS 5/3-700 et seq. (West 1996)) to have respondent involuntarily admitted to a mental health facility. The petition alleged that respondent was mentally ill and, because of that illness, he could reasonably be expected to inflict serious physical harm to himself or another in the near future. The petition also alleged that when the caseworker brought respondent a "spending check" on January 19, respondent became angry and cursed at the caseworker for being late. Respondent also allegedly lunged at the caseworker and said, "I'll kill you next time."

On January 20, 1998, the trial court ordered that respondent be detained for examination. That same day, respondent's attending physi- cian at Provena, Dr. Brumyong Lee, petitioned the court under section 2- 107.1 of the Code for an order authorizing his facility's clinical staff to administer psychotropic medication to respondent against respondent's will (405 ILCS 5/2-107.1 (West Supp. 1997)).

On January 22, 1998, respondent was given notice of a hearing to be held on January 27, 1998, but that notice did not indicate the nature or substance of the hearing, nor does the record indicate that respondent ever personally received a copy of either the petition for involuntary hospitalization or the petition for psychotropic medication.

On January 27, 1998, the trial court conducted a hearing on the petition for involuntary hospitalization. At that hearing, Lee, a psychiatrist, testified that he was very familiar with respondent's case and had treated him numerous times, both as an inpatient and an outpatient. When respondent "became decompensated," that is, when he did not follow his recommended treatment, he suffered from auditory hallucinations and became paranoid. Based on Lee's personal knowledge of respondent's case, his Discussions with other members of respondent's treatment team, and his review of respondent's mental health records, Lee opined that respondent was suffering from a chronic psychotic condition--that is, some form of schizophrenia.

When Lee examined respondent on January 19, 1998, pursuant to the trial court's order, respondent had a "dirty" appearance and did not seem able to take care of his basic needs, such as bathing. Respondent also refused any type of treatment or medication and told Provena staff members that they were trying to poison him. In addition, staff members observed respondent carrying on conversations with imaginary persons, although respondent denied that he was hearing voices.

Lee opined that respondent reasonably could be expected to inflict serious harm to himself or another in the future. Lee based his opinion on respondent's history of violent behavior when he does not take his prescribed medication, including (1) a prior arrest for criminal damage to property; and (2) respondent's threat of physical harm to and near attack of his caseworker on January 19, 1998. Lee also opined that, because of respondent's mental illness, he was unable to care for himself or provide for his basic needs. When respondent takes his pre- scribed medication, he is able to take care of himself and act more reasonably; however, his compliance "has been extremely poor." Because respondent has such poor compliance with his recommended treatment, Lee recommended that respondent be admitted to Zeller and receive "long-term treatment to stabilize his condition."

On cross-examination, Lee testified that he had never actually seen respondent damage property, nor had respondent exhibited violent behavior toward Lee. Lee stated that respondent was not malnourished. He also stated that he had never visited respondent's apartment.

On redirect examination, Lee testified that he relied upon information he had received regarding respondent's arrest for criminal damage to property in forming his opinions regarding respondent's mental illness. It was Lee's understanding that respondent became upset because his stove did not work, and respondent tossed the stove outside his apartment and destroyed it. Lee stated that this type of informa- tion is the sort customarily relied upon by experts in his field in making diagnoses. Lee also opined that based upon Lee's experience with respondent and respondent's diagnosis, any threats of physical harm by respondent should be taken more seriously than some other individual's "stray comment."

Following the close of the State's case in chief, the trial court allowed the State to amend the petition for involuntary hospitalization to allege that respondent was mentally ill and unable to provide for his basic needs and protect himself from harm.

Respondent testified on his own behalf that he received $40 per week from his caseworker, but that amount of money was not enough for him to "buy shampoo, laundry soap, food and cigarettes, that and everything else." When asked if he ever gets angry at others, respondent stated "Well--well, I--not all the time. When they do things to me." He also stated that he would not hurt anyone, he just told people that he would. When asked why he was not taking his prescribed medication, respondent stated as follows:

"Because--because one time Dr. Lee told me he was going to overdose me before, and-- and I tell him I have side effects and they say that's just in your head or something, that ain't this, and I tried to tell them that the medication ain't right and I don't-- and I don't like needles, and I try--and I tried other medicines and they--they--and-- and they say, um--they say, well, that's got side effects real bad--side effects and things and he say, well, it will be okay." Respondent further stated that he sometimes experiences side effects from his medication, such as stomachaches and other unspecified pain. Respondent also stated that when he was in jail, "they tried to poison food and everything else."

Respondent also testified that he can take care of himself and he cooks his own meals. Respondent stated that sometimes he was clean but his clothes were dirty, and he "took baths and everything else at home, and then them people tried to double charge me at the grocery store and everything else."

On cross-examination, respondent testified that the jail staff tried to poison him by spraying something on his food and "they're all trying to do me in." Respondent stated that he became upset when his landlord would not "fix things," so he picked up the stove and set it outside his apartment. He also stated that he was not taking his prescribed medication because "they try to do [him] in."

After considering the evidence and arguments of counsel, the trial court found that respondent, by virtue of his mental illness, presented a threat of harm to himself and others and was unable to care for his own basic needs. The court thus ordered that respondent be involuntarily ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.