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In re R.K.

IN THE COURT OF APPEALS OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS FIRST DISTRICT SIXTH DIVISION


January 17, 2003

IN RE R.K., A MINOR.
(THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PETITIONER-APPELLEE,
v.
R.K., RESPONDENT-APPELLANT).

Circuit Court of Cook County. No. 01 CM 415 Honorable Marsha D. Hayes, Judge Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Presiding Justice O'brien

Following a bench trial pursuant to a petition seeking involuntary medication of respondent R.K., an involuntary patient at Tinley Park Mental Health Center, the trial court found respondent subject to involuntary medication with psychotropic drugs for a period not to exceed 90 days. Respondent contends that the trial court erred in granting the petition where she was neither suffering nor experiencing deterioration in her ability to function, where she was capable of making a reasoned decision concerning her own treatment and where less restrictive treatment was available.

On February 14, 2001, Dr. Sunil Ballal filed a petition in the circuit court of Cook County asserting that respondent required psychotropic medication but refused to take the medication when offered by the hospital staff. Dr. Ballal stated that respondent suffered from paranoia and hallucinations, was loud and threatening toward her mother and hospital staff, and her ability to function was deteriorating. The doctor noted that respondent's mother would not accept her unless respondent took her prescribed medication. Respondent refused to discuss her illness with the doctor because she did not believe that she was ill, but believed that the intention of hospital staff was to imprison her.

During the trial on April 17, 2001, Dr. Ballal testified that pursuant to court order, respondent was hospitalized involuntarily on December 16, 2000, and that the commitment order expired at the end of April. Essentially, the doctor testified that respondent did not acknowledge that she was mentally ill, she rejected any type of evaluation of her condition, she refused all medication and she experienced bouts of hostile, agitated and aggressive behavior. He stated that her psychosis was to the extent that she could not participate in less restrictive, alternative treatments such as individual or group therapy. On cross-examination, the doctor admitted that when he administered the medication Haldol (one of the medications the doctor listed in his petition) to respondent on an emergency basis, she "doubled-up" in an acute reaction of muscle stiffness called dystonic reaction which required an immediate injection of the antidote Cogentin.

An independent report completed by Dr. Shabbir Zarif diagnosed respondent as suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. In his opinion, if respondent had been discharged without treatment, she would have been at high risk for repeated aggression.

At the conclusion of the trial, the court entered an order providing that for a period not exceeding 90 days, Dr. Ballal was permitted to administer the following medications to respondent: Olanzapine, Prolixin, Haldol and Cogentin.

Although respondent asked the trial court to stay the order, the court denied her request. Therefore, because the effect of the court order expired 90 days later on July 17, 2001, we find that respondent's appeal is moot. That is, this court has no way to grant her any relief and a ruling on her appeal would not have any practical effect on the controversy. See In re Tekela, 202 Ill. 2d 282, 292-93 (2002). The fact that her appeal was pending before the 90 days expired does not alter this conclusion. Tekela,202 Ill. 2d at 293.

Accordingly, respondent's appeal is dismissed.

Dismissed.

GALLAGHER and O'MARA FROSSARD, JJ.'s concur.

20030117

© 1992-2003 VersusLaw Inc.



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