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In Re: Linda K., A Person Found v. Linda K

March 18, 2011

IN RE: LINDA K., A PERSON FOUND
ADMINISTRATION OF PSYCHOTROPIC MEDICATION, THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS,
PETITIONER-APPELLEE,
v.
LINDA K.,
RESPONDENT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from Subject to Circuit Court of Sangamon County No. 10MH503 Honorable Robert T. Hall, Judge Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Steigmann

JUSTICE STEIGMANN delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion.

Justice Appleton concurred in the judgment and opinion. Justice Myerscough*fn1 dissented, with opinion.

OPINION

Following a July 2010 hearing, the trial court found respondent, Linda K., subject to involuntary administration of psychotropic medication (405 ILCS 5/2-107.1 (West 2008)).

Respondent appeals, arguing that the trial court's judgment should be reversed because the State failed to present evidence that respondent was provided with the statutorily mandated written information about the side effects, risks, benefits, and alternatives of the proposed involuntary administration of psychotropic medication. We agree and reverse.

I. BACKGROUND

In June 2010, Sriehri Patibandla, respondent's psychiatrist at McFarland Mental Health Center, filed a petition, seeking to involuntarily administer psychotropic medication to respondent. The petition alleged that respondent (1) suffered from a mental illness--namely, schizophrenia, paranoid type, and (2) was "noncompliant with medication in the initial days of hospitalization and also in the community."

At the July 2010 hearing on the petition, Patibandla testified that respondent had been diagnosed with schizophrenia. Respondent was initially committed to McFarland because she had previously been found unfit to stand trial. According to Patibandla, respondent believed that she had been granted immunity by the President of the United States, and respondent had a "very poor comprehension of her legal situation." Patibandla explained that respondent (1) refused to take psychotropic medication, (2) lacked insight about her mental illness, (3) failed to acknowledge her mental illness, and (4) had suffered from her mental illness for at least 20 years.

Patibandla opined that because respondent showed mild improvement with court-ordered medication, he requested that the trial court allow him to involuntarily administer the following psychotrophic medications: (1) Abilify (10 to 30 milligrams per day), (2) Abilify injection (9.75 milligrams per day), and (3) Ativan (2 to 8 milligrams per day). Patibandla further requested that the court authorize the involuntary administration of the following alternative psychotrophic medications if respondent did not show improvement: (1) Risperdal (1 to 10 milligrams per day), (2) Risperdal Consta (25 to 50 milligrams every two weeks), (3) Haldol (5 to 30 milligrams per day), (4) Haldol Decanoate (25 to 100 milligrams one time per month), (5) Seroquel (100 to 800 milligrams per day), and (6) Clozaril (25 to 800 milligrams per day).

Additionally, Patibandla requested the following testing and procedures necessary for the safe and effective administration of the psychotrophic medications: (1) complete blood count; (2) complete metabolic panel; (3) lipid panels; (4) an electrocardiogram; (5) tardive dyskinesia monitoring; (6) physical- and mental-health assessments; and (7) pulse and blood-pressure assessments. Patibandla acknowledged that the suggested psychotropic medications had possible side effects, including weight gain, metabolic syndromes, tardive dyskinesia, white-cell suppression, and oversedation. Patibandla added that respondent was currently taking Abilify and Ativan and had not experienced any adverse side effects.

Patibandla explained that he had discussed the benefits and side effects of the proposed treatment with respondent. Thereafter, the following exchange occurred between the prosecutor and Patibandla:

"Q. [STATE:] Has [respondent] been handed a written list of the side effects?

A. [PATIBANDLA:] Yes, she was.

Q. [STATE:] Did she take them in her hand?

A. [PATIBANDLA:] Yes, she did."

Patibandla further explained that (1) treatment without medication was inappropriate for respondent because of her mental illness, and (2) group or individual therapy without medication would be an inadequate treatment alternative.

Patibandla based his opinion that respondent had been mentally ill for at least 20 years on information gained from respondent's sister. Patibandla also acknowledged that respondent claimed that (1) she was allergic to all of the recommended medications and (2) the psychotropic medication caused her to experience tremors.

Respondent testified that she discussed the medications that Patibandla was seeking to involuntarily administer with him, and she informed him that she was allergic to "medications that are mind altering." Respondent added that she was not asked whether she had received any written notification regarding the side effects, risks, benefits, and alternatives of the proposed treatment. Respondent further testified that it was illegal to administer the proposed medications because they had previously been "pulled off the shelf." Respondent then (1) requested "immunity" because she believed her case had been dismissed five times, (2) claimed "double jeopardy" because she was being tried more than once for the same crime, and (3) expressed concern regarding her constitutional rights. Because respondent believed that she was going to be sentenced by the trial court, she requested "probation, misdemeanor, time[-]served court supervision for employment reasons for a suspension first time offense."

Based on this evidence, the trial court found respondent subject to involuntary administration of the psychotropic medications for a period not to exceed 90 days as requested by Patibandla.

This appeal followed.

II. ANALYSIS

A. The Mootness Doctrine and This Case Initially, we note that the trial court entered the involuntary-treatment order on July 2, 2010, and limited the enforceability of the order for a period not to exceed 90 days. The 90-day period has passed. As a result, this case is moot. Therefore, before we can address the merits of respondent's appeal, we must first determine whether any exception to the mootness doctrine applies.

An issue raised in an otherwise moot appeal may be reviewed when (1) addressing the issues involved is in the public interest, (2) the case is capable of repetition, yet evades review, or (3) the petitioner will potentially suffer collateral consequences as a result of the trial court's judgment. In re Alfred H.H., 233 Ill. 2d 345, 355-61, 910 N.E.2d 74, 80-83 (2009).

The collateral-consequences exception to the mootness doctrine allows a reviewing court to consider an otherwise moot case because a respondent has suffered, or is threatened with, an actual injury traceable to the petitioner and will likely be redressed by a favorable judicial decision. Alfred H.H., 233 Ill. 2d at 361, 910 N.E.2d at 83. "The collateral-consequences exception applies to a first involuntary-treatment order." In re Joseph P., Nos. 4-10-0346, 4-10-0347, cons., slip op. at 8 (Ill. App. Dec. 22, 2010). The collateral-consequences exception applies where (1) the record does not indicate that the respondent has previously been subject to an involuntary-treatment order and (2) it appears that the respondent will likely be subject to future proceedings that would be adversely impacted by her involuntary treatment. In re Wendy T., No. 2-09-0595, slip op. at 5 (Ill. App. Dec. 8, 2010), 940 N.E.2d 237, 241-42.

In this case, our review of respondent's particular medical history does not indicate that she has ever properly been subjected to an order for involuntary administration of medication. Further, respondent's condition indicates that she would very likely be subject to future proceedings that would be adversely impacted by past involuntary treatment. Thus, we conclude that the collateral-consequences exception applies.

B. Respondent's Claim That the State Failed To Prove That She Was Provided ...


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