Appeal from Subject to Involuntary Circuit Court of Sangamon County No. 09MH540 Honorable Esteban F. Sanchez, Judge Presiding.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Pope
JUSTICE POPE delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Appleton and McCullough concurred in the judgment and opinion.
On July 20, 2009, Kim Waymack, an employee at St. John's Hospital, filed a petition for involuntary admission against respondent, Charles H. On July 24, 2009, the trial court found respondent to be mentally ill and subject to involuntary admission under section 3-600 of the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code (Mental Health Code) (405 ILCS 5/3-600 (West 2008)).
Respondent appeals, arguing (1) his appeal is not moot because it falls under the collateral-consequences exception to the mootness doctrine; (2) the involuntary commitment must be vacated because it was based on the statutory standard of "dangerous conduct," which was found unconstitutional by this court in In re Torski C., 395 Ill. App. 3d 1010, 1027, 918 N.E.2d 1218, 1233 (2009); (3) the commitment order must be reversed because the State failed to submit a complete written dispositional report as required under section 3-810 of the Mental Health Code (405 ILCS 5/3-810 (West 2008)); and (4) the trial court erred by failing to consider less-restrictive alternatives in treatment.
On July 20, 2009, Kim Waymack, an employee at St. John's Hospital, filed a petition for involuntary admission against respondent. The petition sought respondent's immediate hospitalization and alleged he was mentally ill and, because of his illness, he was (1) reasonably expected to engage in dangerous conduct which may include threatening behavior or conduct placing him or another in reasonable expectation of being harmed and (2) unable to understand his need for treatment and if not treated, was reasonably expected to suffer or continue to suffer mental or emotional deterioration, or both, to the point he would be reasonably expected to engage in dangerous conduct.
Additionally, the petition included allegations respondent (1) went to the emergency room because he wanted "to get a full examination," (2) had "stacks of papers in his room," (3) stated he was not on medication because "his mental health [was] in recovery," (4) has no family or friend support, and (5) entered the nurses' station screaming he was leaving while he waved papers at the hospital staff.
On July 24, 2009, the trial court held a hearing on the petition for involuntary admission. The State's first witness was Dr. Haojing Huang. Huang testified he was a psychiatrist employed at St. John's Hospital. Huang stated on July 19, 2009, respondent entered the St. John's emergency room and was very loud and demanding. He entered the nurses' station, waved papers at hospital staff, and asked to be immediately discharged. Because the nurses were unable to control his behavior, they gave him an injection of Geodon to calm him down.
Additionally, Huang testified during his initial interview with respondent on July 20, 2009, respondent was very loud and threatening. Huang stated respondent pointed to a medical student and stated he was going to wipe the smirk off the student's face. He also pointed to a resident and threatened to "do something about it" if the resident continued to keep him in the hospital. Huang testified he eventually terminated the interview because he felt threatened by respondent.
Huang further testified respondent entered the nurses' station on July 21, 2009, and made incoherent demands. Huang testified the nurses were unable to calm respondent, and he believed security was called. Eventually, the nurses had to give respondent "I.M. Zyprexa"to calm him down. Huang testified another patient reported respondent mistreated female staff. The patient stated he would like to interfere and "take action into his own hands."
Huang diagnosed respondent with schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type. Huang noted respondent (1) currently experienced sleep deprivation at night; (2) constantly wrote and produced a lot of papers; (3) had stated he was in Springfield to get a full medical exam, to see God, and to address the state legislature; and (4) was very grandiose.
Huang concluded respondent was unable to understand his need for treatment, repeatedly stated he did not have a mental illness, and repeatedly refused any treatment. Huang further concluded respondent was reasonably expected to suffer or continue to suffer mental deterioration without treatment, and respondent was reasonably expected to engage in dangerous conduct as a result of the mental deterioration. Huang opined respondent was in need of hospitalization for the prevention of harm to himself or others, and hospitalization was currently the least-restrictive treatment alternative. Huang testified a treatment plan had been formulated for respondent, and the treatment plan was admitted into evidence for dispositional purposes only.
Further, Huang recommended a state facility with the Department of Human Services, such as McFarland Mental Health Center, because respondent needed long-term treatment. Huang testified respondent was previously hospitalized at McFarland Mental Health Center, but respondent was unable to identify his outpatient psychiatrist and the medication he received.
On cross-examination, Huang testified respondent initially stated he walked from Alton, Illinois, to Springfield, Illinois. Huang testified respondent refused medication, and he had not received medication since July 21, 2009. He admitted respondent's condition had improved since he was admitted. He further admitted respondent had not physically harmed other patients or hospital staff. Additionally, he testified respondent acknowledged he was diagnosed with schizophrenia to emergency-room staff.
The treatment planrelied on by Huang and admitted into evidence by the State noted respondent (1) suffered from hallucinations, disorganized speech, and chronic self-neglect; (2) had a history of paranoid schizophrenia but was unable to remember the last time he was treated for his mental illness; (3) lacked support; and (4) was homeless. Further, the treatment plan (1) described both the short-term and long-term goals for respondent's treatment and provided a target date for the short-term goals, (2) stated respondent would be discharged when his psychotic symptoms were sufficiently reduced to where he could be treated on an outpatient basis, and (3) stated the discharge plan was uncertain but respondent may need longer-term treatment.
After the State rested its case, defense counsel called respondent to the stand. Respondent testified he went to the emergency room because he accidently fell out of the back of a truck and was "bruised all up." He received treatment in Alton, Illinois, for his injuries, but his doctors believed he would receive better treatment in Springfield, Illinois. He testified he previously walked from Springfield, Illinois, to Alton, Illinois, but he rode the train for his current visit.
He testified he voluntarily went to the emergency room at St. John's Hospital to seek shelter and treatment for his injuries. He testified he experienced pain in his arm and feet because he "was being pursued" in Alton.
Respondent further testified he entered the emergency room and tried to gain the attention of the staff to let them know he was there "to be totally examined." He admitted he asked the staff to discharge him without medical advice because he was admitted voluntarily. He denied being loud and threatening during his initial interview with Huang. Instead, he claimed he was attempting to write out a form requesting a discharge against medical advice, and some of ...