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In re David M.

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Fourth District

August 5, 2013

In re: DAVID M., a Person Found Subject to Involuntary Admission and Administration of Psychotropic Medication, THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Petitioner-Appellee,
DAVID M., Respondent-Appellant.

Appeal from Circuit Court of Adams County No. 12MH76 Honorable John C. Wooleyhan, Judge Presiding.

Presiding Justice Steigmann and Justice Holder White concurred in the judgment and opinion.



¶ 1 The trial court found respondent, David M., subject to involuntary admission and ordered him hospitalized for no more than 90 days. The same date, it authorized hospital staff to administer psychotropic medication to respondent for a period not to exceed 90 days. Respondent appeals, arguing (1) the court erred in refusing to grant his request to move the proceedings to his home county pursuant to section 3-800(a) of the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code (Mental Health Code) (405 ILCS 5/3-800(a) (West 2010)); (2) the State failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that he was a person subject to involuntary admission; and (3) reversal of the court's involuntary treatment order is warranted because (a) he was not advised in writing regarding the recommended psychotropic medication as required by section 2-102(a-5) of the Mental Health Code (405 ILCS 5/2-102(a-5) (West 2010)), (b) he was not given proper notice of the petition for administration of psychotropic medication pursuant to section 2-107.1(a-5)(1) of the Mental Health Code (405 ILCS 5/2-107.1(a-5)(1) (West 2010)), and (c) the court failed to conduct a separate hearing on the petition for the administration of psychotropic medication as required by section 2-107.1(a-5)(2) of the Mental Health Code (405 ILCS 5/2-107.1(a-5)(2) (West 2010)). We affirm the court's order for involuntary admission of respondent to a mental-health facility but reverse its order for the administration of psychotropic medication.


¶ 3 On September 10, 2012, police transported respondent to Blessing Hospital in Adams County, Illinois. The same date, respondent's hospital therapist filled out a petition seeking to have him involuntarily admitted to a mental-health facility. The therapist alleged respondent was a mentally ill person who, unless treated on an inpatient basis, was (1) reasonably expected to engage in conduct placing himself or another in physical harm or in reasonable expectation of being physically harmed or (2) unable to provide for his basic physical needs so as to guard himself from serious harm without the assistance of family or others. The petition named respondent's brother and sister as witnesses and, as a factual basis for the petition, stated respondent stopped taking medication a year earlier, became paranoid, accused his family of stealing, broke into his brother's trailer, defecated into a cooler, flooded the trailer with natural gas, ran up a large water bill using over 100, 000 gallons of water in one month, and barricaded his property.

¶ 4 On September 19, 2012, the trial court conducted a hearing on the matter. It noted a petition for the administration of psychotropic medication had also been filed. The record reflects that petition was prepared by respondent's physician and dated September 19, 2012, but file stamped with the date of September 20, 2012. Respondent's physician alleged respondent refused psychotropic medication and exhibited psychotic, paranoid, bizarre, and dangerous behaviors. The petition further stated the benefits of medication outweighed the harm, respondent lacked the capacity to make a reasoned decision about medication, and other less restrictive services were explored but found inappropriate.

¶ 5 At the hearing, respondent's counsel made an oral motion to transfer the matter to Scott County, respondent's county of residence. In support of the motion, counsel argued the incidents that formed the basis for the involuntary admission petition occurred in Scott County and respondent had no connections with Adams County "other than being dumped in this county by Pike and/or Scott County law enforcement." The State indicated it was prepared to proceed with the hearing, noting its expert witness was present and "respondent was transported here due to the fact that [the hospital] is the mental health provider for this region." The trial court denied respondent's motion, stating as follows:

"There is a provision under the mental health code for a respondent to request that proceedings be transferred to the county of residence. There are also provisions, cases talking about what a proper forum is for a hearing, and the Court has to take those things into consideration also. There's nothing in the record that's been filed so far that would show the names of any witnesses who the respondent would intend to call from Scott County or any other county other than Adams. The record does show that the respondent is currently a patient at a mental health facility in Adams County."

¶ 6 At the hearing, the State presented the expert testimony of Dr. Salvador Sanchez, a psychiatrist at Blessing Hospital. Dr. Sanchez testified he was familiar with respondent as a patient at Blessing Hospital. He clarified that respondent refused to talk with him and, as a result, most of the information he received about respondent was from respondent's sister, Althea Moore. Dr. Sanchez testified respondent was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder in 1995, and had been treated in the past, including treatment for one year at the Chester Mental Health Facility. He stated respondent quit taking his psychotropic medication approximately one year earlier, resulting in him "becoming paranoid psychotic" and exhibiting bizarre behaviors.

¶ 7 Dr. Sanchez testified respondent used to live with his 82-year-old father but his father became scared of respondent's erratic behavior, was afraid he would be hurt, and moved out. He noted respondent's father would wake in the middle of the night to find respondent staring at him. Dr. Sanchez further testified respondent allowed his brother to move into a trailer on respondent's property. On various occasions, respondent broke into his brother's trailer, filled the trailer with gas, took food from the refrigerator and threw it in the trash, and defecated in a cooler. On an occasion when his brother was home, respondent repeatedly turned the lights on and off and told his brother he needed to move out or he would be killed.

¶ 8 According to Dr. Sanchez, respondent's other erratic behaviors included stepping in and out of oncoming traffic, placing water bowls in front of cement animals at his home, neglecting his personal care and hygiene, and being obsessed with water. He noted respondent left a sprinkler system running, wasting around 100, 000 gallons of water in one month, and left water faucets running when no one was home. Dr. Sanchez also testified respondent believed taking psychotropic medication would cause his death. He stated respondent's conduct of breaking into his brother's trailer, making threats, and stepping into traffic had been ongoing since around June 2012.

¶ 9 Following respondent's hospitalization, Dr. Sanchez had daily contact with him and performed mental status examinations. He diagnosed respondent with schizophrenia and observed respondent to be talking to himself, paranoid, guarded, and suspicious. He strongly suspected respondent heard voices, stating respondent seemed to be talking to imaginary people. Dr. Sanchez testified respondent kept to himself, paced in his room, and was paranoid to the extent that he avoided interaction with peers and staff. Respondent ate meals in his room, kept the doors closed and denied access into his room. Dr. Sanchez noted respondent showed a fixation with water by leaving water faucets open and running and constantly flushing the toilet.

ΒΆ 10 Dr. Sanchez testified respondent had been offered medication while hospitalized. He recommended respondent take Risperdal to treat his schizophrenia but respondent refused, resulting in Dr. Sanchez's request that medication be administered against respondent's will. He stated he observed a deterioration in respondent's ability to function since his hospitalization, noting respondent refused to eat, kept to himself, stayed in his room, and avoided eating meals. Dr. Sanchez stated respondent was "only feeding himself on small portions of cereal and things like that." He ...

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