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In re Linda B.

Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Third Division

February 18, 2015

In re LINDA B., a Person Found Subject to Involuntary Admission (The People of the State of Illinois, Petitioner-Appellee,
v.
Linda B., Respondent-Appellant)

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. No. 2013 COMH 1381. The Honorable David Skryd, Judge Presiding.

SYLLABUS

Although respondent's appeal from the order for her involuntary admission to a mental health facility for treatment was moot due to the fact that the 90-day period of hospitalization had expired, the public-interest exception to the mootness doctrine applied, and respondent's contention that the admission order should be reversed because it was untimely filed was rejected by the appellate court and the trial court's order finding respondent to be a person subject to involuntary admission was affirmed, notwithstanding respondent's contention that the petition was untimely filed in violation of section 3-611 of the Mental Health Code, since the court rejected respondent's claims that she was in a " mental health facility" as defined by the Mental Health Code and that she was treated as a psychiatric patient, even though she was on a medical floor of the hospital.

For RESPONDENT-APPELLANT: Legal Advocacy Service, Hines, IL, OF Laurel Spahn.

For PETITIONER-APPELLEE: Anita M. Alvarez, State's Attorney, Chicago, IL, OF Alan J. Spellberg.

PRESIDING JUSTICE PUCINSKI delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Lavin and Mason concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

Page 407

PUCINSKI, PRESIDING JUSTICE.

[¶1] Respondent Linda B. appeals from an order of the circuit court of Cook County finding her to be a person subject to involuntary admission on an inpatient basis. Respondent contends that the circuit court's order should be reversed because the petition to involuntarily admit her was untimely filed in violation of section 3-611 of the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code (Mental Health Code) (405 ILCS 5/3-611 (West 2012)). Respondent acknowledges that the issue is moot, but contends this appeal falls within the public-interest and capable-of-repetition-yet-avoiding-review exceptions to the mootness doctrine.

[¶2] BACKGROUND

[¶3] The undisputed facts in the record before us show that on May 9, 2013, Connie Shay-Hadley, the mental health facility director at Mount Sinai Hospital, filed a petition alleging that respondent was a person subject to involuntary admission to a treatment facility. The petition sought emergency inpatient admission by certificate (405 ILCS 5/3-600 (West 2010)) and indicated that respondent was admitted to the " Mental Health Facility/Psychiatric Unit" on April 22, 2013, at 1958 hours. The supporting certificates submitted by Dr. Medela Gartel, who examined respondent on May 9, 2013, at 11 a.m., and Colleen Kurtz, the licensed clinical social worker who examined respondent on May 9, 2013, at 12 p.m., opined that respondent was mentally ill, unable to care for herself, and refusing both medical and psychiatric treatment.

[¶4] Meanwhile, on May 14, 2013, the circuit court granted the petition of Dr. Gartel for the involuntary administration of psychotropic medication to respondent for a period of 90 days.

[¶5] Subsequently, at the June 11, 2013, hearing on the involuntary admission petition, Dr. Elizabeth Mirkin, a board-certified psychiatrist, testified that respondent was admitted to the " medical floor" of Mount Sinai Hospital on April 22, 2013, ...


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