In re CHRISTINE R., a Person Found Subject to Involuntary Medication,
Christine R. Respondent-Appellant. The People of the State of Illinois, Petitioner-Appellee,
from the Circuit Court of the 10th Judicial Circuit, Peoria
County, Illinois Circuit No. 18-MH-99 Honorable Alicia N.
Washington Judge, Presiding
JUSTICE O'BRIEN delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Justice Carter concurred in the judgment and
1 The State filed petitions for the involuntary commitment
and administration of psychotropic medication to respondent
Christine R. At a hearing on the commitment petition,
Christine was removed due to disruptive behavior, and her
attorney waived Christine's appearance and subsequent
appearance at the medication hearing. The trial court granted
both petitions. Christine appealed. We reverse.
2 I. BACKGROUND
3 Christine R. is a 67-year-old woman with a long history of
mental illness. She lived alone in a trailer in a mobile home
community and received home visits from the Human Service
Center, a behavioral healthcare organization. Christine also
received psychiatric care at the center. After she began to
act erratically, her neighbor called Christine's sister
regarding her mental health and behavior toward the
neighbors. The sister called the Emergency Response Service,
which resulted in Christine being taken to the mental health
unit at UnityPoint Proctor Hospital on April 26, 2018. She
would not agree to admission so the staff filed petitions for
Christine's involuntary admission and administration of
4 Hearings took place on the petitions on May 1, 2018. At the
commitment hearing, Christine was present. As Christine
walked into court, she threw a file of paperwork toward the
bench and was admonished by the court: "We don't do
that ***." Christine explained that she wanted to show
the trial court the paperwork she had been provided.
Christine asked to represent herself, and the trial court
questioned her about her education, employment history, and
computer usage. It denied Christine's request and
informed her the public defender would represent her.
Christine responded that the public defender did not know
what was happening.
5 The hearing continued with one witness, Jayalakshmi
Attaluri, Christine's treating psychiatrist, testifying.
Christine disrupted the testimony. The court then explained
to Christine: "[T]he amazing thing about this process
is, if there's something that needs to be corrected, when
it is time, when it is time, you will have that opportunity
to clarify that information for the Court." As Attaluri
testified to the neighbors' concerns about
Christine's behavior and threats toward them, Christine
interrupted and asked, "What?" and "Where is
all this bullshit coming from?" The court addressed
Christine, as follows:
"THE COURT: Here's what's amazing about this
[CHRISTINE]: Oh my God Almighty.
THE COURT: I recognize you have some concerns about the
statements. We will have the opportunity to hear them. This
will be the last time that I ask you to stop talking when the
doctor talks, okay?"
6 The witness continued testifying, explaining that the
police responded to Christine's trailer. Christine
interjected, "And she busted in my door." The trial
court stopped the hearing and the following exchange
"TRIAL COURT: This is where we're gonna have to
stop. We're gonna-
[CHRISTINE]: We need for her to object.
THE COURT: No. No. At this point in time, the Court is going
to direct this particular process to stop. We're going to
take a recess. Then you, [Christine], are going to have the
opportunity to go to in the hallway and take a break. Okay?
We're gonna give you a break.
Then you're gonna come back. If you elect to come back
in, you're going to have to be quiet throughout the
testimony of the doctor. It makes it very difficult-
[CHRISTINE]: Excuse me.
THE COURT: You keep raising your voice. You understand I can
hear you. You have everyone in here to assist you if
there's any issues. I also want to give the opportunity