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In re Civil Commitment of C.P.

Court of Appeals of Indiana

May 23, 2014

IN THE MATTER OF THE CIVIL COMMITMENT OF C.P., C.P., Appellant-Respondent,
v.
COMMUNITY HOSPITAL NORTH/ GALLAHUE MENTAL HEALTH, Appellee-Petitioner

Page 1024

APPEAL FROM THE MARION SUPERIOR COURT. The Honorable Gerald Zore, Judge. Cause No. 49D08-1308-MH-29426.

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: PATRICIA CARESS McMATH, Marion County Public Defender Agency, Indianapolis, Indiana.

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: JENNY R. BUCHHEIT, STEPHEN E. REYNOLDS, Ice Miller LLP, Indianapolis, Indiana.

MAY, Judge. KIRSCH, J., and BAILEY, J., concur.

Page 1025

OPINION

MAY, Judge

C.P. appeals her 90-day involuntary commitment to Community North Hospital (" the Hospital" ).[1] She acknowledges she is mentally ill but asserts the hospital did not prove she was gravely disabled or dangerous to herself. Because a psychiatrist's testimony provided clear and convincing evidence that C.P. was gravely disabled, we affirm.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

C.P. brought herself to the emergency room at the Hospital on August 18, 2013, claiming that she had been bitten by spiders in her home and that the " venom" left her " feeling heavily sedated, or drugged." (Tr. at 17.) The doctors who examined her could not find any spider bites and referred her to psychiatry for an evaluation. The psychiatrist admitted her to the Behavioral Health Pavilion on an emergency detention.

This was the fourth time in thirty-one days that C.P. had arrived at the emergency room claiming she had been bitten by poisonous spiders in her home. On one of those occasions, police visited her home and could not find any spiders. On all four occasions, doctors were unable to find any spider bites on C.P. Nevertheless, C.P. did not believe she has a mental illness, and she believes the evaluations by the emergency room doctors are incorrect.

At a hearing on August 23, a psychiatrist who had seen C.P. each morning for five days testified about her condition. C.P. does not believe she has delusions. She believes there are spiders at her house that bite her when she is there. Because of her fear of the spiders, she has been living outside of her apartment. The psychiatrist further explained:

Q Now, is she able to provide herself with food, clothing, and shelter, and other essential human needs?
A No.
Q And, what needs is she unable to meet?
A She's unable to live in a house. She's unable to cook and eat in the house. She lost her job. She couldn't go to her [examinations], uh, for the Ivy Tech related to the anxiety that comes from these thoughts. Uh, and she's currently not working. . . . and ...

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