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T.D. v. Eskenazi Health Midtown Cmty. Mental Health Ctr.

Court of Appeals of Indiana

July 20, 2015

In the Matter of the Civil Commitment of T.D., Appellant-Respondent,
v.
Eskenazi Health Midtown Community Mental Health Center, Appellee-Petitioner

Appeal from the Marion Superior Court. Lower Court Cause No. 49D08-1308-MH-16567. The Honorable Mark Batties, Commissioner.

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: Deborah Markisohn, Indianapolis, Indiana.

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: Rene Wyatt-Foston, Indianapolis, Indiana.

OPINION

Page 508

Pyle, Judge.

Statement of the Case

[¶1] Appellant-Respondent, T.D., appeals the trial court's order granting Appellee-Petitioner, Eskenazi Health Midtown Community Mental Health Center's (" the Hospital" ), application for the emergency detention and involuntary civil commitment of T.D. based on her mental illness. She argues that the trial court erred in ordering her regular commitment because there was insufficient evidence that she was " gravely disabled," as the Hospital was required by statute to prove. The only evidence in the record supporting her commitment was one isolated incident of unusual behavior, the fact that T.D. lived in a hotel, her psychiatrist's recommendation, and her refusal to seek treatment. Because this did not constitute clear and convincing evidence to support her involuntary commitment, we reverse the trial court's decision and remand for the trial court to vacate the commitment.

We reverse and remand.

Issue

Whether the trial court erred when it ordered T.D.'s regular commitment.[1]

Facts

[¶2] T.D. is a fifty-one year old woman who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and has a history of psychiatric illness and treatment. Beginning on July 31, 2013, she was on a regular commitment

Page 509

with the Hospital. She was doing well in treatment and resided at First Home, one of the Hospital's residential housing programs. However, on July 22, 2014, the Hospital filed a notice with the trial court seeking to terminate T.D.'s civil commitment because she had elected to receive voluntary treatment. On September 4, 2014, the trial court entered an order terminating T.D.'s commitment.

[¶3] When T.D.'s commitment ended, she was no longer able to live in the First Home residential program and went to live in a shelter and then in a hotel. During this time, T.D. became inconsistent in taking her medication and, according to her treating physician at the Hospital, Dr. Michael DeMotte (" Dr. DeMotte" ), " her symptoms [] continued to worsen." (Tr. 8). One night at the hotel, she was preparing a presentation for a large event in town, and she flooded her hotel room with water and steam, intending to set off ...


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