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In re Commitment of J.M.

Court of Appeals of Indiana

October 27, 2016

In the Matter of the Commitment of J.M.,
v.
Northeastern Center, Inc., Appellee-Petitioner. J.M., Appellant-Respondent,

         Appeal from the Steuben Superior Court Trial Court Cause No. 76D01-1508-MH-88 The Honorable William C. Fee, Judge

          Attorney for Appellant Robert J. Hardy Hardy Law Office Auburn, Indiana

          Attorney for Appellee Eugene C. Bosworth Angola, Indiana

          Najam, Judge.

         Statement of the Case

         [¶1] J.M. appeals her involuntary mental health commitment. Though the issue raised on appeal is moot, we address J.M.'s argument because it is a matter of great public importance. On the merits of her argument, we hold that there was sufficient evidence to support her temporary commitment. As such, we affirm.

         Facts and Procedural History

         [¶2] On August 10, 2015, Northeastern Center, Inc. ("Northeastern") filed a petition for the involuntary commitment of J.M. due to mental health concerns. The court held a fact-finding hearing on August 13 and August 20.[1] At that hearing, Dr. Lynnea T. Carder testified as follows:

[J.M.] was admitted [to Northeastern] on August 5th. The admission was prompted by family who called the Angola Police Department. They were saying she was delusional, hallucinations, thinks she was an alien, thought family was against her. She had allegedly made threats to the family. The family was fearful of her. . . . [S]he wasn't recognizing her daughter anymore . . . .
** *
We have her diagnosed [with] schizoaffective disorder. . . .
** *
Since admission, we've observed her getting very religiously preoccupied, . . . explosive. We've actually had to restrain her and seclude her at various times throughout her time here. She's somewhat paranoid. She doesn't trust me. She doesn't trust my qualifications to treat her. Difficult to ...

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