from the Marion Superior Court Trial Court Cause No.
49D08-1609-MH-31348 The Honorable Steven R. Eichholtz, Judge
Attorney for Appellant Deborah Markisohn Marion County Public
Defender Agency Indianapolis, Indiana
Attorneys for Appellees Jessica Proctor Barth Eskenazi Health
Indianapolis, Indiana Bryan H. Babb Bose McKinney & Evans
LLP Indianapolis, Indiana
A.A. was involuntarily committed to Eskenazi Health/Midtown
Community Mental Health Clinic ("Eskenazi"). He was
not present at the commitment hearing. A.A. appeals, arguing
that he did not validly waive his right to personally appear
at his commitment hearing, and that he had a due process and
a statutory right to be present. Eskenazi Health argues that
the trial court had independent statutory authority to waive
A.A.'s right to be present at the commitment hearing, and
that A.A.'s presence at the commitment hearing would have
been dangerous to A.A. and others at the hearing. We find
that neither A.A. nor his counsel could validly waive his
right to appear, but that the trial court had a statutory
right to waive A.A.'s presence. Accordingly, we affirm.
A.A. is thirty-six years old and has been diagnosed with
schizophrenia. He has been previously hospitalized and
On August 29, 2016, A.A.'s mother completed an
application for A.A.'s emergency detention. On August 31,
2016, the trial court issued an order for A.A. to be detained
and taken to Eskenazi. On September 7, 2016, Eskenazi filed a
report following emergency detention.
On September 12, 2016, a civil commitment hearing took place.
A.A. was not present. When the trial court asked A.A.'s
counsel about A.A., the following exchange occurred:
Court: Good morning, everybody. We are here on a report
following Emergency Detention. I see that [A.A.] is not
present. [Counsel for A.A.], can you address that?
Counsel for A.A.: Yes, Judge. Thank you. I have been informed
that [A.A.] is agitated. I have tried to call him before
today's hearing to talk to him about his case. He would
not answer the phone. I was informed this morning that he was
not brought over due to him being agitated. So we are waiving
his appearance today.
Court: Thank you. Miss Barth, good morning.
Counsel for Eskenazi: Good morning, Judge.
Court: That does raise a question I kind of had, because I
looked through the files and I see that we always send out a
summons or fax one over. Do you guys serve them ...