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In re P.A.

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Tenth District

June 14, 2018

In re: P.A., (Respondent-Appellant).

          APPEAL from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, Probate Division C.P.C. No. MI-26445

         On brief:

          J. Michael Evans, for appellee.

          Steven McGann Law Office, and Steven McGann, for appellant.

         Argued:

          Gregory S. Dupont.

          DECISION

          KLATT, J.

         {¶ 1} Respondent-appellant, P.A., appeals a judgment of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, Probate Division, that involuntarily committed PA. for inpatient mental health treatment and authorized forced medication of psychotropic drugs. For the following reasons, we affirm that judgment.

         {¶ 2} On September 12, 2017, Dr. Ann Morrison, the chief clinical officer of Twin Valley Behavior Healthcare Hospital ("Twin Valley"), submitted an affidavit of mental illness to the probate court. In the affidavit, Dr. Morrison stated that PA. was a mentally ill person subject to court order under the criteria set forth in R.C. 5122.01(B)(2), (3), and (4). Dr. Morrison explained:

[P.A.] is a 35 year old female, who was admitted to [Twin Valley] on 8/17/2017 with a legal status of Incompetent to Stand Trial, Unrestorable, related to charges of Assault, Criminal Trespass (7 counts), Resisting Arrest, and Failure to Disclose Personal Information. [P.A.] has been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, unspecified. * * * She reportedly received legal charges while homeless, resulting in attempts to stay in multiple businesses after businesses closed as a means of shelter. On one occasion, when a property owner asked [P.A.] to leave the premises she became erratic and assaultive. During all these incidents, [P.A.] was uncooperative with law enforcement, refused to provide basic information, and was resistant and evasive. On one occasion (5/14/17), she reported she had been sexually assaulted the night before, and when asked to elaborate about the assault, [P.A.] stated she knew "in her spirit" that she was assaulted while she slept. Since her admission to [Twin Valley], [P.A.] has refused medication and demonstrated poor judgement [sic] and poor insight into her mental health needs. She was involved in a physical altercation with her roommate while at [Twin Valley], and has been unable to share a room due to paranoia and irritability. She isolates to her room and does not participate in provided groups or interact with peers. It was reported [P.A.] was naked in her room when the adjoining unit (an all male unit) was in the court yard outside her window and could see her. She has reported she believes people are saying things about her and she appears paranoid. [P.A.] has also reported she can see into other people's spirits and can see when they have an evil spirit within them. [P.A.] does admit to continued symptoms of depression, and admitted to hearing voices in the past, but believes the voices were "spirits" telling her to hurt herself. [P.A.] has a severe mental illness and lacks capacity to make treatment decisions. Due to her mental illness, her thoughts, perceptions, moods, judgements [sic], and behaviors are grossly impaired, causing her to be at risk in the community in that she is unable to provide for her basic needs such as maintaining adequate housing. [P.A.] has been homeless since January and is banned from the local shelter due to having a physical altercation with another female while there. She also poses a risk to others, which is demonstrated by her recent history of assaultive behavior. * * * She would benefit from continued inpatient psychiatric treatment at this time.

(Sept. 12, 2017 Affidavit of Mental Illness at 2.)

         {¶ 3} At the same time Dr. Morrison submitted the affidavit of mental illness, she also filed with the probate court an application to authorize the forced psychotropic medication of PA[1] In the application, Dr. Morrison alleged P.A. was psychotic and unlikely to improve without antipsychotic medication. P.A., however, was refusing to take that medication.

         {¶ 4} A magistrate reviewed the affidavit of mental illness and found probable cause to believe that P.A. was a mentally ill person subject to court order. Consequently, the magistrate ordered P.A.'s continued detention at Twin Valley. In a separate order, the magistrate scheduled a full hearing for consideration of the affidavit of mental illness and the application for forced psychotropic medication. The magistrate appointed counsel for P.A. and designated Dr. William Bates, a psychiatrist, as the court doctor.

         {¶ 5} The full hearing occurred on September 15, 2017. Dr. Bates, Dr. Davis, and P.A. testified at the hearing. Based on the evidence submitted, the magistrate found that P.A. was a mentally ill person subject to court order and committed her to Twin Valley for 90 ...


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