State v. R.E.G.

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Civil Commitment
  • Date Filed: 12-09-2015
  • Case #: A151899
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Sercombe, P.J., for the Court; Hadlock, J.; & Tookey, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 427.290, a complete diagnostic report, including a diagnostic evaluation, is required before a civil commitment hearing can continue against an individual.

Appellant appeals an order committing him to the custody of the Department of Human Services as a person with an intellectual disability. Appellant argues that the state failed to conduct an adequate diagnostic evaluation of him during the precommitment investigation by not conducting a diagnostic evaluation as required by law. At trial, the court agreed with Appellant but decided nevertheless that the state proved by clear and convincing evidence that Appellant needed to be committed. Appellant renewed his argument on appeal and the State argued that the commitment process did not require a diagnostic evaluation. The Court held that the diagnostic evaluation is required by the statute, before a trial court can commit an individual. The Court found that any text that suggested an optional diagnostic evaluation meant that if the investigator decided the need for commitment was without merit, he was not required to move forward with the evaluation. Without the proper diagnostic evaluation, Appellant was committed without a sufficient record and was denied the “benefit of significant procedural safeguards designed to protect him from an unwarranted deprivation of liberty by the commitment process. Reversed and remanded.

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