State v. T. Z.

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Civil Commitment
  • Date Filed: 07-26-2017
  • Case #: A161993
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Ortega, P.J.; Lagesen, J.; & Wollheim, S.J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 426.005(1)(f)(C), in order to be lawfully recommitted, a person be (1) over 18 years old and, (2) "[have] a chronic mental illness” per ORS 426.495"; (3) "been twice committed in the past three years by state authority; (4) “exhibiting symptoms or behavior substantially similar to those that preceded and led to one or more [commitments]”; and (5) "[that] unless treated, will continue, to a reasonable medical probability, to physically or mentally deteriorate."

Appellant appealed the trial court's decision to continue her commitment "on the basis that she is still a person with a mental illness under the expanded criteria defining mental illness." Appellant alleged two assignments of error: (1) the lower court's determination was not supported by clear and convincing evidence, and (2) it erred in determining that she posed a danger to herself. State conceded Appellant’s second assignment of error. On appeal, Appellant alleged that State didn’t satisfy requirements for recommitment. In response, State referenced a series of violent and erratic behavior in December, 2015 and alleged that Appellant exhibited "increased psychotic symptoms." Under ORS 426.005(1)(f)(C), in order to be lawfully recommitted, a person be (1) over 18 years old and, (2) "[have] a chronic mental illness” per ORS 426.495"; (3) "been twice committed in the past three years by state authority; (4) “exhibiting symptoms or behavior substantially similar to those that preceded and led to one or more [commitments]”; and (5) "[that] unless treated, will continue, to a reasonable medical probability, to physically or mentally deteriorate." The Court of Appeals determined that, following the December episode, Appellant didn’t exhibit behavior similar to that which led to her initial commitment. Additionally, it referenced the trial court's determination that the December episode was not indicative that Appellant posed a danger to others. Thus, the Court held that there was insufficient evidence to satisfy the statutory requirements. Reversed.


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