State v. T. W. W.

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Civil Commitment
  • Date Filed: 01-04-2018
  • Case #: A159166
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Garrett, J. for the Court; Ortega, J.; & Lagesen, J., dissenting.
  • Full Text Opinion

“Whether a person is a danger to others is determined by his condition at the time of the hearing as understood in the context of his history.” State v. L.R., 283 Or App 618, 625, 391 P3d 880 (2017). In order to authorize involuntary commitment based on a person’s inability to meet his basic needs as a result of a mental disorder, the evidence must show that it is unlikely the person will survive in near short term. State v. S.R., 267 Or App 618, 619, 341 P3d 160 (2014).

Appellant sought reversal of an involuntary commitment for mental health treatment judgment (ORS 426.130). Appellant challenged the trial court’s findings that he is unable to meet his basic health and safety needs and is a danger to others because of his mental illness. The trial court’s findings were based on testimony that the appellant refused to eat consistently, communicate in a way that would allow his needs to be met, or accept assistance offered. Appellant argued that legally sufficient evidence did not support the finding. “Whether a person is a danger to others is determined by his condition at the time of the hearing as understood in the context of his history.” State v. L.R., 283 Or App 618, 625, 391 P3d 880 (2017). In order to authorize involuntary commitment based on a person’s inability to meet his basic needs as a result of a mental disorder, the evidence must show that it is unlikely the person will survive in near short term. State v. S.R., 267 Or App 618, 619, 341 P3d 160 (2014). The Court of Appeals held the trial court erred because the record contained no evidence that Appellant was aggressive or threatening nor was his behavior at the trial sufficient to support the finding. The Court further held that the record did not support the finding that Appellant could not meet his basic health and safety needs because the record did not “substantiate a particularized and highly probable threat to [his] survival in the near future.” Reversed.

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