Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1996).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
In the Matter of:
Filed May 26, 1998
Hennepin County District Court
File No. P19560428
Michael O. Freeman, Hennepin County Attorney, Peter Stiehm, Assistant County Attorney, A-2000 Government Center, Minneapolis, MN 55487 (for respondent Hennepin County)
Considered and decided by Huspeni, Presiding Judge, Short, Judge, and Willis, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
Appellant seeks reversal of the trial court order revoking his stay of commitment, contending that the evidence failed to meet the statutory standards. Because we conclude the trial court had clear and convincing evidence to find that appellant had substantially violated integral conditions of the stay, we affirm.
On November 17, 1997, the trial court revoked the stay of commitment based on the findings that appellant experienced a significant psychiatric decompensation after his discharge from the hospital and substantially violated integral parts of the stay conditions. The court committed appellant dually to the Hennepin County Medical Center and the Anoka Metro Regional Treatment Center as mentally ill.
A substantial or material failure to comply with the conditions of a stay must be shown by clear and convincing evidence. See Minn. Stat. § 253B.09, subd. 1 (Supp. 1997) (providing clear and convincing evidence standard); In re Roberds, 473 N.W.2d 378, 380 (Minn. App. 1991) (holding clear and convincing evidence required because revocation affects liberty interests). Findings of fact will not be set aside unless clearly erroneous. Minn. R. Civ. P. 52.01.
Appellant contends that the evidence presented to the trial court failed to meet the statutory standards for commitment as mentally ill. Minn. Stat. § 253B.02, subd. 13(a) (Supp. 1997) (requiring substantial likelihood of physical harm to self or others as shown by failure to obtain necessities or recent attempt or threat to physically harm self or others). Because the commitment petition was settled by agreement between the parties, however, the issue here is whether the trial court properly found by clear and convincing evidence that appellant had substantially violated integral conditions of the stay. Minn. Stat. § 253B.095, subd. 5; Roberds, 473 N.W.2d at 380.
The court found that appellant experienced substantial psychiatric decompensation and was becoming paranoid and delusional, believing someone had slipped toxin into his pop. He was readmitted to the hospital based on his family's concern that he was becoming paranoid and delusional; he refused a blood draw to check on his medication level at the hospital; he refused some doses of medication; he engaged in bizarre behavior; and he expressed the belief that he did not need medication because he is not mentally ill. Appellant expressed several other delusions, including that the university was conducting tests by introducing unspecified poisonous gas into the hospital unit, that drinking water was poison, and that he liked toilet water. He left the hospital against medical advice on November 7, and prior to his rehospitalization, missed an outpatient appointment with his psychiatrist. These facts support the trial court's determinations.
Appellant cites the fact that when he wanted to leave the hospital against medical orders on November 7, the doctors concluded that they could not hold him under the requirements of the 72-hour hold while the revocation hearing was pending. The standard for holding a patient on a 72-hour hold requires a determination that the person is in "imminent danger of causing injury to self or others if not immediately restrained." Minn. Stat. § 253B.05, subd. 1(a) (Supp. 1997). This is not the standard used for determining whether a stay should be revoked, however. See Minn. Stat. § 253B.095, subd. 5. Consequently, the fact that the doctors determined that the standard for an emergency hold was not met is not determinative as to whether the stay should be vacated. The trial court had clear and convincing evidence to support its decision to revoke the stay.
Appellant also contends he does not need inpatient care to treat his mental illness. The court found commitment to the Hennepin County Medical Center and the Anoka Metro Regional Treatment Center was the least restrictive alternative. Appellant was discharged from the hospital on October 14, 1997, but his parents returned him two weeks later because of his paranoid, delusional, and bizarre behavior. His stay was revoked by mid-November. The trial court had clear and convincing evidence to support its decision as to the least restrictive alternative.