High Court Clears Way For Investigation Into Man's Choking
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
November 3, 2006
MISSOULA, MONTANA--The Montana Advocacy Program can move forward with its investigation into the choking death of a man with developmental disabilities at a state-run institution, now that the state's highest court has ordered the release of documents related to the case.
The federally-mandated protection and advocacy system had been investigating the 2004 death of a man, referred to only in court records as T.L.S., while housed at Montana Developmental Center, when a state district court ordered the records sealed, citing the man's right to privacy.
But when attorneys at the advocacy center learned that T.L.S. had been illegally committed to the institution several months before he died, they appealed the lower court's order. They said the actions leading to his involuntary commitment deserved to be publicly disclosed, especially considering that two separate evaluations had recommended he be placed in the community.
A county attorney told the Missoulian that the man's incarceration came from "a clerical error".
"Court unseals documents in case of man who choked to death at institution" (Missoulian)