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Court affirms woman is ‘gravely disabled’ requiring involuntary commitment

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The Indiana Court of Appeals declined to reweigh the evidence used to find a woman needed to be involuntarily committed because she was gravely disabled after claiming she was bitten by poisonous spiders in her home for the fourth time.

C.P. went to the emergency room Aug. 18, 2013, saying she had been bitten by spiders at home and the “venom” left her feeling “heavily sedated or drugged.” Doctors could not find any spider bites and referred her to psychiatry for an evaluation. She was admitted on an emergency detention. Five days later, a psychiatrist recommended C.P. be committed for 90 days to stabilize her on anti-psychotic medication. He believed she could be released sooner and treated on an outpatient basis.

C.P. doesn’t believe she has delusions or a mental illness. She is unable to live at home because of her belief about the spiders and she lost her job. The psychiatrist testified her mental illness impairs her ability to function independently and ability to take medication. The psychiatrist believed C.P. was gravely disabled at the time, requiring the commitment.

C.P. on appeal in In the Matter of the Civil Commitment of C.P., C.P. v. Community Hospital North/Gallahue Mental Health, 49A02-1309-MH-770, challenges the finding that she is “gravely disabled” as defined in I.C. 12-7-2-96, arguing there are no underlying facts that show she cannot function independently. But the judges pointed to the psychiatrist’s testimony and refused to re-weigh the evidence.
 

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  1. Your article is a good intro the recent amendments to Fed.R.Civ.P. For a much longer - though not necessarily better -- summary, counsel might want to read THE CHIEF UMPIRE IS CHANGING THE STRIKE ZONE, which I co-authored and which was just published in the January issue of THE VERDICT (the monthly publication of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association).

  2. Thank you, John Smith, for pointing out a needed correction. The article has been revised.

  3. The "National institute for Justice" is an agency for the Dept of Justice. That is not the law firm you are talking about in this article. The "institute for justice" is a public interest law firm. http://ij.org/ thanks for interesting article however

  4. I would like to try to find a lawyer as soon possible I've had my money stolen off of my bank card driver pressed charges and I try to get the information they need it and a Social Security board is just give me a hold up a run around for no reason and now it think it might be too late cuz its been over a year I believe and I can't get the right information they need because they keep giving me the runaroundwhat should I do about that

  5. It is wonderful that Indiana DOC is making some truly admirable and positive changes. People with serious mental illness, intellectual disability or developmental disability will benefit from these changes. It will be much better if people can get some help and resources that promote their health and growth than if they suffer alone. If people experience positive growth or healing of their health issues, they may be less likely to do the things that caused them to come to prison in the first place. This will be of benefit for everyone. I am also so happy that Indiana DOC added correctional personnel and mental health staffing. These are tough issues to work with. There should be adequate staffing in prisons so correctional officers and other staff are able to do the kind of work they really want to do-helping people grow and change-rather than just trying to manage chaos. Correctional officers and other staff deserve this. It would be great to see increased mental health services and services for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the community so that fewer people will have to receive help and support in prisons. Community services would like be less expensive, inherently less demeaning and just a whole lot better for everyone.

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