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Threats of violence sufficient to order involuntary commitment

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Although an Indianapolis man never harmed another individual, his persistent threats of violence were sufficient to support his involuntary commitment to a mental health facility.

The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment of the trial court in In the Matter of the Commitment of T.K. v. Department of Veterans Affairs, 49A05-1303-MH-100. It concluded the evidence showed that without treatment, T.K. was a danger to others and upheld the order for regular commitment to ensure T.K. received the needed long-term treatment.

T.K. appealed the trial court’s order for involuntary commitment on the grounds the evidence was insufficient. He conceded he had made “colorful verbal threats” but there was no evidence that he “has ever followed through with any assaultive, violent or dangerous behavior.”

The Court of Appeals rejected his argument. It found his behavior - which included more than 25 threatening phone calls that T.K. made in one week to Adult and Child, Inc., and the agency staff’s consideration that he was hostile, actively psychotic and delusional – was sufficient for the trial court to find him dangerous.

Further, pointing to prior court decisions, the Court of Appeals stated Indiana precedent indicates that the trial court did not have to wait until T.K. acted upon his threats before finding him dangerous.

The Court of Appeals also upheld the finding that a “regular commitment” which is the most restrictive form of involuntary commitment, was warranted. In particular, it noted T.K.’s prior commitments and his need for inpatient treatment followed by outpatient assistance.  
 

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  1. Indianapolis Bar Association President John Trimble and I are on the same page, but it is a very large page with plenty of room for others to join us. As my final Res Gestae article will express in more detail in a few days, the Great Recession hastened a fundamental and permanent sea change for the global legal service profession. Every state bar is facing the same existential questions that thrust the medical profession into national healthcare reform debates. The bench, bar, and law schools must comprehensively reconsider how we define the practice of law and what it means to access justice. If the three principals of the legal service profession do not recast the vision of their roles and responsibilities soon, the marketplace will dictate those roles and responsibilities without regard for the public interests that the legal profession professes to serve.

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  3. Lets talk about this without forgetting that Lawyers, too, have FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND ASSOCIATION

  4. Baer filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals Seventh Circuit on April 30 2015. When will this be decided? How many more appeals does this guy have? Unbelievable this is dragging on like this.

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