The Indiana Court of Appeals will hear argument next week in a case involving an involuntary mental health commitment that was not signed by the presiding judge.
A panel of Judges Paul D. Mathias, Cale J. Bradford and Robert R. Altice will hear the case of A.M. v. Community Health, 18A-MH-00636, in Fishers on Monday. The case involves the 90-day involuntary temporary commitment of A.M. after a Marion Superior Court decision that found she was gravely disabled.
On appeal, A.M. argues that that the hospital failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that she is in danger of coming to harm as a result of her mental illness. Specifically, she contends that the hospital only proved that she does not shower, refuses to take medication, and lacks stable income and housing.
A.M. also argues that the commitment order is defective because it was only signed by the master commissioner and not by the trial judge. The hospital contends, however, among other things, that A.M. waived that argument by failing to object at the earliest opportunity.
In a separate case decided last month, the Court of Appeals reversed a civil commitment and rejected Marion Superior Judge Steven R. Eichholtz’s method of opening new cases to approve all of the mental health civil commitment recommendations of magistrate judges and commissioners during a given period of time. The COA found that method of approving civil commitments was unacceptable and unsupported by law.
The oral argument will begin at 10 a.m. Monday in Leonard Auditorium of Hamilton Southeastern High School,13910 E. 126th St., Fishers.