FACTS: Mr. Darnell Burch was found wandering
along a Florida highway hallucinating, confused, hurt, and disoriented. He
signed a voluntary admission form to a local psychiatric unit, and was
transferred to a Florida State Hospital where he signed consent forms for
admission.He remained hospitalized
for 5 months. Staff notes described him as having continuing confusion and
FACTS: Gerald Gault, a 15 year old boy, was
committed to an industrial school after being found delinquent because of
making lewd telephone calls to a female neighbor.He was sentenced until the age of 21, although an adult found
guilty of a similar charge would face only a minor fine and imprisonment of
no more than 2 months. When Gault was taken into custody, no notice was
given to his family, no warrant was served, and the complainant did not
appear at his hearings
FACTS: J.R. and J.L. were children who had been
hospitalized in a Georgia state mental hospital for years due to aggressive
behaviors and disrupted placements.This class action suit was based on 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 and
sought an order placing them in a less confining environment.
"Mobile crisis response service" means
a nonresidential crisis service attached to a public receiving facility and
available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, through which immediate intensive
assessments and interventions, including screening for admission into a
receiving facility, take place for the purpose of identifying appropriate
FACTS: Alberta Lessard was picked up by the
police who filed an emergency detention form resulting in her
hospitalization. There was no notice, no right to cross-examination, no
offer of independent psychiatric evaluation for her commitment.
Her attorney filed a class action suit that
included all persons held involuntary under the Wisconsin commitment
FACTS: Mr. Frank Addington had a long history of
psychiatric hospitalization. His mother filed a petition for his indefinite
commitment to a state hospital after an “assault by threat” on her. At the
trial level, the standard of proof used was clear and convincing, and the
jury found Addington to be mentally ill and civilly committable.
Addington contended that standard should have
been “beyond a reasonable doubt”
FACTS: Mrs. Catherine Lake was a 60 year old
woman found wondering about Washington D.C. by a policeman and taken to St.
Elizabeths Hospital. A writ of habeas corpus was filed for her released.
Psychiatric opinion was Lake had organic brain syndrome, would not harm
herself, but was prone to wondering away and being out exposed at
night.Lake testified she as able
to be at liberty.
"Guardian advocate" means a person appointed by a
court to make decisions regarding mental health treatment on behalf of a
patient who has been found incompetent to consent to treatment pursuant to
this part. The guardian advocate may be granted specific additional powers
by written order of the court, as provided in this part.
FACTS: Mr. Kenneth Donaldson was confined at
Chattahoochee State Hospital for 15 years.Donaldson refused medication because he was a Christian Scientist.
Literally years would go by with no progress notes. Friends of Donaldson
offered to care for him on several occasions, but the hospital
administration and his psychiatrist, Dr. O’Connor ignored this. Donaldson
brought suit of malpractice and wrongful confinement.
Holding: The state cannot constitutionally
confine, without more (meaning treatment) a non-dangerous individual who is
capable of surviving safely in freedom by himself or with the help of
willing and responsible family members or friends.
Case settled out of court. Defendants paid
$20,000 to Donaldson.
Facts: Theon Jackson was a mentally defective
deaf mute man with a mental level of a preschool child.At age 27, he was charged with the theft
of a purse and its contents valued at $4 and another theft of $5 in money.He was found not competent to stand
trial because of his non-existent communication skills, and he was held in
FACTS:Johnnie Baxtrom served a sentence in a New York prison on an assault
charge.During this time, he was
transferred to Dannemora state hospital as “insane.”At the conclusion of his sentence, he
was certified in need of ongoing psychiatric care, and was held a the same
maximum security institution.He
did not have an attorney to represent him or an independent psychiatric
examination. Daxtrom’s writ of habeas corpus and request for transfer to a
civil hospital was dismissed.
FACTS: Cade, Richardson, and Ellerbee were
civilly committed to St. Elizabeth Hospital because of dangerousness, then
released to the community after stabilization. Their commitment orders
authorized the hospital to return a patient summarily to the hospital for
no more than five days in the event “his condition deteriorates or he fails
to comply with the outpatient therapy program.”
criteria, procedures, required staff training,
documentation, monitoring, clinical review, and system for review of
complaints (in a form understandable by patients) regarding close
supervision, restraint, seclusion, isolation, emergency treatment orders,
use of bodily control, and physical management.
Seclusion and restraint may not be used for
punishment, or to compensate for inadequate staffing
"Express and informed consent" means
consent voluntarily given in writing, by a competent person, after
sufficient explanation and disclosure of the subject matter involved to
enable the person to make a knowing and willful decision without any
element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, or other form of constraint or