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In re T.C.

Court of Appeals of Oregon

January 22, 2015

In the Matter of T. C., Alleged to be a Mentally Ill Person.
v.
T. C., Appellant STATE OF OREGON, Respondent,

Submitted October 15, 2014

Clackamas County Circuit Court. M1312009. Kenneth B. Stewart, Judge pro tempore.

Gay Canaday submitted the brief for appellant.

Ellen F. Rosenblum, Attorney General, Anna M. Joyce, Solicitor General, and Carolyn Alexander, Senior Assistant Attorney General, filed the brief for respondent.

Before Lagesen, Presiding Judge, and Hadlock, Judge, and Wollheim, Senior Judge.

OPINION

[268 Or.App. 616] HADLOCK, J.

Appellant seeks reversal of an involuntary-commitment order entered pursuant to the provisions of ORS chapter 426. Appellant does not contest the trial court's determination that he is mentally ill, but argues that the court erred by ordering him to be committed to the Oregon Health Authority instead of ordering that he be conditionally released to his wife's care. In response, the state contends that appellant did not meet his burden of proving either that his wife could care for him or that conditional release was in his best interest. In evaluating those arguments, " we are bound by the trial court's factual findings that are supported by any evidence and [we] review its legal conclusions for errors of law." State v. J. S., 253 Or.App. 119, 120,

Page 1113

289 P.3d 357 (2012). For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.

We begin by describing pertinent aspects of the statutes that govern involuntary-commitment proceedings and a court's decision whether to order the commitment of a mentally ill person or, instead, to order a conditional release.[1] Because appellant was committed in 2013, our discussion relates to the statutes that were in effect at that time.[2]

ORS 426.130 (2011) sets forth the dispositional options--" release," a period of commitment with a " conditional release," and " commitment * * * to the Oregon Health Authority [OHA]" --that are available to a trial court that has determined, after a hearing, that a person is mentally ill:

" (1) After hearing all of the evidence, and reviewing the findings of the examining persons, the court shall [268 Or.App. 617] determine whether the person is mentally ill. If, in the opinion of the court, the person is:
" * * * *
" (b) Mentally ill based upon clear and convincing evidence, ...

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