In the Matter of L. R., a Person Alleged to have a Mental Illness.
L. R, Appellant. STATE OF OREGON, Respondent,
Submitted August 26, 2015
County Circuit Court 140362820; A156780 Connie L. Isgro,
Judge pro tempore.
Garrett A. Richardson and Multnomah Defenders, Inc., fled the
brief for appellant.
F. Rosenblum, Attorney General, Anna M. Joyce, Solicitor
General, and Matthew J. Lysne, Assistant Attorney General,
fled the brief for respondent.
Armstrong, Presiding Judge, and Hadlock, Chief Judge, and
Summary: Appellant seeks reversal of a judgment that ordered
his involuntary civil commitment, arguing that the record
does not establish that he was a danger to others because of
a mental disorder. Held: Appellant's actions-
yelling, making broad threats, menacing posturing, and
destruction of objects- are insuffcient to support a
conclusion that appellant is highly likely to engage in
actual future violence toward people.
seeks reversal of a judgment that ordered his involuntary
commitment to the Oregon Health Authority for a period not to
exceed 180 days, under ORS 426.130(1)(a)(C). Appellant
contends that the record does not establish by clear and
convincing evidence that he was a danger to others because of
a mental disorder. See ORS 426.130; former
ORS 426.005(1)(e)(A) (2013), renumbered as ORS
426.005(1)(f)(A) (2015). We agree that the evidence in the
record is not legally sufficient to conclude that appellant
was a danger to others. Accordingly, we reverse.
reviewing a challenge to a civil commitment judgment, unless
we exercise our discretion to review the matter de
novo, "we view the evidence, as supplemented and
buttressed by permissible derivative inferences, in the light
most favorable to the trial court's disposition and
assess whether, when so viewed, the record was legally
sufficient to permit that outcome." State v. R. L.
W.. 267 Or.App. 725, 728, 341 P.3d 845 (2014) (internal
quotation marks omitted). Neither party has asked us to
review the matter de novo, and we decline to do so.
See ORAP 5.40(8)(c) (providing that the court will
exercise its discretion to review de novo "only
in exceptional cases").
the events at issue here, appellant, a 24-year-old
African-American man, had showed no signs of having a mental
disorder. Shortly before these events, appellant's
relationship with his girlfriend, with whom he had been
living, had ended, and he had lost his job at Portland
International Airport. On March 12, 2014, Officer Ko, on duty
at the airport, was doing routine rounds of the terminal and
found appellant and another man yelling at each other.
Appellant was standing behind a Sky Cap podium yelling and
swearing at the other man, an unknown traveler, who was
backing away from appellant. Appellant did not pursue the man
but instead took his own personal possessions and threw them
onto the podium. Ko could not understand what appellant was
yelling about, but he did recall appellant claiming that he
was a gang member and threatening that "he was gonna
have us all killed" by the gang.
facing Ko, appellant took off his jacket and shirt,
"clench[ed] his fists and drop[ped] his arms in front of
him and just kind of flex[ed] *** and tense[d] up his
muscles." Another officer arrived and appellant walked
away from his belongings and Ko. Appellant flexed his muscles
at the other officer, and that officer drew his Taser and
ordered appellant to the ground. Appellant complied and was
arrested for disorderly conduct.
was calm after he was arrested. He was issued a 90-day
exclusion from the airport and taken to jail. Hours later,
after appellant was released, he returned to the airport,
where he was arrested for trespassing. In jail, appellant was
evaluated by mental health staff and transported to Emanuel
Hospital where he was further evaluated and given medication
for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
March 13, the investigator who would later write the
precommitment investigation report met with appellant at the
hospital. According to that report, appellant took his
medication while at the hospital and was compliant with the
staff directions even when he became upset. Although
appellant demanded to be released, he did not threaten the
staff and stated that he had no intentions of harming anyone.
When he was released, he stayed with his older cousin, whom
he had always called his aunt. He later confirmed that he had