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In re M. G.

Court of Appeals of Oregon

March 20, 2019

In the Matter of M. G., a Person Alleged to have Mental Illness.
v.
M. G., Appellant. STATE OF OREGON, Respondent,

          Submitted January 29, 2019

          Multnomah County Circuit Court 17CC03331; David E. Leith, Judge.

          Alexander C. Cambier and Multnomah Defenders, Inc., fled the brief for appellant.

          Ellen F. Rosenblum, Attorney General, Benjamin Gutman, Solicitor General, and Christopher Page, Assistant Attorney General, fled the brief for respondent.

          Before Hadlock, Presiding Judge, and DeHoog, Judge, and Aoyagi, Judge.

         Reversed.

         Case Summary: Appellant seeks reversal of an order continuing his commitment to the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) for a period not to exceed 180 days, based on appellant being a person with mental illness and needing further treatment. Appellant has a longstanding diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder. After 180 days of successful treatment, OHA sought continued commitment, and appellant requested a hearing. The trial court found that appellant was dangerous to others and continued his commitment. On appeal, appellant asserts that the trial court erred because there was insuffcient evidence of dangerousness.

         Held: The evidence was insuffcient to support continued commitment based on dangerousness to others. None of the evidence, alone or together, was suffcient to establish a factual foundation to predict appellant's future dangerousness based on his condition at the time of the hearing in the context of his history.

Reversed. [296 Or.App. 715]

          AOYAGI, J.

         Appellant seeks reversal of an order continuing his commitment to the Oregon Health Authority for a period not to exceed 180 days, based on his being a person with mental illness and needing further treatment. In his single assignment of error, appellant contends that there was insufficient evidence to support the order. We agree and, accordingly, reverse.

         Unless we exercise our discretion to review de novo, which we do not in this case, we view the evidence and permissible inferences therefrom in the light most favorable to the trial court's disposition to determine whether the record, so viewed, was legally sufficient to permit the court's decision. State v. L. R., 283 Or.App. 618, 619, 391 P.3d 880 (2017). We state the facts in accordance with that standard. All of the facts come from the testimony of Dr. Read, appellant's attending psychiatrist at the Oregon State Hospital (OSH), who testified at appellant's recommitment hearing.

         Appellant is a 51-year-old man with a longstanding diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder. He also has a cognitive disorder and hearing loss due to a childhood accident. Appellant has limited insight into his mental health condition. He does not believe his diagnosis, but, at the same time, "when he's doing better, he recognizes that he's okay on the medication."

         Appellant did very well from 2004 to 2015, while living in a facility called Alberta Place, which provided medication reminders and "a lot of support." In 2015, appellant was "stepped down" to Harriot Court, a less structured environment in which appellant had to ask for his own medications and was not given reminders. He did not do as well there. Sometime around August 2016, appellant left ...


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