2017 Mass.App.Div. 157, In re D.S.

Citation:2017 Mass.App.Div. 157
Opinion Judge:FLYNN, J.
Attorney:Diane M. Geraghty Hall for the petitioner. Roberta Mann Driscoll for the respondent.
Judge Panel:Present: Coven, P.J., Crane & Flynn, JJ.
Case Date:October 31, 2017
Court:Massachusetts Appellate Division

2017 Mass.App.Div. 157


Massachusetts Appellate Division, District Court Department, Northern District

October 31, 2017

August 18, 2017

Diane M. Geraghty Hall for the petitioner.

Roberta Mann Driscoll for the respondent.

Present: Coven, P.J., Crane & Flynn, JJ.


This is an appeal from an order of the District Court authorizing commitment of the appellant, D.S., to McLean Hospital (the "hospital") pursuant to G.L. c. 123, §§ 7 and 8. The hospital filed a petition for civil commitment of D.S. on January 11, 2017. After hearing on January 19, 2017, the trial court granted the petition for commitment. On January 26, 2017, D.S. filed a notice of appeal pursuant to G.L. c. 123, § 9(a), challenging the sufficiency of the evidence for the finding of mental illness and the ultimate order of commitment.

On February 1, 2017, D.S. was discharged from the hospital.

At the time of his hospitalization on January 7, 2017, D.S. was twenty-four years old. He was involuntarily admitted to the hospital after setting two fires in his home, one burning a Bible and another attempting to melt copper in the fireplace. One filled the house with smoke while his thirteen year old sister was in the home at the time. Petitions for civil commitment and authorization for treatment were filed on January 11, 2017, and hearings were held on January 19, 2017. At the hearing on the commitment petition, Dr. Elizabeth Liebson ("Liebson"), the attending psychiatrist and the only witness providing testimony at the hearing for the hospital, testified on evaluation that she found D.S. to have difficulty putting together a coherent narrative of

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recent events, to have vague speech, and to be guarded about psychiatric symptoms with no insight into his psychiatric illness. She indicated he expressed a belief that he could heal others and had to be told not to touch other patients. His speech was very repetitive, and he was often mute. He was also found with a telephone cord in his bag, which had been missing from one of the telephones on the unit. He was unable to give an explanation as to why he took the cord and what his intentions...

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