In re Civil Commitment of T.W., 043019 INSC, 19S-MH-264

Docket Nº:19S-MH-264
Opinion Judge:PER CURIAM
Party Name:In the Matter of the Civil Commitment of T.W., Appellant (Respondent) v. St. Vincent Hospital and Health Care Center, Inc., d/b/a St. Vincent Stress Center, Appellee (Petitioner) In the Matter of the Civil Commitment of A.M., Appellant (Respondent) v. Community Health Network, Inc., Appellee (Petitioner)
Attorney:ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT T.W. Joel M. Schumm Indianapolis, Indiana Valerie K. Boots Marion County Public Defender Agency Appellate Division Indianapolis, Indiana ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE ST. VINCENT HOSPITAL AND HEALTH CARE CENTER, INC. D/B/A ST. VINCENT STRESS CENTER Andrew B. Howk Matthew M. Schap...
Case Date:April 30, 2019
Court:Supreme Court of Indiana
 
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In the Matter of the Civil Commitment of T.W., Appellant (Respondent)

v.

St. Vincent Hospital and Health Care Center, Inc., d/b/a St. Vincent Stress Center, Appellee (Petitioner)

In the Matter of the Civil Commitment of A.M., Appellant (Respondent)

v.

Community Health Network, Inc., Appellee (Petitioner)

No. 19S-MH-264

Supreme Court of Indiana

April 30, 2019

Appeal from the Marion Superior Court No. 49D08-1804-MH-14684 The Honorable Steven R. Eichholtz, Judge The Honorable Kelly M. Scanlan, Commissioner On Petition to Transfer from the Indiana Court of Appeals, No. 18A-MH-1148

Appeal from the Marion Superior Court No. 49D08-1802-MH-7271 The Honorable Steven R. Eichholtz, Judge The Honorable Kelly M. Scanlan, Commissioner On Petition to Transfer from the Indiana Court of Appeals, No. 18A-MH-636

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT T.W. Joel M. Schumm Indianapolis, Indiana Valerie K. Boots Marion County Public Defender Agency Appellate Division Indianapolis, Indiana

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE ST. VINCENT HOSPITAL AND HEALTH CARE CENTER, INC. D/B/A ST. VINCENT STRESS CENTER Andrew B. Howk Matthew M. Schappa Hall Render Killian Heath & Lyman Indianapolis, Indiana

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT A.M. Joel M. Schumm Indianapolis, Indiana Valerie K. Boots Marion County Public Defender Agency Appellate Division Indianapolis, Indiana

ATTORNEYS FOR AMICUS CURIAE, INDIANAPOLIS BAR ASSOCIATION, APPELLATE PRACTICE SECTION Libby Y. Goodknight Krieg DeVault LLP Indianapolis, Indiana Tyler D. Helmond Voyles Vaiana Lukemeyer Baldwin & Webb Indianapolis, Indiana Paul L. Jefferson McNeely Stephenson Indianapolis, Indiana Josh S. Tatum Plews Shadley Racher & Braun LLP Indianapolis, Indiana

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE COMMUNITY HEALTH NETWORK, INC. Jenny R. Buchheit Stephen E. Reynolds Gregory W. Pottorff Ice Miller, LLP Indianapolis, Indiana

OPINION

PER CURIAM

The purposes of civil commitment proceedings include protecting the public and ensuring the rights of persons whose liberty is at stake. Civil Commitment of T.K. v. Dep't of Veterans Affairs, 27 N.E.3d 271, 273 (Ind. 2015). With such interests involved, we write to underscore the importance of proper entry of commitment orders.

Facts and Procedural History

St. Vincent Hospital and Health Care Center, Inc., d/b/a St. Vincent Stress Center, requested the temporary involuntary mental health commitment of T.W. The next day, Judge Steven R. Eichholtz of the Marion Superior Court, Probate Division, ordered the prehearing detention of T.W. and appointed a public defender. Commissioner Kelly M. Scanlan presided over the April 20, 2018 evidentiary hearing on St. Vincent's request. Later that day, she signed an "Order for Temporary Commitment." It stated that "the Court now finds by clear and convincing evidence" that T.W. suffers from a mental illness, is dangerous to others, is gravely disabled, and needs custody, care, and treatment at St. Vincent "for a period of time not to exceed ninety (90) days." Appellant's App. Vol. II at 10. The order committed T.W. to St. Vincent "until July 19, 2018 unless discharged prior." Id. at 11. The order is signed, "Kelly M. Scanlan, Judge, Marion Superior Court No. 8, Probate Division," but is not countersigned by Judge Eichholtz. Id. The order directed distribution to the parties.

T.W., by counsel, filed a notice of appeal on May 14, 2018, calling the temporary commitment order a final judgment. Id. at 3. On August 2, 2018-after the period of temporary commitment defined in the order expired-T.W. filed an appellant's brief arguing the evidence was insufficient to support the order and the order was defective because it was signed...

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