People v. Marcus S. (In re Marcus S.)

Decision Date18 January 2022
Docket NumberAppeal No. 3-16-0710
Citation2022 IL App (3d) 160710,198 N.E.3d 636,459 Ill.Dec. 609
Parties IN RE MARCUS S., a Person Found Subject to Involuntary Commitment and Involuntary Medication (The People of the State of Illinois, Petitioner-Appellee, v. Marcus S., Respondent-Appellant).
CourtUnited States Appellate Court of Illinois

JUSTICE HOLDRIDGE delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion.

¶ 1 The trial court ordered the respondent-appellant, Marcus S., subject to involuntary commitment at an inpatient mental health treatment facility and subject to involuntary treatment through the administration of psychotropic medications. Marcus appeals those judgments, arguing that the State failed to present evidence as to certain essential elements of the involuntary commitment and involuntary medication statutes in the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code (Code) ( 405 ILCS 5/1-100 et seq. (West 2016)) and otherwise failed to satisfy various mandatory requirements of those statutes.


¶ 3 At the time of the events at issue, Marcus S. was 23 years old. He lived in Canton, Illinois, in a house his parents bought for him. He has a history of mental illness and has been treated with various psychotropic medications on and off since he was 18 years old. In mid-October, 2016, Marcus burned his hand while attempting to burn large quantities of trash in his backyard, far away from his house. He put out the fire himself and went to the emergency room where he received treatment for his hand.

¶ 4 One week later, Marcus's father brought him to Unity Point Methodist Hospital in Peoria (Unity Point) for follow-up burn care and possible mental health care. Marcus was admitted to the hospital as a psychiatric patient. Although Marcus tried to sign in on a voluntary basis, Unity Point staff filed a petition for involuntary commitment under the Code on October 25, 2016. The petition did not include the names of any of Marcus's relatives or information as to why they could not be contacted, as required by section 3-601(b)(2) of the Code (id. § 3-601(b)(2)). The State did not amend the petition to add the names of Marcus's relatives, and Marcus's counsel did not object to this defect.

¶ 5 On October 27, 2016, Marcus's treating psychiatrist at Unity Point, Dr. Andrew Lancia, filed a petition for involuntary medication requesting the administration of 27 medications. Dr. Lancia filed a preprinted form listing the statutory criteria for involuntary treatment under the Code and directing the preparer to identify reasons why the statutory criteria had been met. However, Dr. Lancia did not list any facts supporting any of the statutory criteria. Marcus's counsel never moved to dismiss the petition for failing to state a cause of action or otherwise objected to the petition's inadequacy.

¶ 6 The commitment and medication hearings were both held on November 1, 2016. Marcus testified that he had tried to sign himself into Unity Point as a voluntary patient but was not permitted to do so. Marcus's counsel did not ask for a recess to address Marcus's attempt to become a voluntary admittee.

¶ 7 Dr. Lancia testified that Marcus's father reported increasingly dangerous behavior by Marcus, such as placing microwave popcorn in the oven and running a vacuum cleaner in standing water. The State did not call Marcus's father as a witness. Dr. Lancia also testified that Marcus's home was "a shambles," that Marcus had not been cleaning up after his cats, and that Marcus had a prior history of mental illness, including a prior suicide attempt. Dr. Lancia diagnosed Marcus as having bipolar disorder with schizotypal personality disorder.

¶ 8 Dr. Lancia further testified that Marcus had been taking Zyprexa at the hospital voluntarily as prescribed for the a few days. However, Dr. Lancia feared that Marcus might stop taking the Zyprexa when he left the hospital. He therefore opined that Marcus needed an injection of long-acting medication. Dr. Lancia opined that Risperdal's long-acting injection was a more practical alternative than Zyprexa's long-acting injection because Zyprexa required the patient to sit for a long period of time while the injection is administered and would therefore require a willing patient.

¶ 9 Dr. Lancia did not file a predisposition report containing a social history and a detailed treatment plan including treatment goals and an estimated timetable for their attainment, as required by the Code. Rather, he merely filed a cursory, one-page treatment plan that listed problems and goals but no specific treatment methods or timetable. Marcus's counsel did not object to the incomplete treatment plan or to the absence of a predisposition report. Dr. Lancia testified in conclusory fashion that he did not believe that Marcus could be released to a less restrictive facility than Unity Point.

¶ 10 The trial court ordered Marcus subject to involuntary commitment at Unity Point for 90 days. It found Unity Point to be the least restrictive treatment alternative. The court concluded that, because of his mental illness, Marcus was reasonably expected to engage in conduct placing himself or others in danger of physical harm. It further found that Marcus was unable to understand the need for treatment because, although he had been taking Zyprexa, he had refused Risperdal and was therefore likely to deteriorate if not treated as an inpatient.

¶ 11 The involuntary medication hearing took place immediately after the commitment hearing. During the medication hearing, Dr. Lancia testified that Marcus was voluntarily taking Zyprexa and "seem[ed] to show some improvement." However, Dr. Lancia stated that Risperdal or Haldol would be better options because they allow for a long-lasting injectable form to be given once every two to four weeks. Dr. Lancia asked the court to approve 27 medications in all. Although he testified that, to his knowledge, Marcus had not suffered any side effects from any of the 27 medications at issue, he acknowledged that Marcus had "potential allergies" to two of the requested medications, Risperdal and Haldol.

¶ 12 Marcus testified that, when he had taken Risperdal and Haldol in the past, he could not breathe and was not able to move his jaw, arms, or legs. He described these reactions as "horrible" and very painful. Marcus stated that, for that reason, he refused to take Haldol or Risperdal because the Zyprexa was "working just fine" and he did not have any adverse reactions to Zyprexa. He did not want Haldol or Risperdal forced on him. Marcus's mother testified that, when Marcus was hospitalized at another facility several years ago, the hospital staff told her that he had experienced tremors, involuntary twitches, and jaw locking, which was alleviated by another "side effect" medication. However, Marcus testified that "it didn't help, it still hurt."

¶ 13 Thereafter, Dr. Lancia was recalled to testify. Given Marcus's mother's testimony, Dr. Lancia stated that he would "prefer to stay away" from Risperdal and that Risperdal would be "really down the line" of medications he wished to administer to Marcus. He acknowledged that Marcus might also have "minor problems" with Haldol. Dr. Lancia stated that he was now considering different options than he was before, like "sticking with the atypicals," i.e. , second generation drugs with fewer side effects, such as Abilify and Invega, both of which have long-lasting injectables.

¶ 14 Although a 105-page packet of medication handouts was filed in the record, information about one of the 27 requested medications (Abilify Aristrada) was not included in the packet. Moreover, no witness testified that the packet was ever provided to Marcus. Marcus's counsel did not object to the incomplete packet or to the lack of proof that Marcus was provided with the packet.

¶ 15 The trial court found Marcus subject to all 27 of the requested medications for up to 90 days. This appeal followed.

¶ 17 1. The State's Failure to Comply With the Involuntary Admission Statute

¶ 18 Marcus argues that the State failed to satisfy certain mandatory requirements of the involuntary admission statutes in the Code. We agree.

¶ 19 Section 3-601(b)(2) of the Code requires the State to include the names and contact information of the admittee's family members in its petition for involuntary admission, or, if no such names are included, to identify the steps taken to make a diligent inquiry to identify and locate any such family members. Id . In this case, the State did neither. Failure to provide this information rendered the State's petition fatally defective. In re Lance H. , 402 Ill. App. 3d 382, 387-89, 341 Ill.Dec. 837, 931 N.E.2d 734 (2010).

¶ 20 Further, the State failed to file a predisposition report as required by section 3-810 of the Code ( 405 ILCS 5/3-810 (West 2016) ). The predisposition report must include (1) information on the appropriateness and availability of alternative treatment settings; (2) a social investigation of the respondent; and (3) a detailed preliminary treatment plan that addresses the respondent's problems and needs, treatment goals, proposed treatment methods, and a projected timetable for the attainment of the treatment goals. Id. The State filed no predisposition report in this case. Instead, it filed a cursory, one-page care plan that did not include all of the required elements of a preliminary treatment plan under section 3-810, much less all of the required elements of a predisposition report under that section. The one-page care plan listed problems and goals but did not contain any proposed treatment methods or a projected timetable for the proposed treatment. Nor did it include a social investigation of Marcus or a written report on alternative treatment settings. There was no testimony presented on these matters proving this information. Dr. Lancia was asked whether he believed that Marcus could be released into any less restrictive facility than Unity...

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