People v. Miroslava P. (In re Miroslava P.)

Decision Date30 March 2016
Docket NumberNo. 2–14–1022 , No. 2–14–1023.,2–14–1022
Citation402 Ill.Dec. 549,52 N.E.3d 470
Parties In re MIROSLAVA P., Alleged to be a Person Subject to Involuntary Administration of Psychotropic Medication (The People of the State of Illinois, Petitioner–Appellant v. Miroslava P., Respondent–Appellee). In re Miroslava P., Alleged to be a person Subject to Involuntary Admission (The People of the State of Illinois, Petitioner–Appellant v. Miroslava P., Respondent–Appellee).
CourtUnited States Appellate Court of Illinois

Joseph H. McMahon, State's Attorney, St. Charles (Lawrence M. Bauer and Diane L. Campbell, State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor's Office, of counsel), for the People.

Veronique Baker, Guardianship & Advocacy Commission, Chicago, Teresa L. Berge, Guardianship & Advocacy Commission, Rockford, for appellee.



delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion.

¶ 1 The State petitioned for both the involuntary admission of and the involuntary administration of psychotropic medication to respondent, Miroslava P., a Bulgarian citizen. At three early status hearings, respondent requested that the Bulgarian consulate be notified of the admission proceedings. The State did not ensure notification. One month after the petitions had been filed, respondent moved to strike the petitions on the basis that the consulate had not been notified. Respondent cited the Vienna Convention's requirement that foreign consulates be notified when their citizens are detained. Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and Optional Protocol on Disputes, art. 36(1)(b), Apr. 24, 1963, 21 U.S.T. 77

, 596 U.N.T.S. 261 ([I]f [a foreign national] so requests, the competent authorities of the receiving State shall, without delay, inform the consular post of the sending State if, within its consular district, a national of that State is arrested or committed to prison or to custody pending trial or is detained in any other manner. (Emphasis added.)). Respondent also argued that the Illinois Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code (Code) required the notification, but she referenced, without precise citation, only the Code's requirement that a respondent's guardian be notified. 405 ILCS 5/1–100 et seq. (West 2014). She did not point to section 3–609, the more relevant portion of the Code, which required that two persons designated by respondent receive copies of the admission petition and accompanying documentation. 405 ILCS 5/3–609 (West 2014). The court, under a second judge, denied the motions to strike. It stated that, whatever the Vienna Convention's requirements, a violation of its terms did not provide a basis to strike the petitions. Additionally, it did not believe that the Code applied to the situation at hand, because the Code did not specifically address foreign sovereigns. Subsequently, the court, under a third judge, heard the State's petitions and granted them. Respondent moved to reconsider, arguing that the petitions never should have proceeded on the merits, because the consulate had not been notified. This time, respondent cited section 3–609 of the Code as a primary authority for her contention that two persons of respondent's choosing, specifically the consulate, should have received copies of the admission petition and accompanying documentation. The State argued that respondent's late citation to the proper authority precluded the trial court from reconsidering the notice issue. The court stated that it would reconsider the issue, given that a mistake of law had been made. The court granted the motion to reconsider, finding that noncompliance with the requirements of section 3–609 warranted a reversal of both the admission order and the medication order. The State appeals, and, for the reasons that follow, we affirm.


¶ 3 Respondent is a 40–year–old Bulgarian citizen. Her primary language is Bulgarian, although she can speak English. She was educated at the University of Poldiv and earned a science degree. She met her husband at the university, and, in the early 2000's, they came to the United States. In 2006, in Chicago, respondent gave birth to a daughter. In 2009, respondent moved back to Bulgaria with her daughter. (It is unclear whether she and her husband formally divorced.) Respondent then suffered from a mental-health episode and was hospitalized in Bulgaria. Current healthcare providers did not obtain respondent's Bulgarian health records, but, according to respondent's mother, respondent responded positively to treatment. In late 2012, respondent flew back to the United States to try to reconcile with her husband. She left her daughter in the care of family.

¶ 4 Respondent's husband was not amenable to reconciliation, and he obtained an order of protection against her. In 2013, respondent violated the order of protection, and her husband sought to press charges. The State prosecuted respondent for the misdemeanor of violating the order of protection. The trial court found respondent unfit to stand trial. In July 2013, the court ordered respondent to the Elgin Mental Health Center. Doctors diagnosed respondent with psychotic disorder

, not otherwise specified. On June 23, 2014, the State filed a petition for the involuntary administration of psychotropic medication. Soon after, in July 2014, the one-year period for finding respondent fit to stand trial expired. Respondent was never found fit for trial. The State dismissed the criminal charge.

¶ 5 On July 14, 2014, upon the dismissal of the criminal charge, the State filed the instant petition for involuntary admission. The medication petition remained pending. The admission petition named only respondent's mother in the space for “spouse, parent, guardian, or substitute decision maker[s].” Respondent's mother first spoke with healthcare providers on July 8, 2014, after flying in from Bulgaria. (Previously, according to medical records, respondent did not want to involve her family in treatment.)

¶ 6 In an “alternatives to treatment” document filed July 18, 2014, healthcare providers reported that both respondent and her mother had “expressed a desire and intent for [respondent] to be released to her mother's care [to] travel home to Bulgaria together.” However, respondent's mother wanted respondent to receive treatment prior to leaving. Respondent was not consistent in her wishes, and she alternatively stated that she “hates” her mother and would prefer to stay with friends in the United States. The healthcare providers advised that respondent's psychiatric condition be stabilized prior to international travel.

¶ 7 On July 30, 2014, respondent, through her attorney, filed written motions to strike the admission and medication petitions. She asserted that the State had not complied with its obligation to notify the Bulgarian consulate, and she argued that the appropriate relief was to strike the petitions. In the motions, which were essentially identical in content, counsel recounted earlier requests for notification. On July 2, 2014, counsel met with respondent. However, in counsel's view, respondent's poor English skills prevented meaningful communication. On July 3, 2014, at a hearing (the transcripts from which are not in the record), counsel argued that the State had an obligation under the Vienna Convention to notify the Bulgarian consulate. On July 7, 2014, at a hearing (the transcripts from which are not in the record), counsel again argued that the State had an obligation to notify the Bulgarian consulate. The State responded that respondent's counsel should bear the responsibility of notifying the Bulgarian consulate. On July 9, 2014, counsel met with respondent in the presence of a Bulgarian interpreter. At that time, respondent expressed a desire to contact the Bulgarian consulate. On July 18, 2014, at a hearing (the transcripts from which are not in the record), counsel again requested that the Bulgarian consulate be notified. On July 21, 2014, counsel forwarded to the State a link to the United States Department of State Consular Notification and Access instruction manual, which included sample notification letters and contact information for the Bulgarian consulate.

¶ 8 On July 25, 2014, counsel again informed the court that respondent wanted the Bulgarian consulate to be notified of the commitment proceedings. She stated that the Vienna Convention required that the Bulgarian consulate be notified when one of its citizens was involuntarily detained, whether in a criminal proceeding or a mental-health proceeding. The State acknowledged that it had the consulate's contact information, but it responded that it did not believe that the Vienna Convention applied or that it was obligated to notify the consulate. The court asked respondent to draw up her request in a written motion, and, as a result, counsel filed the above-mentioned motions to strike the petitions.

¶ 9 On August 1, 2015, the trial court, under a second judge, conducted a hearing on the motions to strike the petitions. At the hearing, Tom Usiak, a social worker for the health center, testified that, on July 29, 2014, he notified the Bulgarian consulate of the pending petitions. He faxed the consulate a one-page, five-sentence letter that cited the mental-health statute under which respondent was being detained and listed a date for the upcoming hearing. He obtained telephonic confirmation that the fax had been received by consul Simeon Stoilov.

¶ 10 On cross-examination, Usiak stated that “someone” directed him to notify the consulate. Counsel asked who had directed him to notify the consulate. The State objected, citing hearsay, and the trial court sustained the objection. Counsel asked whether the notification was within the standard practice of the health center. The State objected, arguing that any topic that did not address respondent's notice in particular was outside the scope. The court sustained the objection. Usiak confirmed that the one-page...

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  • People v. Emery
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • January 9, 2017
    ...or [5] makes a decision based on an inadequate record [citation]." (Emphasis omitted.) In re Miroslava P., 2016 IL App (2d) 141022, ¶ 35, 52 N.E.3d 470.¶ 31 2. This Case¶ 32 In this case, the trial court did not abuse its discretion by denying defendant's motion to withdraw his guilty plea.......

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