State v. A. C. (In re A. C.), A168312

CourtCourt of Appeals of Oregon
Writing for the CourtARMSTRONG, P. J.
Citation307 Or.App. 203,475 P.3d 919
Decision Date14 October 2020
Docket NumberA168312
Parties In the MATTER OF A. C., a Person Alleged to have Mental Illness. State of Oregon, Respondent, v. A. C., Appellant.

307 Or.App. 203
475 P.3d 919

In the MATTER OF A. C., a Person Alleged to have Mental Illness.

State of Oregon, Respondent,
A. C., Appellant.


Court of Appeals of Oregon.

Submitted May 3, 2019.
October 14, 2020

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

Ellen F. Rosenblum, Attorney General, Benjamin Gutman, Solicitor General, and Keith L. Kutler, Assistant Attorney General, filed the brief for respondent.

Before Armstrong, Presiding Judge, and Tookey, Judge, and Shorr, Judge.


307 Or.App. 204

Appellant appeals a judgment committing him to the Mental Health Division for a period not to exceed 180 days, based on a finding that appellant suffers from a mental disorder and is a danger to himself and others. ORS 426.130 ; ORS 426.005(1)(f)(A). We conclude that the evidence does not support the trial court's finding that appellant is a danger to himself or others. We therefore reverse.

In this case, because we do not exercise our discretion to review the record de novo , we view the evidence and permissible derivative inferences in the light most favorable to the trial court's disposition and assess whether the record was legally sufficient to permit the trial court's determination. State v. T. Y ., 285 Or. App. 21, 22, 396 P.3d 986 (2017). We are bound by the trial court's findings of historical fact that are supported by any evidence in the record. State v. M. J. M ., 301 Or. App. 638, 639, 456 P.3d 363 (2020).

Appellant is 30 years old and has a history of autism spectrum disorder. He has lived with his father since he was an infant. Appellant's father testified at the hearing that the episode giving rise to the commitment arose on July 10, 2018, when appellant experienced disappointment and stress when a family trip had to be cancelled, leading him to react by pacing and ranting with speech that was loud and angry. The father testified that, although the pacing and ranting were common behaviors for appellant, he had never seen appellant so agitated. Appellant did not become violent to his father but picked up a potato from a dumpster and threw it at a tree. The father testified that he became concerned that appellant was disturbing the neighbors in their apartment complex and that he would unintentionally hurt himself. He called "CAHOOTS," a mental health crisis intervention program. A CAHOOTS van came and took appellant to the hospital emergency department. Appellant's father testified that appellant is not dangerous to him and that he

475 P.3d 921

would be comfortable taking him home. He testified that he had already scheduled a meeting with outpatient services and that he is willing to do whatever is necessary for appellant.

307 Or.App. 205

Dr. Strek, the hospital's staff psychiatrist, did not treat appellant but saw him once, on July 22, the day before the hearing, and reviewed records from the hospital's emergency department. He testified that appellant's diagnosis at admission was "atypical psychosis." He testified from the records that, when appellant arrived at the hospital emergency department, he was agitated and experiencing psychotic symptoms and asking for a "lethal injection." Appellant declined to take oral medications, and hospital staff administered injections of an anti-psychotic drug to calm appellant so that he did not harm himself or hospital staff. Strek testified that, over a period of...

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