State v. C. J. (In re C. J.), A176929

CourtCourt of Appeals of Oregon
Writing for the CourtPAGAN, J.
Citation322 Or.App. 760
PartiesIn the Matter of C. J., a Person Alleged to have Mental Illness. v. C. J., Appellant. STATE OF OREGON, Respondent,
Docket NumberA176929
Decision Date23 November 2022

322 Or.App. 760

In the Matter of C. J., a Person Alleged to have Mental Illness.

STATE OF OREGON, Respondent,
v.

C. J., Appellant.

A176929

Court of Appeals of Oregon

November 23, 2022


Submitted June 1, 2022.

Clackamas County Circuit Court 21CC05044; Thomas J. Rastetter, Judge.

Joseph R. DeBin and Multnomah Defenders, Inc., fled the brief for appellant.

Ellen F. Rosenblum, Attorney General, Benjamin Gutman, Solicitor General, and Rebecca M. Auten, Assistant Attorney General, fled the brief for respondent.

Before Shorr, Presiding Judge, and Mooney, Judge, and Pagán, Judge.

Affirmed.

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[322 Or.App. 761] PAGAN, J.

Appellant seeks reversal of an order involuntarily committing her to the Oregon Health Authority for a period of not more than 180 days, arguing that the evidence was not legally sufficient to establish that she had a mental disorder that caused her to be a danger to herself or to others. ORS 426.130(1)(a)(C); ORS 426.005(1)(f)(A). We conclude that there was legally sufficient evidence to support the trial court's conclusion that appellant was a danger to others within the meaning of ORS 426.005(1)(f)(A); we therefore need not reach the question of whether the evidence was also sufficient to support the court's determination that she was a danger to herself. We affirm.

In an appeal from an involuntary commitment order, we view the evidence and draw permissible inferences in favor of the trial court's disposition, and determine whether the record was legally sufficient to permit the outcome.[1] State v. S. E., 313 Or.App. 678, 679, 496 P.3d 1140 (2021). We state the facts in accordance with that standard.

Appellant had been diagnosed with major depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and had been involved with "intensive outpatient" mental health care. During an interview shortly before the commitment hearing, the county mental health investigator observed symptoms including "rapid and pressured speech, increased goal-directed activity, increased energy, decreased need for sleep, some paranoia, [and] potentially some delusional thought content that remains to be verified." The symptoms started between four and six months before the hearing and "have kind of continually progressed since then."

In the days before the commitment hearing, appellant drove to what she believed was the home of a prominent conservative internet journalist. Appellant located the home during some internet research and drove to the home with a wood-splitting maul and pepper spray. Appellant knocked on the door of the home and when no one answered the door,

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[322 Or.App. 762] she left. During interviews with the county mental health investigator, appellant minimized the danger of confronting the journalist-an individual she believes to incite violence in the Portland area-despite her slight stature and wrist injury. Although appellant characterized going to the journalist's home as "more of a fantasy," one of the psychiatrists who interviewed appellant noted that "when a fantasy has been stretched to the point where you're physically showing up at someone's door is incredibly concerning."

In addition to the incident with the maul and pepper spray, there have been "several mentions of suicidal ideation, including a prior hospitalization [a few months prior] for suicidal ideation." In the time before the hearing, appellant expressed "significant hopelessness" and feelings "typically associated with suicidal ideation or at least a desire to be dead, which is seen as a precursor." Entries in appellant's medical record, recounted through the investigator and a psychiatrist, referenced "going out in a blaze of glory" and that appellant had said "Listen, if I'm going to kill myself, I'm going to take a bad person out with me." One psychiatrist noted, "[i]t would be different if this was all hypothetical and she wasn't actually gathering items, gathering an axe, gathering Mace, and physically showing up on somebody's door. That's next level stuff." That psychiatrist also thought that "...

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1 practice notes
  • State v. S. P. M. (In re S. P. M.), A177592
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Oregon
    • November 23, 2022
    ...making future harmful acts highly likely." State v. K. L., 220 Or.App. 647, 653, 188 P.3d 395 (2008); see also State v. C. J., 322 Or.App. 760, __ P.3d __ (2022). With regard to our standard of review, "[u]nless we exercise our discretion to review an order of civil commitment de ......
1 cases
  • State v. S. P. M. (In re S. P. M.), A177592
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Oregon
    • November 23, 2022
    ...making future harmful acts highly likely." State v. K. L., 220 Or.App. 647, 653, 188 P.3d 395 (2008); see also State v. C. J., 322 Or.App. 760, __ P.3d __ (2022). With regard to our standard of review, "[u]nless we exercise our discretion to review an order of civil commitment de ......

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