State v. R.E. (In re R.E.), C090057MC

CourtCourt of Appeals of Oregon
Writing for the CourtBREWER
Citation273 P.3d 341,248 Or.App. 481
PartiesIn the Matter of R.E., Alleged to be a Mentally Ill Person.STATE of Oregon, Respondent, v. R.E., Appellant.
Docket NumberA143452.,C090057MC
Decision Date07 March 2012

248 Or.App. 481
273 P.3d 341

In the Matter of R.E., Alleged to be a Mentally Ill Person.STATE of Oregon, Respondent,
R.E., Appellant.



Court of Appeals of Oregon.

Argued and Submitted April 11, 2011.Decided March 7, 2012.

[273 P.3d 342]

Susan D. Isaacs, Beaverton, argued the cause and filed the brief for appellant.

Douglas F. Zier, Assistant Attorney General, argued the cause for respondent. On the brief were John R. Kroger, Attorney General, Mary H. Williams, Solicitor General.

Before ORTEGA, Presiding Judge, and BREWER, Chief Judge, and SERCOMBE, Judge.*BREWER, C.J.

[248 Or.App. 483] Appellant appeals from a judgment of involuntary civil commitment, arguing that the state failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that he was, because of a mental disorder, a danger to himself and that he was unwilling to voluntarily participate in treatment. ORS 426.130. Whether the state presented sufficient evidence to support a civil commitment is a question of law. State v. B. B., 240 Or.App. 75, 77, 245 P.3d 697 (2010).1 We are bound by the trial court's findings of historical fact that are supported by any evidence in the record; we further review the court's dispositional conclusions, predicated on those findings, for errors of law. State v. D.R., 239 Or.App. 576, 578, 244 P.3d 916 (2010).

At the time of the hearing, appellant was 38 years old and had recently left his job of 10 years as a medical technician. Appellant's supervisor testified that appellant had worked at a Providence hospital and that she had known him for two years. The supervisor testified that appellant had quit and told her that he wanted to move to Florida and start a new life; appellant also told her that his relationship with his significant other, M.L., “had changed,” though he did not disclose any details. The supervisor testified that, in the months before appellant quit his job, his performance had deteriorated, and she had become suspicious that appellant was “either on drugs, alcohol, or [had] some sort of a gambling issue [that was] going on, because [his] behavior [was] increasingly erratic.”

On the morning of August 27, the supervisor called appellant because she suspected that he had been forging prescriptions for narcotic pain medication. She told appellant that she knew of two prescriptions, including one for 90 Percocet pills, that appellant had passed at a local pharmacy. The supervisor ultimately told appellant that she suspected that he had used seven forged prescriptions for various [248 Or.App. 484] amounts of narcotic pain medication. Appellant asked the supervisor not to call the police, and when she told him that she had no choice but to involve them, appellant said: “Then my life is over. My life is

[273 P.3d 343]

over today” and “My life is over. I'm not going to be alive by the end of the day.” The supervisor testified that she “felt that [appellant] was going to commit suicide.” She called the police and alerted them to her concern.

Officer Phillips went to appellant's home that morning in response to the supervisor's call. He found appellant outside the home, next to his car. He told appellant that he was there because “we are concerned with his safety, that there was a call regarding that he might hurt himself.” The officer testified that appellant told him “that he was very scared regarding a—very scared about what might happen to him regarding a Portland Police case” and that he had told appellant that “we are not there for that, we were only there concerned with his safety at this point.” The officer testified that appellant then told him, “I think I want to hurt myself.” Appellant consented to a search of his person, and Phillips found a vial of Propofol,2 two syringes, and a small bottle of pills. Phillips testified that “[appellant] told me he was thinking about using them to harm himself.” According to Phillips, “[appellant] repeatedly told me he was scared of what might happen to him, and he repeatedly told me that he was afraid of what he might do to himself.” Phillips then transported appellant to the hospital. Before they left appellant's home, appellant and M.L. had asked Phillips if they could get a document notarized; that document, which appellant had written, signed over the title of his car and his bank and retirement accounts to M.L. The officer told appellant that it was [248 Or.App. 485] not possible to do so, and he transported appellant to the hospital.

A civil commitment investigator, Rogers, testified that he met with appellant “four or five times” while appellant was in the hospital. Rogers diagnosed appellant with an “adjustment disorder with mixed anxiety and depressed mood.” Rogers explained that, according to the DSM–IV: 3

“An adjustment disorder is a maladaptive response to an identified event, stressor, or series of events or stressors that occur within three months of that particular stressor. It's something that causes severe problems in terms of his general functioning, in terms of his occupational functioning, social functioning, and his executive decisions[.]”Rogers testified that he met with appellant on August 28; appellant told him that “he had made a bad decision, that it was pretty much the result of having just one very bad day. He stated he did not feel suicidal, that he hadn't really said that he was suicidal, and that he wanted to be released from the hospital.” Rogers testified that appellant had refused to sign releases for his medical records and so that Rogers could contact “collateral witnesses.” In Rogers' view, appellant's refusals demonstrated that he was unwilling to comply with treatment. Rogers testified that, when he met with appellant on August 28, “he was—appeared extremely anxious. He was sweating. He—his speech was somewhat pressured. He looked terribly, terribly anxious at that point in time, and did not look, in my opinion, in control of himself.”

Rogers also met with appellant on August 31; appellant again denied having been suicidal and said that “it was all a misunderstanding, said he never—never meant to harm himself, and once again, described this as like one really bad day.” According to Rogers, appellant “seemed overly bright. I mean, in terms of his affect, in terms of his general presentation, as if, you know, he—everything was—was fine, while still appearing extremely anxious, and—and not really in control of himself.”

[273 P.3d 344]

[248 Or.App. 486] Rogers eventually was able to interview appellant's supervisor and Phillips, and he determined that appellant's version of events was inconsistent with their versions. Ultimately, Rogers concluded that appellant was a danger to himself at the time of the hearing, explaining:

“He's been resourceful enough to, as I understand it, acquire a large quantity of medication. He was resourceful enough to have this bottle of Propofol, and prescriptions. And he did tell me that he was getting ready to leave the house, to take the Propofol and the syringes to the hospital to dispose of them, so he—he was getting ready to leave. So he had deadly means on him. He's getting ready to leave the scene. He stated the only reason he wasn't able to leave the scene was because the police got there too fast. He's extremely resourceful.

“And, as far as I know, those—that stockpile of medications that he was able to get are unaccounted for. So I—I feel those are still there, I feel he still has access to that. I don't feel that anything has changed in terms of his situation, and I feel he's at grave risk to leave and imminently kill himself.”

M.L. testified that the end of her intimate relationship with appellant had been amicable, that they remained friends, and that appellant would continue to live with her until he could move to Florida to be closer to his parents. M.L. denied ever having heard appellant threaten to take his own life, and she opined that he was not a danger to himself. She also denied knowing that appellant was addicted to narcotic pain medication, but stated that she knew he took such medication for injuries that he had suffered in the past. M.L. testified that appellant had signed his car and bank accounts over to her because he was concerned that he would be arrested, and he wanted her to have money to hire a lawyer and bail him out of jail.

Appellant also testified. He denied having told the supervisor that his “life was over,” and he also denied telling the Phillips that he was worried that he would harm himself. Appellant stated that he did not presently want to harm himself and denied ever having wanted to harm himself. Appellant testified that, after their break up, he and M.L. remained best friends. Appellant also stated that he had quit [248 Or.App. 487] his job because he intended to move to Florida to be closer to his parents and that he and M.L. were planning a road trip across the country for that purpose. Appellant denied having possessed Propofol in order to commit suicide; he told the court that he had inadvertently taken it home and that he had it in his pocket when he was searched because he intended to take the vial and needles to the hospital for disposal in a “sharps container.” Appellant explained that he had signed over his car and bank accounts to M.L. because he feared that he would be arrested and wanted M.L. to have enough money to hire an attorney and bail him out of jail. Appellant also testified that, although the accounts had no money in them at that time, he was expecting a disbursement of retirement funds within a few weeks.

Appellant explained that he had initially refused to sign releases for his medical information because he was worried about his privacy. Appellant stated that “I just wanted my former co-workers to not be able to view what I was going through, especially the ones that I didn't know[.]” Appellant told the court that, while he was at the hospital, he had sought placement in an outpatient treatment program outside the...

To continue reading

Request your trial
11 cases
  • State v. S. R. J. (In re S. R. J.), A156553
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Oregon
    • 19 d3 Outubro d3 2016
    ...stopping the insulin would cause "the near future onset of serious medical consequences from untreated diabetes." In State v. R. E. , 248 Or.App. 481, 484, 273 P.3d 341 (2012), we upheld the civil commitment based on evidence that the appellant was suicidal because he faced prosecution for ......
  • State v. Delatorre-Vargas, CR070343
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Oregon
    • 7 d3 Março d3 2012
    ...a mustache”); Lee, 56 Or.App. at 152, 641 P.2d 589 (photo throwdown was suggestive where the “defendant's was the only picture of a [273 P.3d 341] white man with short, dark curly hair”); cf. State v. Mackey, 86 Or.App. 691, 695, 740 P.2d 231, rev. den., 304 Or. 279, 744 P.2d 1003 (1987) (p......
  • State v. M. J. F. (In re M. J. F.), A171146
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Oregon
    • 16 d3 Setembro d3 2020
    ...are supported by any evidence in the record[.]" State v. M. J. M ., 301 Or. App. 638, 639, 456 P.3d 363 (2020) (quoting State v. R. E ., 248 Or. App. 481, 483, 273 P.3d 341 (2012) ). We state the facts in light of that standard of review.On April 9, 2019, appellant called emergency services......
  • State v. S.F. (In re S.F.), A164636
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Oregon
    • 11 d3 Abril d3 2018
    ...we review whether the state presented sufficient evidence to support an involuntary civil commitment for legal error. State v. R.E. , 248 Or.App. 481, 483, 273 P.3d 341 (2012). In reviewing the trial court’s judgment, "we view the evidence, as supplemented and buttressed by permissible deri......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT