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In re L.B.

Supreme Court of North Dakota

January 15, 2015

In the Interest of L.B. Gabriela Balf-Soran, M.D., Petitioner and Appellee
v.
L.B., Respondent and Appellant

Appeal from the District Court of Burleigh County, South Central Judicial District, the Honorable Bruce A. Romanick, Judge.

Alexander J. Stock, Assistant State's Attorney, Courthouse, Bismarck, ND, for petitioner and appellee; submitted on brief.

Gregory I. Runge, Bismarck, ND, for respondent and appellant; submitted on brief.

Carol Ronning Kapsner, Lisa Fair McEvers, Daniel J. Crothers, Dale V. Sandstrom, Gerald W. VandeWalle, C.J. Opinion of the Court by Kapsner, Justice.

OPINION

Page 323

Kapsner, Justice.

[¶1] L.B. appeals from a district court order requiring her to undergo treatment for chemical dependency. We affirm.

I

[¶2] On November 10, 2014, Dr. Gabriela Balf-Soran filed an involuntary commitment petition claiming L.B. was mentally ill and chemically dependent. On November 13, 2014, Carmen Johnson and Dr. Lacey Armstrong filed a Report of Examination and a Report Assessing the Availability and Appropriateness of Alternate Treatment (" Report of Alternate Treatment" ) stating L.B. did not meet the mental illness commitment criteria, but she did meet " criteria for the chemical dependency commitment."

[¶3] At the treatment hearing, Johnson's refusal to appear without a subpoena and an order requiring her to testify was discussed. Dr. Balf-Soran was the only witness who testified, and the district court stated it would consider her testimony

Page 324

" [a]s the only evidence before the Court." The court issued an order finding L.B. was chemically dependent, and there was a substantial likelihood of substantial deterioration in her physical health if she did not undergo treatment and ordered her to undergo outpatient treatment with a residential component for a period not to exceed 90 days.

II

[¶4] L.B. argues the case should be dismissed because the expert examiner failed to testify, there was no clear and convincing evidence to support the district court's findings, and the district court erred by not ...


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