Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

In re B.A.K.

Supreme Court of North Dakota

June 5, 2018

In the Interest of B.A.K. Dawn Ressler, Petitioner and Appellee
v.
B.A.K., Respondent and Appellant

          Appeal from the District Court of Morton County, South Central Judicial District, the Honorable Thomas J. Schneider, Judge.

          Allen M. Koppy, Morton County State's Attorney, Mandan, ND, for petitioner and appellee.

          Gregory I. Runge, Bismarck, ND, for respondent and appellant.

          OPINION

          JENSEN, JUSTICE.

         [¶ 1] B.A.K. appeals an order for treatment in which the district court found her to be a person who is mentally ill and requiring treatment. We reverse the district court's order finding B.A.K. to be a person requiring treatment under N.D.C.C. § 25-03.1-02.

         I

         [¶ 2] B.A.K. was initially hospitalized after an outburst at her regular physician's office. In March 2018, her daughter petitioned for B.A.K.'s involuntary commitment. B.A.K.'s husband also attempted to commit B.A.K. earlier in March 2018 while they were in Arizona for the winter. After a preliminary hearing, the district court found B.A.K. to be a mentally ill person and a person requiring treatment. The district court ordered B.A.K. to undergo treatment for a period not to exceed 14 days. The district court held a treatment hearing on April 5, 2018, and it concluded B.A.K. was a mentally ill person and a person requiring treatment.

         [¶ 3] At the treatment hearing, the district court heard testimony about B.A.K.'s mental health deterioration and her refusal to take medication. In October 2017, B.A.K. started taking anxiety and depression medication. She then experienced joint pain, and she was prescribed a steroid. B.A.K. was also taking a prescribed statin for high blood pressure. B.A.K. decided to take herself off the anxiety and depression medications, and she eventually stopped taking all medications. B.A.K. believed she was being monitored, among other delusions.

         [¶ 4] Dr. Cheryl Huber, B.A.K.'s attending psychiatrist since her commitment, testified about B.A.K.'s manic state and tangential thoughts when she was first admitted. Dr. Huber completed an evaluation on April 4, 2018, which indicated B.A.K. was having a manic episode triggered by treatment with antidepressant and corticosteroid medications. Dr. Huber diagnosed B.A.K. with a mood disorder, not otherwise specified, and psychosis. Dr. Huber noted B.A.K.'s mood rapidly fluctuated and she had some delusional thoughts. Dr. Huber testified B.A.K. refused to take prescription medications during her hospitalization. Dr. Huber also testified B.A.K. is a mentally ill person requiring treatment under the Mental Health Act. B.A.K.'s lack of mental health issues in the past did not affect Dr. Huber's diagnosis or recommendation that B.A.K. was a person requiring treatment. Dr. Huber did not find there was an alternative to hospitalization because B.A.K. did not believe she had a problem requiring treatment and B.A.K. was not following the treatment needed to stabilize her mood. Dr. Huber believed this was a difficult situation because B.A.K. clearly needed treatment, but B.A.K. demonstrated self-control and had not required emergency medication, seclusion, or restraint while hospitalized.

         [¶ 5] The district court found B.A.K. to be a mentally ill person, diagnosed with a mood disorder, not otherwise specified, including paranoia and a manic episode. The district court determined there was a substantial likelihood of a substantial deterioration in B.A.K.'s mental health which would predictably result in dangerousness to B.A.K., others, or property. The district court noted the evidence of danger to B.A.K., others, or property was that, "[h]er ability to make decisions is impaired by her unstable mood and thought process." The district court ordered B.A.K. hospitalized for a 90-day period ending July 3, 2018. B.A.K. appeals.

         II

         [¶ 6] On appeal, B.A.K. argues the district court's order was not supported by clear and convincing evidence to show she was a mentally ill person and a person requiring treatment. This Court's review of an appeal from a mental health hearing is well established:

Our review of an appeal under N.D.C.C. ch. 25-03.1 is "limited to a review of the procedures, findings, and conclusions of the trial court." Interest of D.A., 2005 ND 116, ¶ 11, 698 N.W.2d 474. We review the findings of the district court under the more probing clearly erroneous standard of review. Id. A finding of fact is clearly erroneous if "it is induced by an erroneous view of the law, if there is no evidence to support it, or if, although there is some evidence to support it, on the entire evidence this Court is left with a definite and firm conviction 'it is not supported by clear and convincing ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.