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In re E.S.

Supreme Court of North Dakota

January 15, 2019

In the Interest of E.S.
v.
E.S., Respondent and Appellant Katrina DeDona, PsyD, Petitioner and Appellee

          Appeal from the District Court of Stutsman County, Southeast Judicial District, the Honorable Mark T. Blumer, Judge.

          Dana M. Sims, Assistant State's Attorney, Jamestown, ND, for petitioner and appellee.

          Andrew Marquart, Fargo, ND, for respondent and appellant; submitted on brief.

          OPINION

          McEvers, Justice.

         [¶ 1] E.S. appeals from an order requiring involuntary treatment in which the district court found him to be mentally ill and a person requiring treatment. We affirm.

         I

         [¶ 2] In October 2018, Dr. Katrina DeDona submitted an application for emergency admission for E.S. to be admitted to the North Dakota State Hospital after being paroled from James River Correctional Center for a charge of terrorizing. The application alleged E.S. was often agitated, preoccupied with a belief that there was a conspiracy against him, and, as a result, unable to participate in his own treatment and discharge planning. A petition for involuntary commitment was filed, claiming E.S. was mentally ill and there was a reasonable expectation of serious risk of harm if he was not treated. E.S. requested and was appointed an independent examiner, Dr. Naveed Haider.

         [¶ 3] At the treatment hearing, the district court heard testimony from four witnesses regarding E.S.'s mental state and corresponding treatment efforts. Three witnesses, qualified as experts, were called by the petitioner: Dr. Naveed Haider, Dr. William Pryatel, and Dr. Katrina DeDona. E.S. testified on his own behalf.

         [¶ 4] Dr. Haider testified that after examining E.S., he assigned him a psychiatric diagnosis of delusional disorder, incorporating his findings in a psychiatric evaluation entered into the record. Dr. Haider testified he believed E.S. was in need of treatment and was a danger to himself, others, or property.

         [¶ 5] After examining and observing E.S. several times, Dr. Pryatel diagnosed E.S. with delusional disorder, persecutory type. Dr. Pryatel also testified that a less restrictive setting, like Centre, Inc., would be suitable for E.S.

         [¶ 6] Dr. DeDona testified that early in his admission, E.S. was agitated, irritable, and verbally aggressive and since taking his medications, those behaviors have decreased. She testified that, if released into the community without the support of a structured setting and medication, she expected to see an increase in his agitation and verbal aggression and others would view him as threatening due to his tendency to focus on delusional beliefs. She was concerned he would deteriorate and pose a risk to himself or others.

         [¶ 7] E.S. testified it was impossible for the expert witnesses to prove he has a delusional disorder. He claimed he was not a danger to himself or others. He argued on the merits of three underlying cases, expressing a desire to call witnesses and maintaining his innocence in all three cases.

         [¶ 8] At the conclusion of the treatment hearing, the district court issued its order on the record, finding clear and convincing evidence establishing E.S. was mentally ill and a person requiring treatment. The court ordered E.S. be ...


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