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State ex rel. M.P.

Court of Appeals of Texas, Fifth District, Dallas

December 16, 2013

The STATE of Texas for the Best Interest and Protection of M.P.

Page 851

Randa Holloway Black, Dallas County Public Defenders Office, Lynn Richardson, Dallas, for Appellant.

Melanie D. Barton, Dallas County DA's Office, Appellate Division, Craig Watkins, Dallas, for Appellee.

Before BRIDGES, FILLMORE, and LEWIS Justices.

OPINION

LEWIS Justice.

M.P. appeals from an order of commitment for temporary inpatient mental health services. In nine issues, M.P. asserts generally that the evidence is legally and factually insufficient to support findings that she was likely to cause serious harm to herself or others; her ability to function was deteriorating because of mental distress; and she was unable to make a rational decision as to whether to submit to treatment. We overrule M.P.'s issues and affirm the trial court's judgment of involuntary commitment.

BACKGROUND

On July 3, 2013, M.P. was detained on a peace officer application for emergency detention.

Page 852

According to the application, M.P. was picked up at the Greyhound Bus Station in Dallas, Texas. She was wandering around, suffering from amnesia, and did not know her name, her date of birth, or why she was at the bus station. She was agitated and yelling. The application indicated she was being approached by several males attempting to take advantage of her. M.P. was initially transported to Green Oaks Hospital, where she was examined by Dr. Paul Schneider. In Dr. Schneider's certificate of medical examination, he diagnosed M.P. with a psychotic disorder, not otherwise specified (NOS). He stated she had pressured speech and flight of ideas. He also noted she was sunburned and possibly dehydrated. In addition, he noted she had poor insight and judgment. It was Dr. Schneider's opinion that she was at risk of harm to herself and deteriorating in her ability to function independently. On July 4, 2013, the State filed an application for court-ordered temporary mental health services, attaching Dr. Schneider's certificate of medical examination. At a hearing on July 5, 2013, the trial court ordered M.P. detained in protective custody, pending a probable cause hearing. M.P. was transferred to Terrell State Hospital on July 8, 2013.

On July 22, 2013, Dr. Margaret Weidow, Staff Psychiatrist at Terrell State Hospital, examined M.P. and completed a physician's certificate of medical examination for mental illness. Dr. Weidow also diagnosed M.P. with a psychotic disorder, NOS. Dr. Weidow reported M.P. was agitated and disorganized, with bizarre behavior, poor judgment, and poor insight. She noted that M.P. claimed to have had multiple babies cut out of her, and had her footprints removed. She also stated M.P. was responding to internal stimuli, becoming increasingly agitated, and screaming and crying at the top of her lungs that she was dying. Following her examination of M.P., Dr. Weidow filed an application for an order to administer psychoactive medication.

On July 23, 2013, a hearing took place. At the time of the hearing, certificates of medical examination for mental illness from Dr. Schneider and Dr. Weidow were on file with the court. The State recommended M.P. be committed to Terrell State Hospital. Dr. Weidow testified on behalf of the State; M.P. testified on her own behalf. Dr. Weidow testified that M.P. was a harm to herself because of her extreme disorganization. She rated M.P.'s ability to function independently as poor, although she acknowledged that M.P. was eating and sleeping. M.P. testified that her father lived in Wichita, Kansas, and she wanted to go to Wichita to stay with him. M.P. explained she was screaming because the hospital staff was trying to give her medication so they could have sex with her. M.P. testified she did not need psychoactive medication. M.P. also testified she needed the voices in her head to help her with her creative writing.

At the conclusion of the hearing, the court found that M.P. was likely to cause serious harm to herself, that her ability to function was deteriorating because of mental distress, and that she was unable to make a rational decision whether to submit to treatment. The court signed a judgment, finding that court-ordered temporary mental health services for M.P. would be accomplished on an ...


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