Court of Appeals of Texas, Fifth District, Dallas
IN THE BEST INTEREST AND PROTECTION OF B.J., Relator
Appeal from the Probate Court No. 3 Dallas County, Texas
Trial Court Cause Nos. MI-18-03203 & MED-18-80461
Chief Justice Burns and Justices Molberg and Nowell.
D. BURNS, III CHIEF JUSTICE.
appeals from a judgment committing her to temporary inpatient
mental health services and an order permitting her
psychiatrist to administer psychoactive medication during the
term of her commitment. In her appeal of the commitment
judgment, appellant contends the trial court's findings
that she was likely to cause serious harm to herself or
others are not supported by legally and factually sufficient
evidence. In her appeal of the medication order, appellant
contends the medication order should be reversed because it
depends upon the insufficiently supported commitment
judgment. We affirm both cases.
October 25, 2018, Dr. Muhammad Haqqani, one of
appellant's treating psychiatrists, filed an application
for temporary court-ordered mental health services for
appellant and a supporting physician's certificate. On
that same date, the State filed a motion for an order of
protective custody requesting that appellant be detained at
Dallas Behavioral Health Hospital ("DBHH"
hereinafter) pending a probable cause hearing. The trial
court granted the State's motion and signed an order of
protective custody pending trial. On October 26, 2018, Dr.
Haqqani filed an application to administer four types of
psychoactive medication to appellant. On that same date, a
second psychiatrist treating appellant, Dr. Bachir Debba,
filed a supporting physician's certificate.
Haqqani and Debba diagnosed appellant with schizoaffective
disorder, bipolar type, and each psychiatrist certified that
appellant was mentally ill, was likely to cause serious harm
to herself or others, was suffering severe and abnormal
mental, emotional or physical distress, was deteriorating in
her ability to function independently and unable to provide
for her basic needs, and was unable to make a rational and
informed decision regarding treatment. Haqqani stated he had
been treating appellant for twenty-seven days. He described
appellant as psychotic, unable to care for herself, and
noncompliant with medications. According to Haqqani,
appellant believed hospital staff members were sexually
assaulting her in her sleep, cutting her hair, and filing
down her teeth and nose. Appellant believed an
"electrostimulator" had been implanted in her
brain. Haqqani further described appellant as unwilling to
bathe because she wanted to preserve DNA evidence of the
repeated sexual assaults.
certified he had been treating appellant for twenty-eight
days. Debba reported that on October 26, 2018, appellant had
told him that an electrostimulator had been implanted in her
head in 2013, that she was being stalked by white men and
white women, and that she has been detained for reporting she
had been raped. Debba stated his opinion that appellant was
noncompliant with taking her medication, was psychotic, and
was unable to care for herself. Debba stated that appellant
believed she was being repeatedly raped in her sleep, she had
called the police several times, she was refusing to bathe
because she did not want to wash away DNA evidence, she was
paranoid of others, and was verbally aggressive. Debba
described appellant as disheveled, anxious, having
disorganized thoughts, persecutory delusions, and exhibiting
poor insight and judgment.
November 15, 2018, the trial court conducted hearings on the
pending applications. After hearing testimony from Dr.
Haqqani and appellant and considering the physician
certificates on file, the trial court granted the commitment
application and committed appellant for up to ninety days.
Immediately following the commitment hearing, the trial court
heard testimony from Haqqani and appellant and then granted
the application for an order to administer psychoactive
medication during the term of the commitment.
apply the same standard of review to both the commitment
judgment and the order to administer psychoactive medication.
State ex rel. D. W., 359 S.W.3d 383, 385 (Tex.
App.-Dallas 2012, no pet.). Both orders must be supported by
clear and convincing evidence that shows appellant's
mental health meets specific statutory criteria. Id.
and convincing evidence is 'that measure or degree of
proof which will produce in the mind of the trier of fact a
firm belief or conviction as to the truth of the allegations
sought to be established.'" State ex rel.
M.P., 418 S.W.3d 850, 853 (Tex. App.-Dallas, no pet.)
(quoting State v. Addington, 588 S.W.2d 569, 570
(Tex. 1979 (per curiam)). In determining whether evidence is
legally and factually sufficient to meet the standard of
clear and convincing evidence, we apply a heightened standard
of review. In re C.H., 89 S.W.3d 17, 25 (Tex. 2002).
In reviewing for legal sufficiency the trial court's
findings under a "clear and convincing evidence"
standard, we consider all of the evidence in the light most
favorable to the trial court's findings to determine
whether a reasonable factfinder could have formed a firm
belief or conviction that the findings were true. State
v. K.E.W., 315 S.W.3d 16, 20 (Tex. 2010). We assume the
trial court resolved disputed facts in favor of its findings
if a reasonable factfinder could have done so, and we
disregard all contrary evidence unless a reasonable
factfinder could not have done so. Id. In our
factual sufficiency review, we give due consideration to the
evidence that the factfinder could reasonably have found to
be clear and convincing and then determine whether, based on
the entire record, any disputed evidence that a reasonable
factfinder could not have credited in favor of the finding is
so significant that the factfinder could not reasonably have
formed a firm belief or conviction regarding the truth of the
allegations. In re J.F.C, 96 S.W.3d 256, 266 (Tex.
of Involuntary Commitment
criteria for committing a proposed patient for court-ordered
temporary inpatient mental health services is set forth in
Section 574.034(a) of the health and safety code::
The judge may order a proposed patient to receive
court-ordered temporary inpatient mental health services only
if the judge or jury finds, from clear and convincing
(1) the proposed patient is a person with mental illness; and
(2) as a result of that mental illness the proposed patient:
(A) is likely to cause serious harm to the ...