Appeal from Pierce County Superior Court. Docket No: 12-6-01186-9. Date filed: 01/31/2013. Judge signing: Honorable Jaqueline Beth Rosenblatt.
Stephanie C. Cunningham, for appellant.
Robert W. Ferguson, Attorney General, and Amber L. Leaders, Assistant, for respondent.
Authored by Bradley A. Maxa. Concurring: Jill M Johanson, Thomas R. Bjorgen.
[178 Wn.App. 943] Maxa,
¶ 1 RH appeals a trial court order involuntarily committing him to Western State Hospital for up to 180 days for mental health treatment. He argues that the trial court erred in determining that he was gravely disabled. In supplemental briefing, he argues that the trial court lacked statutory authority to order 180 days of treatment (rather than 90 days) based solely on its determination of grave disability. We conclude that substantial evidence supports the trial court's factual findings and that these findings support its conclusion that RH was gravely disabled, but we hold that the trial court lacked statutory authority under RCW 71.05.320(1) to commit RH for 180 days rather than for 90 days based on a finding of grave disability. We therefore reverse the involuntary commitment order and remand for proceedings consistent with this opinion.
We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.
¶ 2 On October 29, 2012, RH was charged with reckless burning. The trial court dismissed the charge without prejudice after adjudicating RH incompetent. RH then was sent to Western State Hospital for a civil mental health evaluation.
¶ 3 The State petitioned for a 180-day involuntary commitment to the hospital. In support of the petition, psychologist Gregg Gagliardi and psychiatrist Daniel Ruiz-Paredes reported that RH was gravely disabled.
[178 Wn.App. 944] This frail, elderly man is chronically mentally ill and is doing especially poor in the community as he ages. He is homeless and reports that he lives outside at a camp at the top of the Salmon Beach cliff. He has a history of 17 hospitalizations including his most recent from which he was released in April 2012. Historically he agrees to community mental health services but when discharged/released he resumes his former lifestyle as an untreated homeless mentally ill person.
Clerk's Papers (CP) at 12-13.
¶ 4 Gagliardi testified at a January 31, 2013, hearing. He diagnosed RH with schizophrenia, which manifested in " loosening of associations, extreme disinhibition, occasional affective instability, mood lability, anger, irascibility and paranoia regarding people and their intentions." Report of Proceedings (RP) at 4. RH possessed a " vague insight at best" into his mental illness and was not taking medications and ...