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In re Detention of Clark

Court of Appeals of Washington, Division 1

April 27, 2015

In the Matter of the Detention of Wesley Colin Clark

Appeal from King County Superior Court. Docket No: 13-6-03571-0. Judge signing: Honorable Beth M Andrus. Judgment or order under review. Date filed: 12/30/2013.

Kathleen A. Shea (of Washington Appellate Project ), for appellant.

Daniel T. Satterberg, Prosecuting Attorney, and Christopher Alfred J. Wong, Deputy, for respondent.

Authored by Marlin Appelwick. Concurring: Linda Lau, Stephen J. Dwyer.

OPINION

Page 1232

[187 Wn.App. 305] ¶ 1 Appelwick, J.

Clark alleges that his commitment for 14 day involuntary treatment was untimely and must be dismissed. At issue is whether holidays and weekends are excluded when calculating the maximum period allowed for continuances of hearings under RCW 71.05.240. Continuances of commitment hearings are procedural matters. Therefore, we apply the method of computing time under CR 6(a) rather than conflicting statutory

Page 1233

alternatives. Clark's hearing date fell within the statutory time limit. We affirm.

STATUTORY SCHEME

¶ 2 The involuntary treatment act (ITA), chapter 71.05 RCW, governs the temporary detention for evaluation and treatment of persons with mental disorders. If a designated mental health professional (DMHP) determines that, as a result of a mental disorder, a person presents a likelihood of serious harm or is gravely disabled, and that the person will not voluntarily seek treatment, the DMHP may file a petition for initial detention. RCW 71.05.150(1). The initial detention shall not exceed 72 hours. RCW 71.05.180. The computation of the 72 hour period excludes weekends and holidays. RCW 71.05.180.

¶ 3 If the DMHP or the evaluation and treatment facility petitions for additional 14 day involuntary treatment, the court shall hold a probable cause hearing within 72 hours of the initial detention. RCW 71.05.240(1). To justify the additional detention, the State must demonstrate by a [187 Wn.App. 306] preponderance of the evidence that, as a result of a mental disorder, the detained person presents a likelihood of serious harm or is gravely disabled. RCW 71.05.240(3). At the request of the detained person or his or her attorney, the court may postpone the hearing for a period not to exceed 48 hours. RCW 71.05.240(1). The court may also continue the hearing subject to the State's showing of good cause for a period not to exceed 24 hours. RCW 71.05.240(1).

FACTS

¶ 4 Wesley Clark is a 70 year old man who resided at the Downtown Emergency Service Center Rainier House. In December 2013, Rainier House staff informed a King County DMHP that Clark was exhibiting concerning behavior. Another resident, David Abbott, reported that Clark punched him in the neck. Abbott also said that Clark accused him of having a sexual relationship with Karla Manus, a clinical support specialist at Rainier House. Manus reported that Clark was " fixated" on her and had become increasingly jealous and aggressive since she began to show that she was pregnant. According to Manus, Clark screamed at her, called her obscenities, and invaded her space in a way that felt menacing.

¶ 5 On Friday, December 20, the DMHP petitioned for Clark's initial detention. The trial court granted the petition, and Clark was admitted to Harborview Medical ...


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