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Evidence deemed sufficient for Chapter 51 commitment and involuntary medication order

Ozaukee County v. M.L.G., 2015AP1469-FT, 9/23/15, District 2 (1-judge opinion; ineligible for publication); case activity

More specifically, the court of appeals held that the County had offered evidence sufficient to establish that MLG was dangerous under §51.20(1)(a)2.c and that he was substantially incapable of understanding his treatment options under § 51.61(1)(g)4b:

[T]he County presented evidence of recent acts and omissions that M.L.G. was refusing to take his medication and that this was causing him to have delusions and behave in an unsafe manner. M.L.G.’s delusions impaired his judgment such that he believed he was slipping into No. 2015AP1469-FT 5 diabetic shock and was experiencing “command hallucinations” urging him to sexually assault women. The County also presented the testimony of expert witnesses who opined that there was a risk of injury to himself and others as M.L.G.’s impaired judgment already had caused him to exceed the speed limits while driving and in the past had caused him to engage in behavior that was both criminal and disturbing. From this pattern of paranoia and increasing distress, the court had sufficient evidence that M.L.G. was experiencing “such impaired judgment … that there is a substantial probability of physical impairment or injury to himself … or other individuals.” See WIS. STAT. § 51.20(1)(a)2.c.; see also Outagamie Cty. v. Michael H., 2014 WI 127, ¶39, 359 Wis. 2d 272, 856 N.W.2d 603. Slip op. ¶10.

M.L.G. showed he was substantially incapable of applying his understanding of his medication by refusing to take his medication based on a false belief he was experiencing elevated blood-sugar levels and had diabetes. Slip op. ¶11.

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