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Evidence showed ch. 51 respondent was a proper subject for treatment

Milwaukee County v. Kent F., 2015AP388, District 1, 8/18/15 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity

The court of appeals rejects Kent’s argument that, under Fond du Lac County v. Helen E.F., 2012 WI 50, 340 Wis. 2d 500, 814 N.W.2d 179, he is not a proper subject for ch. 51 commitment because he is not capable of rehabilitative treatment.

Kent claims his treatment plan—namely, medications—cannot rehabilitate him, but only control his symptoms. The court of appeals reads Helen E.F. to say that an individual is capable of rehabilitation and is thus a “proper subject for treatment” under ch. 51 “if treatment will control or improve the individual’s underlying disorder and its symptoms.” (¶11). The evidence showed that standard was met:

¶12     Here, both doctors testified in detail about Kent’s disorder and stated that the disorder is treatable with medications. Dr. Koszewski provided detailed testimony about Kent’s dramatic reduction in symptoms while receiving treatment. Dr. Rainey discussed each medication Kent is prescribed, the effects of each medication, and the positive results the medications have yielded in Kent’s mood and behavior. Both doctors stated that Kent is a proper subject for treatment and would likely cease taking his medications if his commitment was not extended. Both also testified that Kent is capable of continued improvement, and possibly rehabilitation, if he remains in the facility where his medications are structurally administered. Indeed Dr. Rainey stated that the affective portion of Kent’s disorder could be cured. Based on this testimony, we are satisfied that the County presented sufficient evidence that continued treatment will improve Kent’s disorder and symptoms. ….

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