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Entire treatment record is relevant at ch. 51 extension hearing

Dane County v. P.H., 2014AP1469, District 4, 3/12/15 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity

Rejecting P.H.’s claim that the experts who testified based their opinions on “dated” information, the court of appeals finds the evidence was sufficient to extend P.H.’s ch. 51 commitment.

P.H. conceded she suffers from a mental illness and is a proper subject for treatment. She disputed the sufficiency of the evidence to prove the third element—that she would likely be a proper subject for commitment if treatment were discontinued—because the experts focused on episodes of “decompensation” she experienced before December 2012 and ignored her improvement since then. (¶7).

To the extent P.H. claims it was wrong as a matter of law for the circuit court to rely on old information, that is contrary to § 51.20(1)(am), which allows for a commitment to be extended based on “a showing there is a substantial likelihood, based on the patient’s treatment record, that he or she would be a proper subject for commitment if treatment were discontinued.” (¶9, quoting M.J. v. Milwaukee County Combined Community Services Bd., 122 Wis. 2d 525, 530, 362 N.W.2d 190 (Ct. App. 1984)).

Further, the record makes it clear the experts relied on P.H.’s entire treatment record, including her episodes of “decompensation” before December 2012 and her improvement on medication since. The experts’ testimony therefore sufficed to support the circuit court’s extension of the commitment. (¶¶10-15).

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