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Evidence sufficient to support extension of protective placement order

Milwaukee County v. M.G.-H., 2016AP596, District 1, 11/29/16 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity

The evidence presented at a hearing on whether to continue M.G.-H.’s protective placement was sufficient to show M.G.-H. “has a primary need for residential care and custody” and “is so totally incapable of providing for his or her own care or custody as to create a substantial risk of serious harm to himself or herself or others,” as required by § 55.08(1)(a) and (c).

While the evidence shows M.G.-H. has the ability to perform activities of daily living, it also showed that, because of his dual diagnosis of schizophrenia and dementia, he has problems with money management, is vulnerable to financial exploitation, and susceptible to failing to take his medication, which would cause decompensation of his mental condition. He also was unable to avoid alcohol, which makes his mental health problems worse. “A person has a primary need for ‘residential … custody’ in § 55.08(1)(a) when the person has a primary need to have someone else exercising control and supervision of the person in the person’s place of residence for the purpose of protecting the person from abuse, financial exploitation, neglect, and self-neglect.” Jackson County DHSS v. Susan H., 2010 WI App 82, ¶2, 326 Wis. 2d 246, 258, 785 N.W.2d 677. The evidence here met that standard. (¶¶14-23).

The evidence was sufficient to show M.G.-H. presents a substantial risk of harm to himself or others, as he had harmed another in a domestic violence incident and violated a restraining order, his guardian reported he was “violent towards people and property,” and he had a recent history of suicidal ideation and a long history of suicide attempts. (¶24).

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