Court Reverses Involuntary Commitment to State Hospital

Case Summary
P.B. appeals her involuntary commitment to Evansville State Hospital (“the
Hospital”). We reverse.

Issue
The sole issue before us is whether there is sufficient evidence to support the
trial court’s commitment order.

Facts
P.B. has been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and post-traumatic stress
disorder. In Indiana, P.B. has been in and out of involuntary commitments to
mental hospitals since March 2011. She also has previously been hospitalized
in Virginia and California. She attempted suicide on several occasions, the last
time being in 2014.
P.B.’s most recent hospitalization began on December 5, 2016, when she was
involuntarily committed to a hospital in South Bend. Prior to this commitment,
her treating psychiatrist stated that P.B. was suffering “from symptoms of
paranoia, delusions, and mood lability.” She also had a
recent history of threatening other residents of her apartment complex and
being disruptive. She believed that her family and neighbors were breaking into
her apartment at night and beating her up, and she was calling police two to
three times a day making delusional claims about intruders. Generally, P.B.
believed that her mother was conspiring against her, to harm her and she was
extremely paranoid. P.B. had been “poorly compliant” with outpatient
treatment to address her paranoia and regularly refused to take antipsychotic
medication, believing it was poisonous. On February 13, 2017, P.B. was transferred to the Hospital, a State facility. On
February 14, 2017, the trial court entered an order continuing P.B.’s regular
commitment without hearing. On May 2, 2017, P.B. filed a request for review
and dismissal of her commitment.

Read the entire opinion here.

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