IN THE MATTER OF B.B.-P., Alleged to Be Seriously Mentally Impaired, B.B.-P., Respondent-Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Woodbury County, Steven J.
appellant maintains the application for her involuntary
commitment should have been dismissed, as the commitment
hearing took place more than five days after the court issued
an order for her immediate detainment due to serious mental
Zachary S. Hindman of Mayne, Hindman, & Daane (until
withdrawal) and Jason B. Gann of Moore, Heffernan, Moeller,
Johnson & Meis LLP, Sioux City, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Gretchen Kraemer, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
Considered by Potterfield, P.J., Doyle, J., and Danilson,
POTTERFIELD, Presiding Judge.
appeals the district court ruling she is seriously mentally
impaired and must undertake further evaluation at a local
medical facility. She does not challenge the court's
substantive findings but maintains the application for her
involuntary commitment should have been dismissed, as the
commitment hearing took place more than five days after the
court issued an order for her immediate custody due to
serious mental impairment. See Iowa Code §
April 9, 2018, two members of B.B.-P.'s family filed an
application alleging B.B.-P was seriously mentally impaired.
The same day, the district court filed an order for immediate
custody, pursuant to Iowa Code section 229.11(1). The court
initially scheduled a hearing on the application for April
on April 16, the court-on its own motion-issued an order
continuing the hearing until April 23. In the order, the
court noted B.B.-P. had not yet been served or taken into
custody. The order provides little explanation for the delay,
stating only, "It appears from the file the sheriff has
been unable to locate [B.B.-P.] in order to serve" her.
was served and detained on April 21.
contested hospitalization hearing took place on April 23.
B.B.-P. orally moved to dismiss the application for her
involuntary commitment, maintaining the court lacked
jurisdiction to proceed. In support of her motion B.B.-P.
relied upon section 229.11(1), which states in part:
If the applicant requests that the respondent be taken into
immediate custody and the judge, upon reviewing the
application and accompanying documentation, finds probable
cause to believe that the respondent has a serious mental
impairment and is likely to injure the respondent or other
persons if allowed to remain at liberty, the judge may enter
a written order directing that the respondent be taken into
immediate custody by the sheriff or the sheriff's deputy
and be detained until the hospitalization hearing. The
hospitalization hearing shall be held no more than five days
after the date of the order, except that if the fifth
day after the date of the order is a Saturday, Sunday, or a
holiday, the hearing may be held on the next succeeding
court concluded the five-day requirement in section 229.11(1)
was not a jurisdictional requirement, as it imposed a
directory rather than a mandatory duty, and the five-day
limitation was not triggered until there was both custody and
detention. The court noted B.B.-P had not been required to
spend more than five days in detention, which the court
understood to be the purpose of the cited language in the
statute. The court then denied B.B.-P.'s motion to