IN THE MATTER OF K.T., Alleged to be Seriously Mentally Impaired, K.T., Respondent-Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Robert B.
appeals a district court order finding her seriously mentally
Alexander Smith of Parrish Kruidenier Dunn Boles Gribble
Gentry Brown & Bergmann L.L.P., Des Moines, for
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Gretchen Kraemer, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Bower and Greer, JJ.
challenges the district court's finding of serious mental
impairment and claims there is insufficient evidence that she
is unable to make responsible decisions with respect to her
care, hospitalization, or treatment. On our review, we
Background Facts and Proceedings.
January 9, 2019, while K.T. was hospitalized, a psychiatric
nurse practitioner and a hospital social worker filed
commitment paperwork. The nurse practitioner noted K.T. has
had a long hospitalization and he does not believe she can
care for herself. The nurse practitioner explained,
Since being hospitalized, [K.T.] has had difficulties with
disruptive behaviors. She has delusional and paranoid
thoughts. She has attempted to elope from the unit several
times. She has refused to take any medications that have been
offered to her to help and control her behaviors and to help
with her psychotic symptoms.
January 14, after a hearing, a magistrate found K.T. was
"very aggressive towards others," could not take
care of herself, had no insight into her illness or need for
treatment, and did not take prescribed medications. The
magistrate ordered that K.T. be committed for inpatient
treatment. K.T. timely appealed this ruling to the district
February 6, K.T.'s treating physician submitted a report
to the court. The physician opined K.T. is mentally ill and
experiencing "Major Neurocognitive Disorder with
significant cognitive deficits in multiple spheres including
memory and executive functioning." The report noted K.T.
has poor insight into her illness and need for treatment. The
[K.T. i]s not safe in her home setting and has been admitted
multiple times in the past year for treatment of fractured
bones, infections, acute mental status changes, and stroke.
She is intermittently not cooperative with cares for diabetes
and hypertension. Has left skilled nursing facilities prior
to being stabilized.
February 7, the district court held a trial de novo. The
court heard testimony and received reports from K.T.'s
treating physician. At the conclusion of the trial, the court
found that K.T. has a mental illness, lacks sufficient
judgment to make responsible decisions with regard to her
hospitalization or treatment, and, as a result, K.T. was
likely to physically injure herself or others if allowed to
remain at liberty without ...