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In re E.M.

Court of Appeals of Iowa

August 21, 2019

IN THE MATTER OF E.M., Alleged to be Seriously Mentally Impaired, E.M., Respondent-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Des Moines County, Emily Dean, District Associate Judge.

         E.M. appeals the district court order finding she was seriously mentally impaired. REVERSED AND REMANDED WITH INSTRUCTIONS.

          Andrew L. Mahoney of Crowley & Prill, Burlington, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Gretchen Kraemer, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.

          Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Tabor and Bower, JJ.

          VAITHESWARAN, PRESIDING JUDGE.

         In this appeal from an involuntary hospitalization order, E.M. challenges the district court's finding of a serious mental impairment.

         An applicant seeking a person's involuntary hospitalization based on mental illness must state a "belief that the respondent is a person who presents a danger to self or others and lacks judgmental capacity due to" "a serious mental impairment as defined in section 229.1."[1] Iowa Code § 229.6(2)(a)(2) (2017).

"Seriously mentally impaired" or "serious mental impairment" describes the condition of a person with mental illness and because of that illness lacks sufficient judgment to make responsible decisions with respect to the person's hospitalization or treatment, and who because of that illness meets any of the following criteria:
(a) Is likely to physically injure the person's self or others if allowed to remain at liberty without treatment.
(b) Is likely to inflict serious emotional injury on members of the person's family or others who lack reasonable opportunity to avoid contact with the person with mental illness if the person with mental illness is allowed to remain at liberty without treatment.
(c) Is unable to satisfy the person's needs for nourishment, clothing, essential medical care, or shelter so that it is likely that the person will suffer physical injury, physical debilitation, or death.
(d) Has a history of lack of compliance with treatment and any of the ...

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