IN THE MATTER OF J.E., Alleged to be Seriously Mentally Impaired, J.E., Respondent-Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Bradley
J. Harris, Judge.
respondent challenges the district court's order of
continued involuntary inpatient commitment.
Christina M. Shriver, Waterloo, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Gretchen Kraemer, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Doyle and May, JJ.
POTTERFIELD, Presiding Judge.
challenges the district court's order of continued
involuntary inpatient commitment. J.E. maintains there is
insufficient evidence to support the determination he is a
present danger to himself or others and requires continued
placement in an alternative care facility. "An
involuntary hospitalization proceeding is triable as an
ordinary action at law." In re Melodie L., 591
N.W.2d 4, 6 (Iowa 1999). "Our review is for errors at
has been involuntarily committed to the same 24-hour-care
facility since 2013. During that time, J.E. has asked for and
received a number of placement hearings.
to Iowa Code section 229.15 (2018), the chief medical officer
from the facility at which J.E. is committed completed a
periodic report in October 2018. The report indicated J.E.
remained seriously mentally impaired and needed full-time
custody and care (though not in a hospital setting). The
hospitalization referee entered an order continuing
J.E.'s placement at the 24-hour-care facility. Pursuant
to section 229.14A, J.E. requested a hearing for review of
hearing took place in November 2018. Afterward, the judicial
hospitalization referee found by clear and convincing
evidence that J.E. remained seriously mentally impaired and
in need of treatment and full-time custody. The referee
[J.E.] last had a placement hearing on June 16, 2018. As a
result of that hearing Country View staff placed [J.E.] on a
Medication Education Program. The results of that program
were reported in August, 2018. [J.E.] has serious medical
issues including diabetes requiring daily shots and
polydipsia which requires monitoring and restriction of fluid
intake. [J.E.] clearly made efforts to be able to manage his
medications during the time of the program. He learned to
name his medications and to be able to state what they were
prescribed for. However, despite his efforts he was only able
to seek his medications without prompting fifty-three percent
of the time. This is not sufficiently regular to keep him
safe. He also continues to be irresponsible about his
restricted fluid intake, stealing water and taking it to his
room. Without supervision he is likely to consume too much
liquid. His other behaviors which are barriers to [living] in
a habilitation home include stealing things such as blankets
and pillows from other patients and coming out of his room
appealed the ruling to the district court, which affirmed the
hospitalization referee's order, stating:
It is the court's determination that [J.E.] is
unrealistic in his belief that he can continue to sell real
estate and is able to live by himself. [J.E.] dresses
inappropriately for the season and fails to follow a
restricted diet as is necessary due to his diabetic
condition. Additionally, he picks at his scalp and has caused
numerous sores. Without proper reminders, he would fail to
take his required medication. Although not violent or
abusive, the above conditions make [J.E.] a danger to himself
if he were not in a structured setting.
Although [J.E.] seems to concede that he is need of
assistance to see to his daily needs, he is requesting a less
secure facility to allow him to live on his own. Testimony
was presented that four separate treatment providers have
been contacted as alternative placements for [J.E.]. All four