Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

In re N.P.

Court of Appeals of Iowa

December 18, 2019

IN THE MATTER OF N.P., Alleged to Be Seriously Mentally Impaired, N.P., Respondent-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Woodbury County, Jeffrey L. Poulson (serious mental impairment) and Zachary Hindman (placement), Judges.

         Appellant appeals the district court's finding of serious mental impairment, claiming her procedural due process rights were violated.

          Jason Gann and Camille S. Brown of Moore, Heffernan, Moeller & Meis, L.L.P., Sioux City, for appellant.

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

          Considered by Bower, C.J., and May and Greer, JJ.

          MAY, JUDGE.

         This case concerns an application for involuntary hospitalization under Iowa Code section 229.6 (2018). The applicant alleged N.P. was seriously mentally impaired.

         Prior to a scheduled hearing, the judge had a private conversation with the applicant's attorney. Also prior to the hearing, the judge disclosed the private conversation to N.P.'s attorney and the county attorney. The conversation had been procedural in nature. And it had focused on a different case.

         During the hearing, the judge allowed the applicant's attorney to appear and present evidence. Ultimately, the court found N.P. was seriously mentally impaired.

         N.P. filed a motion for recusal. The motion focused on the judge's prehearing conversation with applicant's counsel.

         The court held a hearing on the motion. Ultimately, the court concluded that there had been no impropriety. Nevertheless, the judge elected to recuse.

         So a second judge presided over a third hearing. Again, the applicant's attorney participated.

         The next day, the court filed an order confirming the prior finding that N.P. was seriously mentally impaired. The court also found that N.P. "remains seriously mentally impaired." The court ordered N.P. returned to the hospital.

         On appeal, N.P. raises two procedural due process issues. First, N.P. claims the ex parte communication denied her a fair and impartial hearing. Second, N.P. claims the applicant's attorney should not have been ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.