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PROBATE 27: Petitioner filed a petition for mental-health treatment.

On September 6, 2018, petitioner filed a petition for mental-health treatment. The petition alleged that, as a result of mental illness,

(1) respondent can be reasonably expected within the near future to intentionally or unintentionally seriously physically injure herself or others, and has engaged in an act or made significant threats that are substantially supportive of this expectation,

(2) respondent is unable to attend to those basic physical needs that must be attended to in order to avoid serious harm in the future, and has demonstrated that inability by failing to attend to those basic physical needs, and

(3) respondent’s judgment is so impaired by that mental illness that she is unable to understand her need for treatment, and whose impaired judgment, on the basis of competent clinical opinion, presents a substantial risk of significant physical or mental harm to herself or presents a substantial risk of physical harm to others in the near future.

In support of the allegations, petitioner attached clinical certificates from a physician and a psychiatrist who observed respondent at the hospital. Both doctors diagnosed respondent with bipolar disorder, determined that she displayed a likelihood of injuring herself and that she did not understand the need for treatment, and recommended a course of treatment that consisted of 60 days of hospitalization and 90 days of outpatient care.

The probate court ordered Washtenaw County Community Mental Health (CMH) to assess alternatives to hospitalization. Following its evaluation, CMH recommended respondent be hospitalized for up to 60 days, followed by alternative treatment.

Following a hearing, the trial court found by clear and convincing evidence that respondent was a person requiring treatment under MCL 330.1401(1)(a) and (c).

Respondent argues that petitioner did not introduce clear and convincing evidence that she was a person requiring treatment as defined in MCL 330.1401(1)(a) and (c).

MCL 330.1401(1) provides in relevant part that the phrase person requiring treatment means:

(a) An individual who has mental illness, and who as a result of that mental illness can reasonably be expected within the near future to intentionally or unintentionally seriously physically injure himself, herself, or another individual, and who has engaged in an act or acts or made significant threats that are substantially supportive of the expectation.

(c) An individual who has mental illness, whose judgment is so impaired by that mental illness that he or she is unable to understand his or her need for treatment, and whose impaired judgment, on the basis of competent clinical opinion, presents a substantial risk of significant physical or mental harm to the individual in the near future or presents a substantial risk of physical harm to others in the near future.

Her doctor testified that respondent’s judgment was impaired both in relation to respondent’s inability to acknowledge the need for treatment and the risk of physical harm to others. For this reason, her doctor’s testimony established both elements of subsection (c). In sum, the trial court did not err by finding that respondent was a person requiring treatment and by ordering that respondent receive treatment for her mental illness.

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