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In re Civil Commitment of Janckila

March 18, 2003

IN THE MATTER OF THE CIVIL COMMITMENT OF: GARY R. JANCKILA.


Wright County District Court File No. P5-02-2785

Considered and decided by Harten, Presiding Judge, Peterson, Judge, and Halbrooks, Judge.

SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

1. Recent and volitional conduct involving significant damage to substantial property may demonstrate that a person with a substantial psychiatric disorder poses a substantial likelihood of physical harm to self or others under Minn. Stat. §á253B.02, subd. 13(a)(4) (2002).

2. The district court's finding that appellant lacked the capacity to decide whether to take neuroleptic medication was not clearly erroneous.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Harten, Judge

Affirmed

OPINION

Appellant challenges his commitment as mentally ill and the order authorizing involuntary administration of neuroleptic medication, arguing that there was not clear and convincing evidence that he posed a substantial likelihood of physical harm to himself or others and that the finding that he lacked the capacity to refuse neuroleptic medication was clearly erroneous. We affirm.

FACTS

In March 2002, appellant Gary Janckila was charged with criminal damage to property after he complained that he heard noises in a wall of his father's house and punched holes in the wall. In September 2002, he was charged with felony criminal damage to property after punching or kicking several holes in the walls of a motel room. The police found a loaded handgun in the trunk of appellant's car and a notebook in the motel room. The police reported that the notebook contained numerous accounts of police officers seen by [appellant] in the last year, *á* * accounts of people who looked at him and the vehicle[s] in which they were driving including directions and license plates, [and] journal entries of waking up in the middle of the night hearing strange noises coming from the walls [and] coming from his mouth.

Appellant was hospitalized for evaluation. After he refused to cooperate or to take medication, a physician at the hospital initiated the commitment process.

At the commitment hearing, appellant testified that he heard noises at each of the nine motels he had lived in during the past couple of years and that the police had been harassing him since 1998. When asked why he punched holes in his father's wall, appellant testified that he was trying to determine the source of the noise.

The court-appointed examiner, James Alsdurf, Ph.D., testified that appellant "admitted to hearing sounds that he believed were directed toward him that caused him to feel uneasy, uncertain, anxious and concerned about his safety." When asked whether appellant might be a danger to himself or others, Dr. Alsdurf testified that

there's no one specific behavior that would indicate that he represents a danger to himself or others. I think it is more the combination of factors that would include things like * * * punch[ing] holes in walls at his father's home [and] at the motel room. He [has] allegedly—reportedly confronted people in different settings, including his father and strangers, * * * trying to find the source of this noise. So I think he engages in provocative behavior that really ...


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