in the Court of Appeals 27 February 2019
by respondent from order entered 14 March 2018 by Judge J.
Henry Banks in District Court, Halifax County No. 18 SPC 102.
Attorney General Joshua H. Stein, by Assistant Attorney
General Jessica Macari, for the State.
Appellate Defender Glenn Gerding, by Assistant Appellate
Defender Katy Dickinson-Schultz, for respondent-appellant.
("Respondent") appeals from an involuntary
commitment order which committed her to Halifax Regional
Medical Center ("HRMC") for up to 30 days. We
vacate the district court's order and remand for
additional findings of fact and entry of a new order.
age 76, presented to the emergency room with bruising on the
left side of her mouth and eyes and rambling speech.
Respondent was initially examined by Dr. E. Conti at HRMC.
Dr. Conti noted Respondent had stated her daughter had hit
her, and she had rambling speech focused on her daughters
trying to take advantage of her. Dr. Conti recounted
Respondent had a history of "delusional" disorder
and determined Respondent was "mentally ill,"
"dangerous to self," and "dangerous to
Examination and Recommendation to Determine Necessity for
Involuntary Commitment Form ("commitment form"),
Dr. Conti states, "daughter reports that [Respondent]
has been doing dangerous things such as walking long
distances to the store in a bad neighborhood, telling
strangers her personal buisness [sic] and inviting strangers
into her home. Daughter also reports that [Respondent's]
guns were take [sic] away from her due to threatening
was examined by Dr. Ijaz the following day to determine the
continued necessity for involuntary commitment. Dr. Ijaz
determined Respondent was "mentally ill,"
"dangerous to self," and "dangerous to
others." The commitment form completed by Dr. Ijaz
indicates "[Respondent] presents with occular [sic] and
facial bruising. She maintains that her daughter assulted
[sic] her because she would not sell her house." Dr.
Ijaz found Respondent was "at risk of causing harm to
herself or others due to her impaired judgement and
delusional thinking and requires inpatient hospitalization
for stabilization and treatment."
Conti signed an affidavit and petition requesting involuntary
commitment of Respondent on 8 March 2018. An involuntary
commitment hearing was held on 14 March 2018. Respondent was
represented by counsel. The only witness who testified for
the hospital was Latasha Motley, who was employed by HRMC.
Respondent also testified. All parties indicate the
transcript is unintelligible regarding Ms. Motley's
specific job title at HRMC. Ms. Motley identified her role as
being involved with "psychiatric discharge," but
she also testified about Respondent's course of care in
the hospital. Petitioner also offered as evidence a report by
Dr. Ijaz, who had evaluated and treated Respondent. The
report was admitted without objection from respondent.
trial court announced at the conclusion of the hearing it
found there were facts supporting the involuntary commitment,
and it would incorporate by reference as findings in the
order the report signed by Dr. Ijaz and offered by Ms.
Motley. The trial court also announced that it found
respondent mentally ill and a danger to herself and others
and committed her for up to 30 days.
court's written order, filed after the hearing, is on
North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts form order
SP-203. In the "Findings" portion of the form,
number four was marked:
on the evidence presented, the Court
4. by clear, cogent, and convincing evidence, finds as facts
all matters as set out in the physician's/eligible
psychologist's report specified below, and the report is
incorporated by reference as findings.
Date of Last Examiner's Report 3-14-18
Name of Physician/Eligible Psychologist Dr. Ijaz
trial court also marked box five:
5. by clear, cogent, and convincing evidence, finds these
. . .
facts supporting the involuntary ...