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In the Matter of E.C. (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-095-16)

NOTICE: All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports. If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557- 1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us 15-P-964 Appeals Court IN THE MATTER OF E.C. No. 15-P-964. Plymouth. May 11, 2016. – August 3, 2016. Present: Grainger, Meade, & Hanlon, JJ. Incompetent Person, Commitment. Practice, Civil, Civil commitment. Petition for civil commitment filed in the Brockton Division of the District Court Department on March 4, 2013. The case was heard by Beverly J. Cannone, J., and a motion for reconsideration was also heard by her. Edward J. O’Donnell for the petitioner. Joseph A. Robinson, Committee for Public Counsel Services, for the respondent. MEADE, J. Following a hearing pursuant to G. L. c. 123, § 16(b), a judge of the Dorchester Division of the Boston Municipal Court Department (BMC) found E.C. incompetent to stand trial and committed him to Bridgewater State Hospital (BSH) for six months. After the § 16(b) commitment expired and the 2 underlying criminal charges against E.C. were dismissed, a judge of the Brockton Division of the District Court Department (Brockton District Court) denied BSH’s timely petition to extend the commitment under G. L. c. 123, § 16(c). The judge also denied BSH’s motion to amend that petition to one pursuant to G. L. c. 123, §§ 7 and 8, seeking continued civil commitment of a mentally ill person whose discharge from BSH would create a likelihood of serious harm. The Appellate Division of the District Court affirmed. On appeal, BSH claims error in the denial of the original and amended petitions. We reverse. Background. The material facts are not in dispute. On May 30, 2012, E.C. was charged in the BMC with malicious destruction of property having a value greater than $ 250 in violation of G. L. c. 266, § 127. Following a hearing pursuant to G. L. c. 123, § 15(a), a judge ordered E.C. hospitalized pursuant to G. L. c. 123, § 15(b), in order to evaluate his competency to stand trial. Based on the resulting § 15(b) report, the judge on August 7, 2012, found E.C. incompetent to stand trial. Thereafter, pursuant to BSH’s G. L. c. 123, § 16(b), petition, E.C. was committed to BSH for six months.1 1 General Laws c. 123, § 16(b), as amended by St. 1992, c. 286, § 190, states in pertinent part: “During the period of observation of a person believed to be incompetent to stand trial or within sixty days after a person […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - August 3, 2016 at 11:55 pm

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