Posts tagged "L.H."

Guardianship of L.H. (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-005-14)

NOTICE: All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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       11‑P‑1510                                       Appeals Court   GUARDIANSHIP OF L.H.     No. 11‑P‑1510. Middlesex.     September 18, 2012.  ‑  January 24, 2014. Present:  Berry, Brown, & Agnes, JJ.   Incompetent Person, Consent to medical treatment.  Guardian, Incompetent person, Consent to medical treatment.  Probate Court, Guardian, Incompetent person.  Practice, Civil, Guardianship proceeding, Assistance of counsel.  Constitutional Law, Assistance of counsel.  Due Process of Law, Assistance of counsel.       Petition for guardianship filed in the Middlesex Division of the Probate and Family Court Department on November 30, 2009.   The case was heard by Peter C. DiGangi, J., and a motion to reinstate Rogers authority was considered by him.     Laura A. Sanford for the ward. Miriam H. Ruttenberg, Phillip Kassel, Richard M. Glassman, Hillary J. Dunn, Thomas P. Murphy, & Robert D. Fleischner, for Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee & others, amici curiae, submitted a brief.     BERRY, J.  This case involves two substituted judgment proceedings on petitions filed, following the precedent of Rogers v. Commissioner of the Dept. of Mental Health, 390 Mass. 489 (1983), and cases decided in its wake, in respect to the administration of antipsychotic medications to L.H.  L.H. appeals from a decree and findings of the Probate and Family Court that she was not competent to make medical decisions and would benefit from a proposed treatment plan to use the antipsychotic drug Risperdal, and that she would consent to use of that drug were she competent.  L.H. also appeals from the judge’s subsequent allowance of a motion to reinstate and to modify the treatment plan to allow for the administration by injection of Risperdal.  The two appeals were consolidated here. L.H. argues on appeal that there was insufficient evidence that the administration of antipsychotic medication was appropriate.  In addition, L.H. argues that her trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance.  We affirm. For the reasons addressed in part 2, we conclude that the evidence in these substituted judgment proceedings and the probate judge’s findings established by a preponderance that L.H. was in need of treatment with antipsychotic drugs.  See G. L. c. 190B, § 5-306A.  See generally Guardianship of Erma, 459 Mass. 801, 802 n.2 (2011) (discussing substituted judgment in context of involuntary administration of antipsychotic drugs).  For the reasons addressed in part 3, we decline to reach the ineffective assistance of counsel claims in these direct appeals.  First, […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - January 24, 2014 at 4:11 pm

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