Prisoner Involuntary Commitment and Medication.


Byline: Derek Hawkins

WI Supreme Court

Case Name: Langlade County v. D.J.W.

Case No.: 2020 WI 41

Focus: Prisoner Involuntary Commitment and Medication

The petitioner, D.J.W., seeks review of an unpublished, authored decision of the court of appeals affirming the circuit court's order extending his involuntary commitment. The court also continued his involuntary medication and treatment on an inpatient basis. D.J.W. contends that Langlade County (the County) did not present sufficient evidence of his dangerousness to sustain an extension of his involuntary commitment.

At the recommitment hearing, the County's expert witness testified that D.J.W. had lost a job, relied on his parents for housing, and received disability benefits due to schizophrenia and delusions. D.J.W. takes issue with the County's reliance on this information in demonstrating that he is "dangerous" to himself pursuant to Wis. Stat. 51.20(1)(a)2. In response, the County asserts that taken as a whole the testimony is sufficient to determine that D.J.W. would be a proper subject for commitment if treatment were withdrawn under 51.20(1)(am).

We determine that going forward circuit courts in recommitment proceedings are to make specific factual findings with reference...

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