In the Matter of BOT

In the Matter of BOT, 2015 MT 40 (Feb. 10, 2015) (McKinnon, J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: Whether substantial evidence supported the district court’s conclusion that BOT’s mental disorder rendered him unable to provide for his own basic needs.

Short Answer: Yes.


Facts: After being found on the ground at a bus station on a cold, rainy night in December 2013, BOT was admitted to the hospital. He was found to suffer from diabetes, hypertension, and hyperkalemia, and was observed to be uncooperative with the hospital staff. The social worker who conducted BOT’s mental health evaluation learned that BOT was a mental health center client, and that his condition was deteriorating because he would not take his medications. He had a food stamp card to buy food, but did not obtain a PIN to activate the card.

The Court set a commitment hearing for Dec. 27 and ordered BOT be detained at the state hospital until then. At the hearing, the Court heard testimony. 

Procedural Posture & Holding: The district court concluded BOT was unable to demonstrate how he would care for himself if released from inpatient treatment, and ordered him committed to MSH for 90 days, with authority to administer involuntary medication. BOT appeals, and the Supreme Court affirms.

Reasoning: The parties do not dispute that BOT suffers from a mental disorder. The findings made by the district court that BOT was unable to provide for his own basic needs are not clearly erroneous. Although BOT argues that much of the state’s evidence was hearsay, he did not object at the hearing and has not developed a plain-error-review argument in his briefs to this Court.