The PEOPLE of the State of Colorado, Petitioner-Appellee IN the INTEREST OF R.C., Respondent-Appellant.
Modified on Denial of Rehearing 7/25/2019
Modified on Denial of Rehearing July 25, 2019
County District Court No. 19MH81, Honorable Jill S. Mattoon,
Cynthia Mitchell, County Attorney, Kate H. Shafer, Special
Assistant County Attorney, Pueblo, Colorado, for
Firm of John L. Rice, John L. Rice, Pueblo, Colorado, for
1] Appellant, R.C., appeals the district courts
order authorizing mental health personnel to medicate him
involuntarily. We reverse.
2] R.C. was committed to the Colorado Mental Health
Institute at Pueblo (CMHIP) after being found incompetent to
proceed in a criminal case. A CMHIP staff psychiatrist, Dr.
Lennart Abel, diagnosed R.C. with bipolar disorder mania with
3] Following R.C.s assault of a staff member at
CMHIP, the People filed a petition seeking a court order
authorizing the administration of involuntary medication. At
a hearing on the petition, Dr. Abel testified that R.C. was
voluntarily taking Zyprexa. Dr. Abel opined that R.C. would
not continue to
take this drug voluntarily because he had previously refused
to take medication.
4] Nonetheless, the People sought authorization to
medicate R.C. involuntarily with Olanzapine and five other
drugs: Haldol, Abilify, Lithium, Depakote, and Clozapine (the
Six Medications). Dr. Abel testified that R.C. "can
be treated with Zyprexa but Im not sure if that would be the