from the Superior Court in Navajo County No. S0900MH201600024
The Honorable Michala M. Ruechel, Judge
K. LaBarge, Attorney at Law, Snowflake By Emery K. LaBarge
Counsel for Appellant.
County Attorney's Office, Holbrook By Jason S. Moore
Counsel for Appellee.
Judge Michael J. Brown delivered the opinion of the Court, in
which Presiding Judge Samuel A. Thumma and Judge Patricia A.
Colton P. ("Appellant") appeals the superior
court's order committing him to a period of psychiatric
treatment. For the following reasons, we affirm.
In April 2016, the Pineview Hospital medical director
petitioned the superior court for court-ordered evaluations,
alleging that Appellant was a danger to himself, a danger to
others, persistently and acutely disabled, and in need of
treatment. Finding reasonable cause, the court ordered that
Appellant be evaluated.
Following the evaluation, the Pineview medical director
petitioned for court-ordered treatment. The physician
affidavits supporting the petition described Appellant as
having an impulse disorder, which caused him to have poor
judgment and insight regarding his treatment needs.
The superior court scheduled an evidentiary hearing on the
petition and directed that a digital recording be made of the
proceeding. At the April 28 hearing, the court heard
testimony from witnesses and admitted several exhibits,
including the affidavits signed by the two physician
witnesses and Appellant's Individual Service Plan
("ISP"). The ISP described Appellant's history
of a suicide attempt and physical violence against his
parents, and stated he had run away from his previous
placement and into traffic. The physician affidavits stated
Appellant had two reported traumatic brain injuries as a
child and that he has an impulse disorder. Following the
hearing, the court found Appellant needed treatment as set
forth in the petition. The court ordered Appellant to undergo
a combination of inpatient and outpatient treatment not to
exceed one year in total duration, with the inpatient
treatment not to exceed 180 days.
Appellant timely appealed. In attempting to prepare a
transcript of the April 28 hearing, however, the Navajo
County Transcription Coordinator reported the digital
recording was inaudible because it had too much
"background and feedback" noise. Appellant then
filed a motion asking us to remand the case to the superior
court for a "new hearing." We issued an order
staying the appeal and directing the superior court to settle
the record pursuant to Arizona Rule of Civil Appellate
Procedure ("ARCAP") 11. After conducting a hearing,
the court issued a minute entry outlining the recollections
of counsel and the court as to the evidence presented at the
April 28 hearing. We now consider the merits of the appeal
based on the record before us.
Appellant's sole argument on appeal is that the superior
court failed to substantively comply with the statutory
requirement that it hear testimony from two acquaintance
witnesses, because there is no transcript of the
witnesses' testimony from the commitment hearing.
Appellant does not raise any substantive argument regarding
the content of the witnesses' ...