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In re Colton P.

Court of Appeals of Arizona, First Division

May 18, 2017

IN THE MATTER OF COLTON P.

         Appeal from the Superior Court in Navajo County No. S0900MH201600024 The Honorable Michala M. Ruechel, Judge

         AFFIRMED.

          Emery K. LaBarge, Attorney at Law, Snowflake By Emery K. LaBarge Counsel for Appellant.

          Navajo County Attorney's Office, Holbrook By Jason S. Moore Counsel for Appellee.

          Chief Judge Michael J. Brown delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Presiding Judge Samuel A. Thumma and Judge Patricia A. Orozco[1] joined.

          OPINION

          BROWN, Chief Judge.

         ¶1 Colton P. ("Appellant") appeals the superior court's order committing him to a period of psychiatric treatment. For the following reasons, we affirm.

         BACKGROUND

         ¶2 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.

         ¶3 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.

         ¶4 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.

         ¶5 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.

         DISCUSSION

         ¶6 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' ...


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