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In the Matter of Miguel M. v. Barron
New York Court of Appeals
950 N.E.2d 107 (2011)
Under a New York law known as Kendra’s Law, public officials were authorized to start proceedings to involuntarily commit someone to mental-health treatment if the person was both dangerous and not voluntarily taking care of his mental health. Dr. Charles Barron (defendant) of New York City’s health department started a proceeding to involuntarily commit Miguel M. (plaintiff). Barron alleged that Miguel had a history of failing to voluntarily treat his mental health and that he was a danger to himself and the community without treatment. For evidence in this proceeding, Barron got Miguel’s medical records from three hospitals. Barron did not get Miguel’s consent to obtain these records or provide notice to Miguel that Barron was requesting the records. Miguel objected to having the records introduced at his commitment hearing, but the court allowed the medical records into evidence. Ultimately, the court ruled that Miguel would receive forced mental-health treatment for six months, and an appellate court affirmed. Miguel then appealed to the highest court in New York, the Court of Appeals.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Smith, J.)
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