T.B. v. CPC Fairfax Hospital

918 P. 2d 497, 129 Wash. 2d 439 (1996)

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T.B. v. CPC Fairfax Hospital

Washington Supreme Court
918 P. 2d 497, 129 Wash. 2d 439 (1996)

Facts

T.B. (plaintiff) was a 15-year-old who was diagnosed with several mental illnesses. T.B.’s behavior was not violent, but her illnesses caused her to be argumentative and disruptive. T.B.’s mother attempted to have T.B. admitted to a mental-health facility against T.B.’s wishes, but the county-designated mental-health professional (CDMHP) found that admission was improper because T.B. did not pose a threat to herself or to others. T.B. ran away from home, was taken into custody, and was examined by a psychiatrist, who reached the same conclusion as the CDMHP. Fairfax Hospital (Fairfax) (defendant), a private mental-health facility, agreed to T.B.’s parents’ request to admit T.B. against T.B.’s will. Fairfax transported T.B. to the facility and refused to allow T.B. to speak to her attorneys or access her belongings, which contained a document known as a “notice of intent to leave.” The staff eventually allowed T.B. to speak to her attorney and present her notice of intent to leave, but the staff continued to detain her. Neither Fairfax nor T.B.’s parents applied for judicial authorization to continue to detain T.B. against her will. T.B.’s attorneys filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, and the trial court heard the matter. The trial court held that T.B.’s continued detention did not require her parents to file an application with the court and that T.B. had not been deprived of her liberty rights. Fairfax staff continued to detain T.B. until she escaped. The Washington Supreme Court accepted the certification of T.B.’s appeal from the trial court’s denial of T.B.’s writ of habeas corpus.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Sanders, J.)

Concurrence (Dolliver, J.)

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