In Re Mh2015-002490

IN THE ARIZONA COURT OF APPEALS DIVISION ONE IN RE MH2015-002490 MH2015-004896 ________________________ ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SERVICES, ARIZONA STATE HOSPITAL, Intervenor/Appellant and MARICOPA COUNTY SPECIAL HEALTHCARE DISTRICT d/b/a MARICOPA INTEGRATED HEALTH SYSTEM, Intervenor. No. 1 CA-MH 15-0107, 1 CA-MH 16-0021 (Consolidated) FILED 5-1-2018 Appeal from the Superior Court in Maricopa County No. MH2015-002490, MH2015-004896 The Honorable Andrew G. Klein, Judge The Honorable Barbara L. Spencer, Judge Pro Tempore AFFIRMED COUNSEL Arizona Attorney General’s Office, Phoenix By Aubrey Joy Corcoran, Louis Frank Caputo, III Counsel for Intervenor/Appellant Dickinson Wright, PLLC, Phoenix By David J. Ouimette, Vail C. Cloar Counsel for Intervenor IN RE MH2015-002490 Opinion of the Court OPINION Judge Kenton D. Jones delivered the Opinion of the Court, in which Presiding Judge Randall M. Howe and Judge James B. Morse Jr. joined. J O N E S, Judge: ¶1 In this consolidated appeal, Intervenor Arizona State Hospital (ASH) challenges orders involuntarily committing Edgar T. and Juan A. 1 (the Patients) for inpatient psychiatric treatment. Both Patients were deemed incompetent to stand trial for violent crimes, but upon commitment were unable to provide documentation establishing their lawful presence in the United States. ASH argues it cannot comply with the commitment orders without violating state and federal law governing the provision of state and local public benefits to unauthorized aliens. ¶2 As a matter of first impression, we consider whether court- ordered psychiatric treatment is a “state and local public benefit,” as defined within 8 U.S.C. § 1621(c)2 and A.R.S. § 1-502(I). Because individuals subject to court-ordered psychiatric treatment do not “apply” for the services, the treatment is not a “benefit” within the meaning of those statutes. Accordingly, we affirm the superior court’s orders. FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY ¶3 In 2013, Edgar was charged with one count of aggravated assault and one count of assault by a prisoner with bodily fluids. Edgar spat upon an officer who tried to end a fight between Edgar and another inmate in the medical area of the Durango Jail. In 2015, Juan was charged with aggravated assault and criminal trespass after attacking officers who tried to remove him from a dumpster in which he had been living for four 1 ASH is a “state hospital . . . maintained for the care and treatment of persons with mental disorders and persons with other personality disorders or emotional conditions” under the “charge and control” of the Arizona Department of Health Services (AZDHS). See Ariz. Rev. Stat. (A.R.S.) § 36-202(A), (D) (2018). For simplicity, we refer to AZDHS and the state mental hospital, collectively, as ASH. 2 Absent material changes from the relevant date, we cite a statute’s current version. 2 IN RE MH2015-002490 Opinion of the Court days. When the officers tried to move Juan, he refused to obey orders and swung a board at one of them. Ultimately, the officers resorted to the use of pepper spray to subdue him. ¶4 In March 2014 and July 2015, the criminal court found the Patients incompetent to ...

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