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Calico Katz is an artist of some repute. Now 86 and after 62 years of marriage,

by | Jun 25, 2021 | Criminology | 0 comments


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Calico Katz is an artist of some repute. Now 86 and after 62 years of marriage, she has lost her husband. She still carries on conversations with him, however, in the presence of others. Her painting is now limited strictly to portraits of her late husband and, in the opinion of some critics, is declining in quality. A recent review of a show of her work at a gallery remarked that the artist is “clearly past her prime.” Recent trading of her work has indicated that her reputation is waning; prices have been lower than before her husband’s death.
Ms. Katz’s son, Indoor, recently found his mother unconscious on the floor of her studio. Although she did not drink at all before her husband’s death, there was evidence that she had been drinking heavily before her collapse. This has led Indoor to wonder whether his mother was under the influence when she was involved in a recent fender-bender.
Indoor has petitioned the courts to have his mother involuntarily committed to a psychiatric institution under a state law which provides for the commitment of those found “dangerous to themselves or others as the result of mental impairment or grave disability.” Ms. Katz insists that she is fine and wants to remain independent, and her daughter, Tiger, agrees and opposes the petition to have Calico involuntarily committed.
What procedural protections is Calico Katz entitled to? What factual and legal arguments should Indoor and Tiger present to support their positions? Is outpatient commitment a possible solution? If you were the judge, how would you decide?
Should involuntary civil commitment be abolished? Should it be strenghtened? Weakened? Should the law allow for outpatient commitment? Why or why not?

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