Civil Procedure Keyed to Cound
Sell v. United States
The Petitioner, Charles Sell (the “Petitioner”), has a history of mental illness. The Petitioner was charged with submitting fictitious insurance claims for payment. A Federal Magistrate judge ordered the Petitioner to undergo a psychiatric examination. The Petitioner was deemed “currently competent”, but at risk to suffer “a psychotic episode” sometime in the future. The Petitioner was released on bail. A superseding indictment was produced charging the Petitioner with various counts of fraud and one mount of money laundering. During the proceedings, the government claimed that the Petitioner sought to intimidate a witness and as a result his bail was revoked. The Petitioner was then indicted for attempting to murder the FBI agent that arrested him and an individual who was going to testify against him. The cases were joined for trial. The Petitioner thereafter asked the Magistrate to reconsider his competence. The magistrate found that the Petitioner was incompetent to stand trial. The magistrate was ordered to “be hospitalized for treatment for four months”. The state hospital where Petitioner was being treated recommended that the Petitioner take antipsychotic medication, but the Petitioner refused to do so. The state sought to force the Petitioner to take the medicine against his will. The District Court found that that magistrate judge was correct in ruling that the hospital should permit the Petitioner’s involuntary medication. The Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court’s findings that the Petitioner was not dangerous. Also, that the Petitioner could be involuntarily medicated. The Supreme Court granted certiori.
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