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GLENN WATT. APPEAL GLENN WATT (05/04/87)

filed: May 4, 1987.

IN RE GLENN WATT. APPEAL OF GLENN WATT


Appeal from the Order entered December 30, 1985, Court of Common Pleas, York County, Civil Division at No. 285 M.H. 4.

COUNSEL

Dennis A. Alessi, York, for appellant.

Wieand, Montemuro and Johnson, JJ.

Author: Johnson

[ 363 Pa. Super. Page 58]

On June 27, 1972, Appellant Glenn Watt was involuntarily committed to Farview State Hospital following a court determination that Watt was incompetent to stand trial for the murder of an elderly woman friend. After regaining his competence, Watt stood trial on charges of criminal homicide and was acquitted in 1976 because of lack of criminal responsibility. Again, the court found appellant to be severely mentally disabled and committed him to Harrisburg State Hospital by order of October 4, 1976. Watt was subsequently recomitted on six occasions and remains in Harrisburg State Hospital.

After a hearing on December 2, 1985, the Court of Common Pleas of York County ordered the continued commitment of appellant Watt to Harrisburg State Hospital for one year of involuntary treatment pursuant to the Mental Health Procedures Act, Act of July 9, 1976, P.L. 817 No. 143, as amended, 50 P.S. § 7101 et seq. (hereinafter "Act"). Watt now contends that (1) the evidence presented was insufficient to prove that he is severely mentally disabled, (2) the evidence was insufficient to prove that there was any affirmative treatment being given and (3) the evidence was insufficient to show any efforts to secure other less restrictive surroundings. We disagree and therefore affirm the order.

The most recent petition to recommit Watt for up to one year of involuntary treatment was made pursuant to Section 7304 and 7305 of the Act. The court ordered and held an evidentiary hearing on December 2, 1985. The court subsequently entered its order recommitting Watt to Harrisburg State Hospital for a full year. A motion for reconsideration was filed in which Watt argued that the evidence was insufficient to show the need for continued recommitment. The motion was granted and after argument and review of the sufficiency of the evidence, the court entered an order on December 30, 1985, reaffirming the recommitment order. This timely appeal followed.

[ 363 Pa. Super. Page 59]

Initially, we find that Watt argues in his brief that he is being "warehoused" in violation of due process of law under the Fourteenth Amendment. This issue was not presented to the trial court in Watt's motion for reconsideration, nor is it presented in the statement of questions involved. We therefore find this issue to be waived and will not be discussed further. See Commonwealth v. Stufflet, 322 Pa. Super. 176, 469 A.2d 240 (1983).

In his first argument, Watt contends that the evidence is insufficient to support a finding that he is severely mentally disabled. Specifically, Watt argues the lack of clear and convincing evidence to establish that he poses a clear and present danger to anyone and is in need of continuing involuntary treatment. We find no merit in Watt's argument.

Under the Act, in order for an individual to be involuntarily recommitted the petitioner must show by clear and convincing evidence that the individual continues to pose a "clear and present danger" of harm to himself or others. 50 P.S. §§ 7304(a) and (f).

When the subject for recommitment has, as in the instant case, been acquitted of a crime because of a lack of criminal responsibility, the Act provides in pertinent part:

If, however, the person has been . . . acquitted by reason of lack of criminal responsibility . . . clear and present danger to others may be shown by establishing that the conduct charged in the criminal proceeding did occur, and that there ...


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