My Son has been put into a mental state hospital until he is competent to face charges (has been there for 4 months). He has to under go an evaluation by a psychiatric doctor who will write a report to the judge. He stopped taking his medication at the hospital as he said he felt okay and didn't feel the need for it. The doctor and social worker were aware of this and didn't advise to carry on taking the medication. The Doctor said he is doing well without the medication and a 2nd psychiatrist was called to evaluate my son who also said he is doing well without medication. The court hearing date came and the Judge sent him back to the hospital as he says the doctor was not able to do a full evaluation as he was not taking medication. I was not at the court hearing. The Lawyer is not answering my calls. How can I get a copy of this doctors report or how can my son get a copy of this report? Will the Lawyer have a copy of this report? The lawyer has been very unhelpful so far and is not helping my Son. I feel like this is a waste of time of him being sent back to the hospital as the Doctor or Lawyer did not advise him of the consequences of not taking his medication.
If your son is an adult, which I assume, you are not entitled to the report. Your son't lawyer, however, is. I do not practice in Louisiana, but in Illinois, where I do practice, fitness for trial is a relatively easy threshold to establish. Which means, if your son is not fit for trial, he has serious problems, and I would suggest you make an appointment with your son's lawyer to discuss not only his legal case, but his mental issues as well.
In Illinois, someone is fit for trial if he or she understands the nature of the charge, and can cooperate with counsel. Generally speaking, doctors test defendants about the nature of the charge by asking them if they understand the function of the judge, jury, prosecutor and their lawyer. They may ask some more specific questions, but generally, that's about it. It's pretty objective, and anyone who has ever watched television can answer those questions.
Cooperating with counsel is a lot more subjective. If the mental disease or defect is severe enough, the doctors might opine that, even though the person understands the nature of the charge, because of that mental disease or defect, they lack the ability to cooperate with counsel. In these situations, the facility usually tries to get the person on the right medications, so he or she can be found "fit with medication." When that happens, they are sent back to court for a "fitness hearing," which sounds like what's going on in your son's case.
The issue is not if he is "doing well." Nor is whether or not someone advised your son of the "consequences of not taking his medication." The issues is his fitness for trial, and for that reason, I will repeat myself, and advise you to not just call your son's lawyer, but to schedule a face-to-face meeting with him or her so you get the entire picture of what's going on.
Best of luck to you and your son.
Sometimes the doctors might opine that the person can can cooperate with counsel, but chooses not to.
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