Doyle v Director of the Central Mental Hospital and Another

JurisdictionIreland
CourtHigh Court
JudgeMS JUSTICE FINLAY GEOGHEGAN
Judgment Date20 March 2007
Neutral Citation[2007] IEHC 100
Docket Number[342/SS/2007]
Date20 March 2007

[2007] IEHC 100

[342/SS/2007]
DOYLE v DIRECTOR OF CENTRAL MENTAL HOSPITAL & LYNCH

BETWEEN

JAMES DOYLE
APPLICANT
-and-
THE DIRECTOR OF THE CENTRAL MENTAL HOSPITAL AND MR BRENDAN LYNCH
RESPONDENT

MENTAL HEALTH LAW

Detention

Lawfulness - Temporary chargeable patient - extension of order - Specified period - Whether period specified - Whether detention lawful - Mental Treatment Act 1945 (No 19). s 189(1)(a)(ii) - Order made for delayed release of applicant (2007/342SS - Finlay Geoghegan J - 20/3/3007) [2007] IEHC 100

D(J) v Director of Central Mental Hospital

The applicant was detained in the Central Mental Hospital. The Court made a conditional order directing an enquiry under Article 40 of the Constitution following an application brought in the applicant’s name. The issue before the Court was whether or not a decision which was reflected an endorsement on a temporary order was a valid extension of the temporary order under s. 189(1)(a)(ii) of the Mental Treatment Act 1945 as amended by s. 18(1) of the Mental Treatment Act 1961.

Held by Finlay Geoghegan J. that the Applicant was not being detained in accordance with law. The Court would hear the parties as to the order which it would make to give a short period of time to the authorities to consider the appropriate steps which should be taken in the interests of the applicant and his wellbeing in the context of an order for his release being made under Article 40 s. 4.

Reporter: R.W.

EX TEMPORE JUDGMENT OF
MS JUSTICE FINLAY GEOGHEGAN
delivered on the 20thday of March, 2007
1

The applicant is currently detained in the Central Mental Hospital. On Wednesday last I made a conditional order directing an enquiry under Article 40 of the Constitution following an application brought in his name and based on an affidavit sworn by his solicitor indicating that she was a person assigned by the Mental Health Commission to act as the Mental Health Representative of the applicant at a sitting of the Mental Health Review Tribunal in March 2007.

2

The certificate as to his detention was made by Dr Helen O'Neill, a consultant psychiatrist with the Central Mental Hospital, in which she indicates that he is held pursuant to an order for his reception as a temporary patient (chargeable) made under Section 184 of the Mental Treatment Act1945 as amended by Section 72 of the Mental Health Act 2001 and as affirmed by the Mental Health Tribunal on 12th March 2007.

3

This morning affidavits were filed in court sworn by Dr O'Neill and also by Mr Kearney; solicitor for the Respondents. Mr Kearney's affidavit was for the purposes of setting out certain instructions given to him by Dr Brendan Lynch who made the temporary reception order and also who extended that order in October 2007. Dr Lynch is currently out of the country and has been over the weekend and Mr Kearney has deposed to his instructions from Dr Lynch following a conversation with him as he was leaving the country and has also exhibited the original temporary patient (chargeable) order together with the endorsement.

4

Whilst the applicant is currently subject to the transitional provisions of the Mental Health Act2001 it is common case that the validity of the applicant's current detention turns on the validity of the extension of the temporary reception order of 19th April 2006 made by Dr Lynch on 14th October 2006. The form of endorsement on the temporary order signed by Dr Lynch with his qualifications is "temp. order extended 14/10/06". The issue before the court is whether or not the decision which is reflected by that endorsement is a valid extension of the temporary order under Section 189 (1)(a)(ii) of the Mental Treatment Act 1945 as amended by Section 18(1) of the Mental Treatment Act 1961. This provides:

"(1)(a) Where the chief medical officer of an approved institution becomes of opinion that a person detained in the institution under a temporary chargeable patient reception order or a temporary private patient reception order (including a person who would be so detained but for his being absent, removed or boarded out under Section 203, 204, 208 or 209 of this Act) will not have recovered on the expiration of the period during which pursuant to paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of the Section 186 of this Act, he may be detained.

(ii) In any other case the chief medical officer may by endorsement on the order extend the said period by a further period not exceeding six months or by a series of endorsements or by the order extend the said period by further periods none of which shall exceed six months and the aggregate of which shall not exceed eighteen months".

5

It is common case that the applicant was detained pursuant to the temporary (chargeable) patient reception order in St Finian's in Killarney and that Dr Lynch is the chief medical officer of that institution and that the applicant is a person who was transferred to the Central Mental Hospital under Section 208 of the 1945 Act. And accordingly both the applicant and Dr Lynch are prima facie, the correct people to whom Section 189(1)(a) applies.

6

The issue is whether or not the endorsement made by Dr Lynch on the order complies with the statutory provision that he "may by endorsement on the order extend the said period by a further period not exceeding six months". The endorsement does not on its face specify any period for which the order is to be extended. Counsel for the Respondents, Mr McEnroy, referred the court to the decision of the Supreme Court in Gooden v. Waterford Regional Hospital (Unreported the Supreme Court 21st February 2001) and to the to the judgments of Mrs...

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