final until disposition of any timely and authorized motion
under Fla. R. App. P. 9.330 or 9.331.
appeal from the Circuit Court for Alachua County. Denise
Thomas, Public Defender, and Megan Long, Assistant Public
Defender, Tallahassee, for Appellant.
Moody, Attorney General, and Timothy L. Newhall, Senior
Assistant Attorney General, Tallahassee, for Appellee.
Hicks III, a forensic client committed to a state mental
health facility, appeals an order authorizing the Florida
Department of Children and Families to involuntarily medicate
him.[*] Because the trial court complied with the
requirements of section 916.107(3), Florida Statutes (2018),
when it authorized the treatment, we affirm.
was diagnosed with delusional disorder. The trial court
declared Hicks incompetent to proceed to trial on the
criminal charges against him and committed him to the custody
of DCF. Eight months later, the administrator of the
commitment facility petitioned the court, under section
916.107(3), for an order authorizing the involuntary
treatment of Hicks, including the administration of
psychotropic medications. The administrator asserted that
Hicks was unable to give express and informed consent for his
court held an evidentiary hearing on the petition and Hicks
testified. Hicks claimed he did not need treatment because he
was not harming anyone. He refused to take his prescribed
medications because he was concerned about the side effects.
But he did not identify any side effects that prompted his
John Johnston, an expert in forensic psychiatry, also
testified at the hearing. Dr. Johnston diagnosed Hicks with
delusional disorder. Hicks' disorder manifested itself
through many irrational beliefs. For example, he believed
that it would be impossible for him to lose at trial, that he
was a millionaire, and that the hospital was poisoning his
food. He also believed that a group at the hospital was
conspiring to prevent his discharge. Dr. Johnston opined that
the best course of treatment for Hicks was long-term
psychotherapy. But Hicks refused to talk about his symptoms
or illness. The next best treatment option was medication.
Dr. Johnston explained that Hicks' prognosis with
medication was better than without it. He also opined that
Hicks' competency could not be restored without
filing the petition for involuntary treatment, Dr. Johnston
sought an emergency treatment order because Hicks' anger
and aggression over being involuntarily committed led to
Hicks making threatening statements to multiple staff members
at the hospital. Dr. James Yelton, a psychiatrist, opined
that there had been a de-escalation in Hicks' aggressive
behavior since he started taking the medication authorized by
the emergency order.
hearing concluded and the trial court granted the petition
for involuntary treatment. The court found that Hicks was
unable to and refused to give express and informed consent to
his treatment. And that Hicks refused to participate in
therapeutic options offered to restore his competency.
Because Hicks had been diagnosed with delusional disorder,
the court found that treatment with psychotropic medications
was essential to Hicks' care and did not present an
unreasonable risk of serious, hazardous, or irreversible side
support of its order, the trial court made these findings
required by section 916.107(3): (1) Hicks preferred not to
take medication; (2) Hicks suffered no adverse side effects
from the psychotropic medication administered under the
emergency order and there were no physical contraindications
to the administration of the psychotropic medications; (3)
Hicks' prognosis without treatment was poor, and his
competence could not be restored without the use of
psychotropic medications; and (4) Hicks' prognosis was
better with drug treatment than without it.
the trial court found that the evidence supported Hicks'
involuntary medication under the statute, Hicks' counsel
argued that the trial court was also required to determine
whether Hicks' involuntary medication was
constitutionally permissible by considering the factors
provided in Sell v. United States, 539 U.S. 166
(2003). The court found that it need not consider those
factors because Sell did not apply when a court