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
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 treatment.
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 medication.
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
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