Justices: Attorneys Can’t Waive Clients’ Right To Attend Commitment Hearings

first_img Olivia Covington for www.theindianalawyer.comA man whose attorney waived his right to be present at his mental health civil commitment hearing will be released from involuntary commitment after the Indiana Supreme Court ruled that attorneys may not waive a client’s right to be present at those hearings. The court also found that trial courts can independently waive a respondent’s presence but must do so at the beginning of a civil commitment proceeding.The court reached that unanimous decision Thursday in A.A. v. Eskenzai Health/Midtown CMHC, 49S02-1711-MH-688. The case began when 36-year-old A.A.’s mother filed an application for emergency detention of her son, who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and previously had been hospitalized for his mental illness. After being admitted to Eskenazi, A.A. was recommended for involuntary commitment and was scheduled for a committee hearing in September 2016.A.A. did not appear at that hearing, with his counsel informing the Marion Superior Court that he was waiving A.A.’s presence because A.A. was “agitated” and would not answer the phone. The attorney then called Dr. David Pollock as a witness, and Pollock testified that A.A.’s “menacing” and “aggressive” behavior made him dangerous to others and gravely disabled.The court subsequently ordered A.A.’s involuntary commitment, and the case proceeded to the Indiana Court of Appeals, where attorneys asked the court to provide guidance on an area of law that was not well developed. The appellate court determined that civil commitment respondents could not voluntarily waive their presence at a commitment hearing, but neither could their attorneys.The Court of Appeals also determined that trial courts have statutory authority to waive a respondent’s right to be present when their “presence would be injurious to the individual’s mental health or well-being.” That was the case here, the panel ruled, so A.A. did not suffer a due process violation. However, the court also found that trial courts must make waiver determinations at the outset of civil commitment hearings.The appellate court ultimately affirmed A.A.’s involuntary commitment, and the case proceeded to the Indiana Supreme Court in December, where attorneys once again urged the court to provide guidance on the waiver of a right to be present at a commitment hearing. In providing that guidance on Thursday, Chief Justice Loretta Rush first wrote that a respondent who is mentally competent can make a knowing, voluntary and intelligent waiver of their right to be present.“A court may not assume that a civil-commitment respondent is mentally incompetent just because the person is facing a claim of mental illness,” Rush wrote, noting the court disapproved of a contrary holding in In re Commitment of M.E., 64 N.E.3d 855, 860-61 (Ind. Ct. App. 2016).Rush went on to write that trial courts must expressly find that respondents are capable of making knowing, voluntary and intelligent waivers on the record, an inquiry she said would be case-sensitive.“Regardless, before accepting a personal waiver of appearance, the trial court must find, through direct contact with the individual, that the respondent understands the nature and importance of the right, the consequences of waiving the right, the elements required to obtain an involuntary commitment, and the applicable burden of proof,” she said.Turning to the applicable statute, Indiana Code section 12-26-2-2, the court then found that respondents and trial courts are given the right to waive their presence, but attorneys are not considered by the statute. Thus, A.A.’s attorney could not legally waive his right to be present, the court found.Finally, the justices agreed with the Court of Appeals that trial courts must waive a respondent’s right to be at a hearing at the outset of the hearing. The court based that holding on the structure of the statute, which lists three due process rights: the right to notice of a hearing, copy of the petition and counsel.“We believe that this grouping of certain due process rights in Indiana Code section 12-26-2-2(b) was deliberate,” Rush wrote. “They share a common temporal characteristic — they attach before a commitment hearing, and their utility decreases or even disappears if a respondent cannot exercise them in a timely manner.”“… A respondent’s right to appear — which is implicated before the proceeding begins — would not be adequately protected if the trial court conducted the entire hearing before waiving the individual’s presence,” she continued.If a trial court fails to make a proper statutory waiver, the court determined that error is subject to harmless-error review. The court stressed that harmlessness does not depend on whether the evidence supports commitment, but whether it supports waiver, which addresses whether being present at a hearing would be injurious to the respondent.In this case, the court determined the waiver of A.A.’s presence was not harmless because the court did not know why A.A. was agitated and, thus, whether his presence would have been injurious. The justices remanded the case to vacate A.A.’s commitment order.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Cost-conscious additions

first_imgAdding nuts to products can be an expensive business. So while prices escalate, a cheaper option than some of the exotic tree nuts could be using peanuts. Even cheaper than whole nuts, peanut flour was recently launched into the UK with a variety of US-style applications touted. It can be used as a healthy, protein-rich ingredient in a range of goods, including cereal bars, cakes, biscuits and confectionery, diet and nutritional bars. It can also control the fat migration of the high fat centres, as well as enhance flavour and texture. Extracted from the oil of roasted peanut seed, peanut flour normally contains around 50% protein.Organic peanut flour is brand new to the UK market, having been launched in May 2008 by the Golden Peanut Co. “Whether the flour comes from light, medium or dark roasted peanuts – which impart a light to a much stronger flavour profile accordingly – the roast level has no effect on the flour’s functionality. However, the stronger flavoured, darker roast is ideal for enhancing the flavour of fortified, healthy baked products,” says Bruce Kotz, vice-president at Golden Peanut Co.== Top tip: peanut flour ==l Peanut flour can be used in anything from cookies and muffins to bagels. Offering the same flavour as peanut butter, it is also lower in fat (either 12% or 28% fat), and therefore useful for reducing the fat content and increasing the protein content of healthier baked goods. Peanut flour is said to work very well to colour and flavour products. Of course, it cannot be exchanged for ordinary flour, as it does not contain gluten, so has no rising properties. Most bakers using this ingredient would substitute a portion of their regular flour with peanut flour – at typically a 25% rate – to give the baked product a peanutty flavour.Taste, texture and appearance alone no longer form the basis of a purchase decision, as consumers become more and more focused on the nutritional content of food. American-style products, such as bagels, cookies and muffins, are particularly suited to fruits. Traditionally, fruit has posed numerous difficulties to bakers, including poor piece identity and moisture retention. In line with this, Ocean Spray ITG has developed Berry Fusions, currently available in blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, cherry, orange, mango and mixed berry, as a natural alternative to artificial gums and jellies. Unlike other fruits, their shells are quite tough and the fruits remain intact, despite rigorous industrial processes, says Kristen Girard, principal food scientist at Ocean Spray. “They also offer consistent supply and stable pricing.”The fruits do not migrate or absorb moisture over time, nor bleed colour. Sweetened dried cranberries, he says, have the same process tolerance.== Top tip: fruits ==l One option is to blend pieces of the named fruit with Ocean Spray’s BerryFusions Fruits, allowing for flexible labelling and reduced production costs. For baked goods such as muffins, breads, cookies and cakes, a recommended inclusion rate is 15-20% by weight. This gives the baked product the desirable fruit distribution throughout.While the ’bread with bits’ bakery market has boomed over the last two years, the flip side of that success has been seed price escalation, which may even be holding back the growth of the category. “Bakery seeds are basic agricultural crops, just like grains, and have not been sheltered from price rises, with some prices increasing over 200% in the last 12 months,” says Alan Marson, commercial director of Holgran, a Premier Foods innovation arm, which also services businesses throughout the bakery sector. He says Holgran entered into a joint collaboration with bakery seed trading partners Kimpton Brothers, to encourage the cultivation of more UK-grown bakery seeds and to overcome the reliance on overseas sources. “There is still more growth in the sector, but it is being slowed down by these escalating costs,” he says.== Top tip: seeds ==l There are so many uses for bakery seeds across the category yet to be explored – not just sliced bread or rolls with sprinkles on top. Pizza, pastry, tortilla, crackers, crisp breads, biscuits and croissants all lend themselves to seed inclusion with the right product mix.last_img read more

Tourism INDABA 2016 Bringing Africa under one sky

first_imgBy June Mukherjee, Durban, South AfricaIf tourism is a sector of progress for the people of Africa, then INDABA was its embodiment. With exhibitors from 17 countries like Egypt, Madagascar, Botswana, Mauritius, Seychelles, Namibia, Tanzania, Benin, Lesotho, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Swaziland, Malawi, Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia, Mozambique and of course South Africa – Indaba showcased more exhibitors from the continent under one roof than ever, with over nine of the continent’s Tourism Ministers present. INDABA, the premier African travel and tourism show in the world concluded with 14,000 business meetings, 1,050 exhibitors, 1,856 buyers and 724 media.The theme for INDABA this year was ‘Putting you at the forefront of business success’ and it was South African Tourism’s promise to its exhibitors on show at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre, Durban from May 7 to 9.Derek Hanekom, Tourism Minister, South Africa, said, “INDABA expresses what the soul of Africa is all about. We are bound together by our common past, and our future is intertwined. We feel a powerful sense of belonging when we come together to move tourism forward. It starts with the people who partner with SA Tourism to put on this great show. And after the stands have been packed away, it will be about how our governments throughout the continent partner with industry and communities, and how we join forces to receive the next wave of tourists. All indications are that 2016 will be a bumper year for tourism in South Africa. Tourist arrivals in Africa are expected to reach 130 million by 2030. This is more than double the 50 million arrivals we are currently receiving. In South Africa, we are investing in our key sites, and training our people to enhance the visitor experience at these destinations. As we build our destination, we are also adjusting our marketing efforts to keep pace with global trends. A successful Indaba contributes to the success of tourism in all our countries.”Indaba 2016 delivered better business results and more meaningful interactions with key buyers from across the globe – again demonstrating the growth and potential of African tourism sector. For established companies Indaba offered the opportunity to connect with loyal existing clients and the potential to develop new business.Sthembiso Dlamini, Acting Chief Executive Officer, South African Tourism, said, “As South African Tourism we are delighted to once again to bring the latest edition of INDABA. This is where all our delegates experience some of the best of what Africa has to offer in the travel and tourism industry under the same roof. We showcase new products and services that attest to the variety of experiences that we have.”About 40 Tanzanian tourism stakeholders, including national conservation agencies, Ngorongoro crater and Tanapa led by the Tanzania Tourist Board, participated at INDABA. “While we expect a significant growth of International arrivals this year, regional markets remain a potential segment that we are happy with the response of the Indaba trade show,” said Devota Mdachi, Managing Director, Tanzania Tourist Board.“INDABA is where we finalise contracts with our clients and consolidate our brand with operators we’ve developed relationships with over the year,” says Belinda Pedersen, General Manager, International Sales, Tsogo Sun.“Our primary objective is to showcase the significance of Freedom Park (Pretoria) as liberation heritage product at this prestigious event whilst keeping abreast with global trends and new developments within the tourism and travel industry,” says Jane Mufamadi, Chief Executive Officer, Freedom Park, the heritage destination of South Africa.Last year, the Travel and Tourism Competitive Report, presented by the World Economic Forum, confirmed that tourism constitutes nine percent of Africa’s overall economy and that some African nations were well positioned to benefit from the projected 4.9% growth in the continent’s travel and tourism business. Tourism arrivals to the continent are projected to reach 130 million travellers by 2030, over double the current 50 million arrivals.Open skies, interdepartmental collaboration and trust between government and industry were some of the topics discussed at the Ministerial Media Talk facilitated by CNN anchor Richard Quest.Hanneli Slabber, Country Manager – India, South African Tourism, added, “INDABA 2016 was one of the most successful trade engagements for us. This year saw a total of 7,292 delegates in attendance with 17 countries from across the African continent who exhibited. In total 14,000 quality meetings were held over the three days of the show. INDABA is the largest platform for our trade partners to learn about the great products and iconic experiences that South Africa has to offer. As more and more Indians put South Africa on their itinerary, it is essential that our travel partners have access to resources that will enable to deepen their destination knowledge and hone their expertise. South Africa offers visitors numerous activities and experiences, and there’s something for everyone, right from wildlife to adventure, culture & lifestyle to indulgent luxury. INDABA is really the best place for our partners to witness the breadth and depth of our offerings. We’re certain that INDABA will equip our partners to better sell South Africa by providing tailor-made packages to Indian tourists.”No other initiative gives South African travel and tourism exhibitors the most lucrative platform, to sell their products and services to buyers from across the world than INDABA’s speed marketing sessions. In just five minutes, exhibitors demonstrated to between 170 and 200 global buyers, that as entrepreneurs they understand, how to operate, market and package, their offerings in line with local and global trends. Three days were dedicated to three themes – a) World Heritage Sites & Culture, b) Safari and c) Adventure.For the first time, INDABA had a Hidden Gems Zone, built to showcase products and services from South African Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises (SMMEs). For three days of the exhibition, SMMEs enjoyed networking opportunities with buyers from around the world; attended workshops facilitated to provide knowledge and tools on how to access the market and shared their stories with global media.South African Tourism India office took the initiative to take an Indian delegation with a good mix of travel agents, tour operators working in African sector, mainline as well as travel trade media and bloggers. The delegation was given a taste of African wildlife with pre and post familiarisation tours that included select property inspections, private safaris and game drives.last_img read more