United States v. Loughner, No. 11-10339 (9th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Defendant stands accused of multiple murders and attempted murders, including the attempted murder of U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords. While defendant was in custody, the Bureau of Prisons determined that defendant was a danger to himself or others and conducted hearings pursuant to 28 C.F.R. 549.46(a), Harper hearings, to determine if he could be involuntarily medicated. Defendant subsequently appealed the district court's denial of an emergency motion to enjoin the involuntary medication decision of June 14, 2011 (No. 11-10339); the denial of his emergency motion for a prompt post-deprivation judicial hearing (No. 11-10432); and the denial of his emergency motion to enjoin the involuntary medication decision of September 15, 2011 and the subsequent extension of the commitment order (No. 11-10504). The court concluded that defendant was provided with the substance and procedure demanded by the Due Process Clause before the government involuntarily medicated him; it was clear that defendant had a severe mental illness, that he represented a danger to himself or others, and that the prescribed medication was appropriate and in his medical interest; and there was no arbitrariness in the district court's order denying the motion to enjoin defendant's emergency treatment and he could be involuntarily medicated. The court also concluded that the district court did not commit legal error in its commitment rulings; its finding that there was substantial probability that defendant would be restored to competency in the foreseeable future was supported by the evidence and not clearly erroneous; and defendant could be committed pursuant to the district court's order and subject to its supervision. Therefore, judgment in No. 11-10504 was affirmed. Because the Harper III hearing superseded the Harper hearings and the emergency medication orders, appeals No. 11-10339 and No. 11-10432 were dismissed as moot.