Auckland District Health Board v YM  NZFC 8644
Published 16 September 2021
Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992, ss 2, 6A, 7, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19 & 21 — New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990, ss 11 & 22 — Interpretation Act 1999, s 29 — Waitemata District Heath Board v IIA FC Waitakere FAM-2010-090-223, 2 March 2010 — PS v Northshore Family Court  NZLR 781 — Re WJM (2004) 24 FRNZ 114 — Re T (2006) 25 FRNZ 705.
The applicant health board applied for a further six-month community treatment order in respect of the respondent patient. The patient opposed the application.
The patient had been the subject of a compulsory treatment order since April 2020. The expert medical evidence and judicial opinion had been that the patient was not fit to be released from compulsory status. However, with this fresh application further medical opinion from the responsible clinician was necessary. This had not occurred for various reasons.
The issues for determination were whether the Court had jurisdiction to deal with the application without this medical evidence and whether it was possible to adjourn the hearing.
Section 2 of the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act defined "responsible clinician" as the medical professional in charge of the patient's treatment. The patient's responsible clinician had been unable to make an assessment. The Judge therefore determined the Court did not have jurisdiction to hear the application at the present time.
In terms of a possible adjournment, a one-week adjournment was possible under the Act but the Judge declined to do so because more than six months had passed since the previous order had been made and there had been issues with the second limb of the legislative test; the application had already been delayed, and there were issues with one of the reports.
The Judge therefore declined to grant an adjournment and dismissed the application for a community treatment order.
Judgment Date: 26 August 2021.
* * * Note: names have been changed to comply with legal requirements. * * *