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Andrews v. Schafer

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

April 30, 2018

Dwayne Andrews Plaintiff- Appellant
v.
Keith Schafer; Felix T. Vincenz; Mark Stringer; Laurent D. Javois; Sylvia P. Adams; H. A. Mannich; Roy Wilson Defendants - Appellees

          Submitted: January 11, 2018

          Appeal from United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri - St. Louis

          Before COLLOTON, BENTON, and ERICKSON, Circuit Judges.

          ERICKSON, CIRCUIT JUDGE.

         In 2003, Dwayne Andrews experienced a PTSD-related psychotic break. During the episode, he fired shots in the direction of two police officers. In 2005, the prosecution and Andrews entered into a Stipulation of Defense, which the court accepted, that Andrews was Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity under Section 552.030 of the Missouri Revised Statutes. As a result of the statutory scheme, Andrews was committed to the custody of the Missouri Department of Mental Health for treatment.

         In 2014, Andrews brought a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action against numerous current and former employees of the Missouri Department of Mental Health[1] alleging he had been deprived of his substantive due process right to liberty during his in-patient commitment as well as during his period of conditional release. The defendants moved for summary judgment. The district court[2] granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants on the basis of qualified immunity. Andrews appeals, and we affirm.

         I. BACKGROUND

         We recount the facts in the light most favorable to Andrews. On August 9, 2003, Andrews experienced a PTSD episode complete with hallucinations. Believing he was under attack by hidden assailants, Andrews fired a rifle in the direction of two police officers. Fortunately the shots were errant and no one was injured. Andrews was subdued, arrested, and charged with armed criminal action and two counts of assault in the first degree.

         Andrews was evaluated by Dr. Michael Armour, a licensed psychologist who found him competent to proceed. Even so, Dr. Armour also concluded that Andrews was not criminally responsible for his behavior as a result of his PTSD episode. Andrews, his attorney, and the prosecutor stipulated that Andrews's defense of Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity under Section 552.030 of the Missouri Revised Statutes was valid. The Circuit Court of St. Louis accepted the stipulation, found Andrews Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity, and committed Andrews to the custody of the Department of Mental Health for treatment.[3]

         Between October of 2005 and January of 2006, Andrews filed three motions for conditional release, claiming he was no longer mentally ill or dangerous. The Department of Mental Health did not support his motions, and Andrews's motions to vacate his commitment were denied.

         In September of 2010, Andrews underwent a Conditional Release Evaluation by Dr. Jeffrey Kline, who found that Andrews was not likely to be dangerous to others on conditional release or to commit another violent crime due to his mental illness. While Andrews's diagnosis remained in effect due to the nature of PTSD, Dr. Kline stated Andrews's symptoms were in "full remission" and had been for several years.

         Andrews and the Department of Mental Health filed cross-applications for conditional release that came on for hearing in December of 2010. The hearing marked the first time the Department of Mental Health supported Andrews's claim for conditional release. It was, however, opposed by the prosecution, and the circuit court denied the applications for conditional release.

         In June of 2012, the circuit court once again considered Andrews's application for conditional release, this time ordering a conditional release "without discharge." The release without discharge required Andrews to continue residing at the treatment facility. In September of 2012, the circuit court amended the conditional release without discharge to a conditional release with discharge for a period of one year. In September of 2013, Laurent Javois, in his official capacity, moved to amend and extend Andrews's conditional release for an additional year. That motion was granted on October 8, 2013, with a proposed termination date of October 5, 2014. Andrews filed this suit on October 11, 2013.

         II.DISCUS ...


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