In Re Laura L

(Expert Testimony & DFP, Mass Case, Lack of admissibility if Lamb warning is not understood)

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IN THE MATTER OF LAURA L. n1
n1 A pseudonym.
No. 00-P-746
APPEALS COURT OF MASSACHUSETTS
54 Mass. App. Ct. 853; 768 N.E.2d 605; 2002 Mass. App.
November 6, 2001, Argued
May 28, 2002, Decided

PRIOR HISTORY: [***1] Plymouth. Application for commitment filed in the Brockton Division of the Juvenile Court Department on August 11, 1998. The case was heard by John P. Corbett, J.

DISPOSITION: Order of commitment vacated.

HEADNOTES:
Practice, Civil, Moot case, Commitment of mentally ill person. Evidence, Communication between patient and psychotherapist. Waiver.

COUNSEL: Deborah W. Kirchwey for Laura L.
Beverly Coles-Roby, Assistant Attorney General, for Department of Social Service.

JUDGES: Present: Brown, Greenberg, & McHugh, JJ.

OPINIONBY: GREENBERG

GREENBERG, J. Laura protests that a Juvenile Court judge’s order, committing her involuntarily to a mental health facility pursuant to G. L. c. 123, ยง 12(e), n2 was invalid because statements [*854] that she made to a court-appointed psychologist were admitted in evidence without a knowing Lamb waiver. See Commonwealth v. Lamb, 365 Mass. 265, 270, 311 N.E.2d 47 (1974). n3 We conclude that the judge’s failure to make any inquiry or findings on the Lamb issue was error, amounting to a substantial risk of a miscarriage of justice and, therefore, vacate the order of commitment.

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