1. Read O'Connor v. Donaldson, 422 U.S. 563 (1975).
2. Read Addington v. Texas, 441 U.S. 418 (1979).
3. Read Olmsted v. L.C., 527 U.S. 581 (1999).
4. Describe your understanding of when the mentally ill may remain home with their families.
5. Apply that to the following hypothetical factual scenario:
a. Mr. Gaspar Pelayo is a 32-year-old man who lives in Relenda, Montana. During his last semester in university, Gaspar was diagnosed with bipolar (manic depression) disorder. Although he is usually reasonably stable so long as he takes his medication, Gaspar is not able to hold steady employment. He receives Social Security Disability Income (SSDI), Medicare and Medicaid.
b. Gaspar met a woman, Naomi, who also suffers from mental illness. Naomi has multiple ailments; among them are intellectual disability, compulsive spending disorder and impulse control disorder. She, too, receives the same government benefits as Gaspar. Eventually, the two fell in love and married.
c. Over time, Naomi grew more assertive over their finances, while Gaspar regressed into a quiet submission. Naomi spent most of their monthly income on unrestrained shopping while Gaspar struggled to find enough food to eat. He could no longer afford his prescription medications, while Naomi simply quit receiving medical care.
d. Last year, Gaspar was hospitalized five times for uncontrolled bipolar disorder. He could not remain stable though because he was essentially denied his prescription medication due to Naomi's out of control spending habits. Despite their problems, the two remain devoted to remaining together.
e. One day, your neighbor, a psychiatric nurse who took care of Gaspar during his hospitalizations and knows that you are a paralegal at a large law firm, explained Gaspar and Naomi's situation (in hypothetical terms only, without reviewing their personal information to you), asked you about whether Gaspar might have any civil rights that could be asserted on his behalf. She asked only because she is concerned for Gaspar and others like him; she just wants to know whether Gaspar should be referred to a lawyer.
6. Explain what access to justice issues are related to this sort of situation. Make suggestions about how to reduce the legal burdens associated with such problems.