The Second Department determined the petitioner did not demonstrate that Luis G met the criteria for involuntary assisted outpatient treatment (AOP). By the time of the appeal, the order for involuntary AOP had expired. The Second Department explained the exception to the mootness doctrine which allowed the court to rule in the matter:
Generally, “an appeal will be considered moot unless the rights of the parties will be directly affected by the determination of the appeal and the interest of the parties is an immediate consequence of the judgment” … . “However, an exception to the mootness doctrine permits courts to preserve for review important and recurring issues which, by virtue of their relatively brief existence, would be rendered otherwise nonreviewable” … .
* * * There is an issue as to whether the Supreme Court properly determined that the petitioner demonstrated that Luis G. met all the criteria for involuntary assisted outpatient treatment (hereinafter AOT), as set forth in Mental Hygiene Law § 9.60. This issue has a likelihood of recurrence, either between the petitioner and Luis G. due to his chronic mental illness, or between the petitioner and other patients who may be the subject of involuntary AOT proceedings. In addition, this issue would typically evade appellate review, as involuntary AOT orders have a maximum duration of six months unless extended by a subsequent court order (see Mental Hygiene Law § 9.60[j]; [k]). Further, the issue raised on appeal has not been the subject of prior appellate review and is substantial and novel … .
The petitioner failed to demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that Luis G. met the criteria of Mental Hygiene Law § 9.60(c)(4), as no evidence indicated that he was hospitalized twice during the 36 months prior to the filing of the petition for involuntary AOT, as required by statute (see Mental Hygiene Law §§ 9.60[c][i], [j]). Moreover, the petitioner failed to establish by clear and convincing evidence that, during the 48 months prior to the filing of the petition for involuntary AOT, Luis G. engaged in any act of serious violent behavior toward himself or others, or threatened or attempted to cause serious physical harm to himself or others … . Matter of Walsh-Tozer v Luis G, 2014 NY Slip Op 04500, 2nd Dept 6-18-14