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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:In 1996, Nathan Dale Campbell was charged with aggravated kidnapping and aggravated assault after he attempted to gouge his girlfriend’s eyeballs from the sockets. The trial court found him not guilty by reason of insanity and he was committed to Vernon State Hospital. Campbell was transferred to Rusk State Hospital, and in May 2000, the Rusk superintendent filed a report indicating that inpatient treatment of Campbell was no longer necessary. The superintendent recommended outpatient treatment, so the trial court ordered two psychiatrists to evaluate Campbell for their opinions. The two disagreed, so the court sought advice from the Harris County. That agency said Campbell could possibly be released into a highly structured outpatient program but that the agency could not provide such treatment. Campbell was thus committed to Rush again. He was transferred to Kerrville State Hospital, and was committed there through 2002. The Kerrville CEO filed a certificate in early 2003 to say that Campbell should be released on a supervised outpatient basis. In a hearing in a Harris County court, without the participation of Campbell or anyone from Bexar County Mental Health and Mental Retardation Services, the trial court signed an order granting Campbell’s release and designating Sherry Baily, “Bexar County Mental Health Services Program Manager,” as the person responsible for providing outpatient services to Campbell, starting June 30. The Bexar County MHRM, which did business as the Center for Health Care Services, filed a motion for reconsideration. The motion mentioned several factors, including that Health & Safety Code �574.037 required that the person designated to provide services to the released patient be the facilities administrator of a department facility or the facility administrator of a community center that provides mental health services in the region in which the committing court is located. Bexar County also argued that although the trial court was holding a hearing under C.C.P. art. 46.03, �4(d)(5), the requirements of �574.037(a) applied. On June 30, 2003, trial court held that it had state-wide jurisdiction over “this criminal matter,” and that �574.037(a) did not apply. The court’s order substituted Leon Evans for Bailey as the designated mental health services provider. The center filed a notice of appeal, and filed a letter explaining the center’s lack of resources to provide services to Campbell. It filed a motion to consider the June 30 order. And it filed a writ of mandamus with this court, asking this court to compel the trial court to set aside its first order and its June 30 order. In the meantime, the trial court conducted a show-cause hearing and signed a contempt judgment against Evans for not providing Campbell with outpatient mental health services. Evans was ordered confined until he complied with the June 30 order, though his contempt was purged pending appeal of the June 30 order. This court denied the mandamus writ, but when Evans later filed another writ asking to direct the trial court to vacate the contempt judgment, this court consolidated that writ proceeding and the appeal into one proceeding. HOLDING:Reversed and remanded; writ conditionally granted. The court first considers whether it has appellate jurisdiction. It does, the court finds, because the Bexar County plaintiffs have a direct interest in an issue that was decided by the trial court’s June 30 order in a way that binds them. The court next considers whether the trial court had authority to designate Evans as a person responsible for providing outpatient mental health services to Campbell and to order the center to provide outpatient mental health services to him, too. The court examines C.C.P. Art. 46.03, �4(d), which address recommitment. The statute refers to the requirements of the Mental Health Code or Mentally Retarded Person’s Act, and subsection 5 of that statute spells out the steps that must be taken prior to judicial release of a person acquitted by reason of insanity. On the other hand, Health & Safety Code �574.037 addresses proceedings for court-ordered mental health services. That section states that a person “may not be designated as responsible for the ordered services without the person’s consent unless the person is the facility administrator of a department facility or the facility administrator of a community center that provides mental health services in the region in which the committing court is located.” The court rejects the state’s contention that Art. 46.03, �4(d) governs. The unambiguous language of both statutes indicates that �574.027 does apply. Even though the commitment proceedings resulted from a criminal prosecution, these commitment proceedings are civil in nature, the court states in this matter of first impression. The language of Art. 46.03 does not state who can be ordered to provide outpatient mental health services to persons who previously have been found not guilty by reason of insanity, the court states. Though Art. 46.03 refers to the trial court issuing an order requiring the person to participate in outpatient mental health services, it does not require that the court designate the person responsible for providing these outpatient mental health services. The court adds that when Art. 46.03 refers to the Mental Health Code, it is not merely referring to the procedural aspects of that code. The court points out that by seeking the input of and requiring the consent of the person who will be designated as the mental heal services provider, the statutory framework of �547.037 enables the trial court “to obtain necessary information and direction both in determining whether mental health services are available and in determining who should be ordered to provide these services.” The court declines the state’s suggestion that the power to order Evans to provide outpatient mental health services should be implied. The court also disagrees that Art. 46.03 is the more specific, thus controlling statute. Such deference to a more specific statute is appropriate only when the statutes are in conflict. Here, they are not in conflict. The court takes note of the legislative changes to Art. 46.03 over the years. The court acknowledges that the current statute may allow a trial court to transfer people acquitted by reason of insanity on or after Sept. 1, 2001, to another county, that option is not available in this case. The court does not adopt either of the policy rationales offered by the state: 1. that a trial court should be able to order persons outside its region to provide outpatient mental health services so that, as to acquittees who have engaged in violent behavior, appropriate treatment and protection of victims, along with a high level of supervision can be achieved; and 2. if trial courts cannot order out-of-region individuals to provide outpatient mental health services, acquittees in some smaller counties may be unable to obtain treatment. In the face of unambiguous statutory language, the court holds, it cannot concern itself with pure policy-based arguments. After reversing the trial court’s initial order, the court also conditionally grants the writ to compel the trial court to vacate its contempt judgment. OPINION:Frost, J.; Hedges, C.J., Frost and Guzman, JJ.

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