Telephonic Testimony at An Involuntary Commitment Hearing
In In re MH 2004-001987, 211 Ariz. 255, 259-60, P20, 120 P.3d 210, 214-15 (App. 2005), the Court addressed whether telephonic testimony at an involuntary commitment hearing was necessary to further an important public policy where the witness was in another state. 211 Ariz. at 260-61, P 24, 120 P.3d at 215-16.
The Court held that such testimony may be allowed, depending upon the trial court's factual determinations. Id.
The trial court found that since mental health hearings operate on a "very truncated time table," the patient's sister had not been given adequate time to make plans to travel from Alabama to Arizona to testify. Id. at 257, P 7, 120 P.3d at 212.
The court therefore determined that in that situation, it was necessary to allow the telephonic testimony of the sister, and this court affirmed. Id. at 260, P 24, 120 P.3d at 215.