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US v. Nicklas, No. 09-3784

By FindLaw Staff on November 05, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Involuntary Medication Order Affirmed

In US v. Nicklas, No. 09-3784, the court affirmed the district court order that defendant be involuntarily medicated in order to restore his competency to stand trial, holding that 1) because of the intertwined nature of defendant's mental disease and his crimes, it was reasonable for the government to presume defendant may persist in committing similar offenses, and the government had an important interest in preventing recidivism; and 2) because of the relationship between defendant's alleged crime and his mental disease, and because of his prior conviction on similar charges, the government also had a substantial interest in seeking a sentence of supervised release.

As the court wrote:  "Charged with transmitting in interstate commerce a threatening communication, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 875(c), the district court1 found David Eugene Nicklas incompetent to stand trial. The district court ordered that Nicklas be involuntarily medicated in order to restore his competency. Nicklas appeals. We have jurisdiction over interlocutory appeals of orders for involuntary medication under the collateral order doctrine. See Sell v. United States, 539 U.S. 166, 177 (2003). We affirm."

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