Sunday, January 26, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: January 26

January 26, 1894 – The Minnesota Supreme Court, “holding that the law passed last winter regulating the commitment of insane persons to the asylum is invalid because it violates section 14 of the United States constitution” and also that “section of the state constitution that provides that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.”

As a result, at least 470 patients “who have been committed to the state asylums under the new law can, if their friends so elect, be taken from the asylums on writ of habeas corpus and returned to the counties from which they were sent for a second trial and recommitment” at the expense of the state. “Still another effect is that in all probability the friends of some of the patients could sue the superintendents of the insane asylums for damages on account of false imprisonment.”

The Daily Star; Pipestone, Minn.; January 26, 1894; p. 2

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