South Dakota's state-run mental health hospital turned away a Minnehaha County criminal defendant last month despite a judge's order that he be admitted.
The hospital's refusal has left the defendant sitting in jail without access to the type of rehabilitation a judge said is necessary before proceeding with his criminal case.
And it's prompted a lawsuit from the state's largest county, which accuses the state hospital of not being forthcoming about the availability of treatment beds.
The Minnehaha County Public Defender's Office filed the lawsuit last week on behalf of Sampson Balu, 18, who was arrested May 10 following a fight at Roosevelt High School. Balu is charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, but based on a psychiatrist's evaluation a judge on Feb. 1 concluded he was not fit for trial.