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Hospital waiting area becomes courtroom

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WENATCHEE — Sometimes patients are in restraints, sometimes they’re in wheelchairs or gurneys, and sometimes they sit calmly in a chair and fall asleep.

There is always a security guard standing by.

This is Chelan County Superior Court at Central Washington Hospital.

Since last spring, the hospital has been hosting court to determine if severely mentally ill patients should continue to be housed at the hospital. On a recent Thursday, a judge, prosecutor and public defender met in a fifth-floor…

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