Skip to content
Name: In re Greenshields
Case #: B252222
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 07/14/2014
Summary

Persons found not guilty by reason of insanity (NGI) have a constitutional right to refuse antipsychotic medication under certain circumstances based on equal protection principles. Greenshields was found not guilty of attempted murder by reason of insanity and the trial court committed him to a state hospital. While his most recent petition to extend his commitment was pending, Greenshields asked the trial court to enjoin the state hospital from treating him with antipsychotic medications against his will. The court denied the request and Greenshields filed a habeas petition in the Court of Appeal. Held: Petition granted. Persons committed for treatment under the Mentally Disordered Offender Act (MDO) have a statutory and constitutional right to refuse antipsychotic medication under certain circumstances. Under equal protection principles, persons committed for treatment under the Sexually Violent Predators Act (SVP) have the same right to refuse similar treatment. Although the statutory framework pertaining to NGI’s does not include this right, the court here concluded that NGI’s have a similar right to refuse antipsychotic medication based on equal protection principles. Because a judgment of NGI is not a determination that the defendant is incompetent to refuse treatment or that he recently committed a dangerous act, NGI’s are similarly situated to MDO’s and SVP’s for purposes of determining whether they may be treated with antipsychotic medication against their will. The Department of State Hospitals failed to demonstrate a compelling state interest that justifies the distinction between NGI’s and MDO’s. As a result, an NGI may not be forcibly medicated with antipsychotic medication in a nonemergency situation unless a trial court determines he is (1) incompetent to refuse treatment, or (2) a danger to others within the meaning of Penal Code section 5300. The court disapproved its previous decision in In re Locks (2000) 79 Cal.App.4th 890.