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Name: People v. Bowers
Case #: F054686
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 01/09/2009
Summary

A single psychiatric opinion that an individual is dangerous because of mental disease provides sufficient evidence in a court trial for extension of a commitment under Penal Code section 1026.5, subdivision (b). Appellant was found not guilty by reason of insanity and committed to the Department of Mental Health. In 2007, she was released to the Central California Conditional Release Program (CONREP) for outpatient treatment, but after approximately five months, CONREP petitioned for an extended commitment under section 1026.5, subdivision (b), and she was placed in custody pending trial. At the court trial, as to the issue of whether she represented a substantial danger of physical harm to others, appellant submitted the matter on the reports. The reports were those of the Medical Director at Napa State Hospital, the director of the community program and the program’s clinician. The appellate court rejected the People’s claim that the issue was waived because appellant stipulated to the recommitment, observing that appellant did not stipulate but, instead, submitted the issue on the reports. It then found that the reports of the Director and CONREP, along with appellant’s history, were sufficient evidence to support a finding that appellant represented a substantial danger to others should she remain in the community, even though she had engaged in no acts of physical harm to others during her short release in the community.