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Name: People v. Brewer
Case #: C075255
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 03/13/2015

Changes in the law regarding transfer of defendants found incompetent to stand trial (IST) require remand for reconsideration of Sacramento trial court’s injunction mandating 14-day transfer of defendants to state hospital. When a defendant is found IST, the trial court orders that the defendant be delivered by the sheriff to a state hospital or other treatment facility for restorative treatment (Pen. Code, § 1370, subd. (a)(1)(B)(i)). In 2005 the Sacramento Public Defender filed a writ petition on behalf of defendants who had been found IST but who were being detained at county jail rather than transferred to a state hospital as required. The trial court issued an injunction commanding the sheriff to deliver IST defendants to a state hospital within seven days of commitment, or as soon as the section 1370 package of documents was available. In 2013, the Public Defender sought an order to show cause because IST defendants were not being transferred as previously ordered. The State Department of State Hospitals (SDH) moved to dissolve the injunction. The request was denied, although the trial court extended the seven day time period to 14 days. SDH appealed. Held: Reversed and remanded. One ground upon which an injunction may be dissolved is a change in the law (Cal. Code Civ. Pro., § 533). Previously, section 1370 required the court to select the hospital to which the IST defendant would be committed. In 2014, section 1370 was amended to require SDH, rather than the court, to select the state hospital. The amendment further provided that the package of documents required under section 1370 must be sent to SDH prior to defendant’s admission to allow for individual assessment. Previously, these documents were taken with the defendant to the state hospital. These changes in the law mandate reconsideration of the reasonableness of the 14-day deadline provided in the injunction.