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Name: People v. Gregerson
Case #: G044661
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 12/22/2011

A Mentally Disordered Offender (MDO) has the burden of proof on his motion for outpatient treatment and the standard is “reasonable cause” to believe that outpatient treatment would be safe and effective. There was agreement in the trial court that the standard would be a preponderance of evidence. The issue was addressed on appeal because it was a pure question of law and pertinent to a proper disposition of the cause. The standard of “reasonable cause” is set forth in the plain language of the statute. (Pen. Code, sec. 2972, subd. (d).) Because the trial court applied an elevated standard at the hearing, there would normally be a remand for a new determination under the proper standard, but the issue in this case is moot because outpatient treatment has been granted during the pendency of the appeal. The opinion also clarified that the trial court’s order would be reviewed on appeal for substantial evidence, rather than for abuse of discretion, if the case were not moot.