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Name: People v. Hall (2024) 99 Cal.App.5th 1116
Case #: B326944
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 02/22/2024
Summary

Trial court properly terminated pretrial mental health diversion and reinstated criminal proceedings pursuant to Penal Code section 1001.36(g) based on defendant’s uncharged criminal conduct. Shortly after being placed on pretrial mental health diversion, defendant was expelled from his residential treatment program for assaulting fellow participants and destroying property while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance. Defendant absconded but was taken into custody six months later. On appeal, he argued the trial court erred in reinstating criminal proceedings because he did not meet the statutory criteria for having his diversion terminated. Held: Affirmed. Where a defendant has been placed on mental health diversion under section 1001.36, a hearing to determine whether criminal proceedings should be reinstated must be held if any of the circumstances set forth in section 1001.36(g) apply. One such circumstance is where the defendant “engaged in criminal conduct rendering the defendant unsuitable for diversion.” (§ 1001.36(g)(3).) Defendant argued that “criminal conduct” under section 1001.36 is limited to the super-strike offenses listed in section 667(e)(2)(C)(iv). The court disagreed. Under the plain meaning of the section 1001.36(g)(3), “criminal conduct” refers to conduct that renders the defendant no longer suitable for diversion; it is not limited to conduct that poses an unreasonable risk of danger to public safety. Here, the trial court did not err in terminating diversion based on defendant’s uncharged conduct. In addition to being criminal, defendant’s actions demonstrated that he no longer agreed to comply with his treatment obligations and had stopped consenting to diversion, making him no longer suitable for diversion. [Editor’s Note: The Court of Appeal also held that the trial court’s error in failing to provide notice of the hearing to terminate diversion (§ 1001.36(g)) was harmless because counsel was given the opportunity to argue defendant’s case during a subsequent reconsideration hearing.]