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Name: People v. Hernandez
Case #: F060971
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 12/02/2011

The District Attorney’s statutory authority to file a petition for recommitment of a mentally disordered offender does not depend on the medical director’s determination that the inmate is dangerous. In support of this petition under Penal Code section 2970, the medical director’s evaluation found that the inmate’s severe mental illness was in remission and that he did not present a substantial danger to others. However, the evaluation found that he could not be kept in remission without treatment. The District Attorney deemed the statements contradictory and from them alleged substantial danger. One of the requirements for a petition for involuntary commitment is that the “prisoner’s severe mental disorder is not in remission or cannot be kept in remission without treatment.” (Pen. Code, sec. 2670.) The statute does not require that the director make a determination of dangerousness in order to support the District Attorney’s petition.