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Name: People v. Lemanuel C.
Case #: A109322
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 05/12/2006
Subsequent History: Rev. granted 8/23/06: S144515

Appellant’s commitment to CYA was extended under Welfare and Institutions Code section 1800. On appeal, appellant contended that the statute was unconstitutional in that it denied him due process of law. The appellate court disagreed and affirmed. Section 1800 does not violate due process under the cases defining the findings necessary for constitutionally valid civil commitments. In In re Howard N., the court concluded that in a section 1800 proceeding, there must be a finding of serious difficulty in controlling dangerous behavior. This case was tried before Howard N., and the section 1800 petition failed to allege this finding in the petition. However, the court made a finding beyond a reasonable doubt that appellant had serious difficulty controlling his behavior, so appellant was not prejudiced by the absence of the language in the petition. The court disagreed with the holding of In re Michael H., which reached the opposite conclusion. Due process is satisfied if the trier of fact finds that the defendant would be physically dangerous because of a mental disorder which caused him to have serious difficulty controlling his behavior.