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Name: People v. Mitchell
Case #: A107291
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 03/23/2005

A trial court need not automatically dismiss a petition to extend an MDO commitment for untimely filing. The prosecution filed the petition to extend within the statutory limit, but without sufficient time for the parties to prepare for trial. The late filing was admittedly not justified by any reasonable excuse. The trial court declined to dismiss the petition, and after a trial, extended appellant’s commitment. The Court of Appeal affirmed, holding that the trial court had discretion to proceed even though the petition was not timely filed, and that no abuse of that discretion occurred where defense counsel had represented appellant before, and was given ample time in which to investigate appellant’s case, obtain expert medical testimony, and prepare a defense before going to trial.