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Name: People v. Parker
Case #: E057890
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 12/02/2014

The trial court did not err when it revoked defendant’s outpatient status before she was placed in an outpatient program. In 2000, Parker was found not guilty by reason of insanity of several offenses arising out of an assault on a doctor she believed had intentionally disfigured her during a surgery. She was committed to Patton State Hospital. In 2011, she was granted outpatient status, but numerous outpatient programs refused to accept her. As a result, she remained hospitalized at Patton in the inpatient program. In 2012, the trial court revoked the order granting her outpatient status. On appeal, Parker argued that the Department of Mental Health and the outpatient treatment agencies acted unlawfully by failing to place her in a program within 21 days of the court’s outpatient order. The appellate court found that it was error for the court to have allowed a lengthy delay and to not have held regular status conferences. (See Pen. Code, § 1026.2.) However, the error was harmless because the agencies were unwilling to accept Parker. If the court had held status conferences, it would have been more expedient, but the result would have been the same. Parker also argued that the statutory scheme does not allow for revocation of outpatient status when the defendant has not actually been placed in an outpatient program. The appellate court rejected that argument as well, finding that the outpatient period begins with the court’s outpatient order. Revocation can occur at the placement stage, or in the program stage. (See Pen. Code, § 1608.) The appellate court also rejected an argument that principles of collateral estoppel and res judicata require the outpatient order be accepted as “law of the case.” Since a year had passed between the original outpatient order and the revocation, the court was required to consider Parker’s current condition. Since the hearings involved different issues, the revocation was not barred by principles of collateral estoppel. There was sufficient evidence presented at the revocation hearing to support a conclusion that there had been a material change in Parker’s condition so that she now posed a danger to the community.