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Name: People v. Rish
Case #: B198727
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 7
Opinion Date: 06/16/2008
Summary

Under Penal Code section 2972, the trial court has no sua sponte duty to determine suitability of a mentally disordered offender for outpatient treatment. Penal Code sections 2970 and 2972 provide the procedures for continuing the involuntary treatment of a mentally disordered offender after the termination of his parole or release from prison. When the prosecution has filed a petition to extend a person’s commitment for an additional term on the recommendation of the hospital or program treating the person, the trial court is required to hold a hearing, and at the conclusion of the hearing must sustain the petition if it finds that the patient has a severe mental disorder that is not in remission or cannot be kept in remission without treatment, and that the patient represents a substantial danger of harm to others. Under section 2972, subdivisions (c) and (d), if such a finding is made, the court may either recommit the patient or release him on outpatient status if the court finds that there is reasonable cause to believe the patient can be effectively treated on an out-patient basis. Applying the rules of statutory construction to subdivision (d), the court ruled that the trial court has no mandatory duty to determine suitability for out-patient treatment when the issue is not presented at the recommitment hearing and if appellant does not seek such a determination at the hearing, he forfeits the claim on appeal.