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Name: People v. Soiu
Case #: B157187
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 03/11/2003
Subsequent History: Req. to depublish den. 6/11/03

Appellant was convicted of stalking, and was found insane within the meaning of Penal Code section 1026. He was ordered committed to the Department of Mental Health for placement in a state hospital until his sanity was restored, but not to exceed three years. About a year later, appellant filed a petition for placement in a conditional release program pursuant to section 1026.2. The trial court took no action on the petition, relying on the recommendation of Patton State Hospital that appellant remain hospitalized. Appellant filed a supplemental petition a few months later, requesting the appointment of an independent psychologist and a hearing. The trial court denied both requests, and ordered nonappearance progress reports to be issued by the hospital every six months. The appellate court here reversed the order summarily denying the application without a hearing. Based on the express language of the statute, the court could not deny the application without holding a hearing at which appellant could be present. Further, due process rights, except for the right to a jury trial, shall apply at the hearing. The trial court may also consider appellant’s request for appointment of a medical professional to assist in the hearing.