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Name: People v. Superior Court (Lopez)
Case #: C046721
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 01/27/2005
Subsequent History: Revw den. 3/23/05

A defendant who is found to be incompetent to stand trial must be placed in a hospital or other secure treatment facility and may not receive alternative outpatient treatment. After the 79-year-old defendant in this child molestation case was found to be incompetent to stand trial due to untreatable degenerative dementia, the court found that he was not a danger to others and ordered alternative placement or outpatient treatment. The People sought a writ of mandate precluding such placement. The Court of Appeal granted the writ, holding that outpatient placement is not available under Penal Code section 1601, subdivision (a), for a crime such as child molestation, and that a person found incompetent to stand trial must be confined in a state hospital or other facility for 180 days. The circumstances that would allow the court to bypass such placement under Penal Code section 1370, subdivision (a)(1)(B)(ii), do not apply in this case because no separate proceedings were pending against the defendant.