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Name: People v. Lara
Case #: S155481
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 03/08/2010

Under Penal Code section 1026.5, subdivision (a)(2), the deadline for the filing of a petition to extend commitment of a person not guilty by reason of insanity is directory, not mandatory, and if the petition is filed while the person is still in custody on the initial commitment, the court retains jurisdiction.
Appellant was found not guilty by reason of insanity (NGI) of false imprisonment of a child and committed to a state hospital, with a maximum term of six years. Some 180 days before expiration of the term, the hospital director provided the prosecution with an opinion…

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Name: People v. Bowers
Case #: F054686
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 01/09/2009

A single psychiatric opinion that an individual is dangerous because of mental disease provides sufficient evidence in a court trial for extension of a commitment under Penal Code section 1026.5, subdivision (b). Appellant was found not guilty by reason of insanity and committed to the Department of Mental Health. In 2007, she was released to the Central California Conditional Release Program (CONREP) for outpatient treatment, but after approximately five months, CONREP petitioned for an extended commitment under section 1026.5, subdivision (b), and she was placed in custody pending trial. At the court trial, as to the issue of…

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Name: People v. Sudar
Case #: A115464
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 01/02/2008

In an NGI proceeding, the failure to instruct the jury that the prosecution must prove "serious difficulty controlling dangerous behavior" was harmless error. Appellant contended on appeal from his extended NGI commitment that reversal was required due to the trial court's failure to give a requested jury instruction. Appellant had argued that the standard jury instruction, CALCRIM 3453, should be modified to include the requirement set forth in In re Howard N. that the prosecution prove the person to be committed could not control his dangerous behavior. The trial court denied the request, and the jury was…

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Name: People v. Givan
Case #: F050822
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 10/24/2007

The extension of an NGI commitment was proper where appellant waived a hearing and the record showed an implicit waiver of the right to a jury trial. After a finding of not guilty by reason of insanity and a commitment to the Department of Mental Health (DMH), Givan waived a hearing on the prosecutor's request for a two-year extension of treatment, and another two-year term was ordered. On appeal, Givan argued that the trial court erred by allowing him to waive his rights without requiring a personal appearance. He also argued that his waiver was invalid because…

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Name: People v. Price
Case #: A111081
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 02/20/2007
Subsequent History: Review granted 6/13/07: S151207

Appellant appealed from an order extending his NGI commitment for an additional two years under Penal Code section 1026.5. Appellant was scheduled to be released from the psychiatric institution in November, 2004, and his doctor requested that the prosecutor file a petition to extend the petition. The prosecutor did not file the petition until less than two weeks prior to the scheduled release date, which was after the statutory deadline. The appellate court reversed the denial of appellant's motion to dismiss the petition. The statutory deadlines require that a defendant be given time to prepare for…

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Name: People v. Galindo
Case #: C049214
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 08/30/2006

Galindo was committed to a state hospital following a finding of not guilty by reason of insanity. In February, 2004, a petition for extended commitment under Penal Code section 1026.5 was filed. Following a court trial, the commitment was extended to 2006. On appeal, appellant argued that the recent case of In re Howard N. must be interpreted as requiring proof that a person under commitment has serious difficulty in controlling dangerous behavior. He argued that the trial court's failure to consider this "control" issue was prejudicial. The appellate court agreed and reversed. Galindo's…

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Name: People v. Vance
Case #: C049453
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 07/31/2006

In 1984, the defendant pled not guilty by reason of insanity to attempted murder and was committed to the state hospital. During trial proceedings to determine whether his commitment should be extended, he appeared in shackles before the jury. The court did not formally instruct the jury regarding the restraints, and the court denied counsel's request that the shackles be removed. The Court of Appeal reversed the judgment, finding that the court had not properly exercised its discretion in determining whether the defendant should be shackled, but had instead left the determination up to law enforcement officers.…

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Name: People v. Green
Case #: D044632
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 01/26/2006
Subsequent History: rehrg. den. 2/15/06

In an insanity case, where instructions fail to require the jury to find the necessary cognitive or volitional incapacity, the error was harmless. A defendant may be recommitted under Penal Code section 1026.5 where it is established that he suffers from a mental disorder that causes him to have serious difficulty controlling his behavior, and that as a result he poses a substantial danger of causing physical harm to others. Here, the court failed to instruct the jury regarding the necessary cognitive or volitional capacity for a recommitment under section 1026.5, but the error was harmless. The…

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Name: People v. Hernandez
Case #: B180257
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 12/14/2005

The trial court erred in ordering two commitments to run concurrently for a defendant twice found not guilty by reason of insanity for one assault on a single victim. After the defendant pleaded no contest to assault with a deadly weapon and admitted a great bodily injury enhancement, the court found that he was not sane at the time of the offense and ordered that he be committed to the state hospital for a maximum term of seven years. The assault victim then died, and the defendant was charged with voluntary manslaughter. He again pled guilty…

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Name: People v. Powell
Case #: B168083
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 01/08/2004
Subsequent History: Rev. den. 3/30/04

A defendant need not personally waive his right to a jury trial in a commitment extension proceeding under Penal Code section 1026.5. Counsel had waived jury trial on appellant’s behalf, and when appellant later tried to invoke the right, the trial court refused to grant the request despite appellant’s objection that he had not entered a personal waiver. The Court of Appeal upheld the trial court’s ruling, holding that unlike the right to jury trial in a criminal case, the right to jury trial in a 1026.5 extension proceeding need not be personally waived, in spite of the…

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