Skip to content
Name: People v. Garcia (2024) 99 Cal.App.5th 1048
Case #: D081713
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 02/21/2024

Substantial evidence supported the superior court’s involuntary antipsychotic medication order. Based on the opinion of a licensed psychiatrist and a licensed psychologist, the trial court found that Garcia was mentally incompetent to stand trial and that she lacked the capacity to make decisions regarding the administration of antipsychotic medication. On appeal, Garcia alleged numerous errors with the court’s order authorizing the state hospital to involuntarily administer antipsychotic medication to her. Held: Affirmed. A trial court is required to permit involuntary administration of antipsychotic medication if it finds one of three sets of conditions to be true. (§ 1370(a)(2)(B)(i)(I)–(III) & (ii).) Here, Garcia…

View Full Summary
Name: Rodriguez v. Superior Court (2023) 15 Cal.5th 472
Case #: S272129
Court: CA Supreme Court
Opinion Date: 12/14/2023

For purposes of calculating the maximum commitment period for a defendant found incompetent to stand trial, the commitment continues past the filing of certificate of restoration and includes the time between such filing and the court’s decision whether to accept the certificate. Rodriguez was found incompetent to stand trial and committed to the Department of State Hospitals for treatment. The statutory scheme governing competency proceedings limits the term of commitment and, for individuals like Rodriguez charged with offenses that carry a maximum sentence exceeding two years, the commitment period is limited to two years. (See Pen. Code, § 1370(c)(1).) Following…

View Full Summary
Name: McKneely v. Superior Court (2023) 91 Cal.App.5th 1232
Case #: A166307
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 05/25/2023

Penal Code section 1372(c)(2), which requires a report from a mental health professional before a trial court may reject a certificate of restoration to competency, does not violate separation of powers. McKneely was found incompetent to stand trial and ordered committed to DSH. DSH filed a certificate of restoration to competency with the committing court, supported by a psychologist’s report. McKneely’s trial counsel urged the trial court to reject the certificate, based on counsel’s own declaration that she believed her client was not competent. The trial court concluded that it lacked authority to do so, because section 1372(c)(2) (effective 6/30/22)…

View Full Summary
Name: People v. Shkrabak (2023) 89 Cal.App.5th 943
Case #: C096266
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 03/28/2023

Under equal protection principles, defendant is entitled to custody credits for time spent in state hospital after the trial court found him incompetent to stand trial. On appeal, defendant requested a recalculation of his custody credit to include time spent in state hospital receiving competency treatment. Held: Remanded for recalculation of credits. Penal Code section 4019 provides that defendants confined in specific facilities and in various settings may earn conduct credit. In 2018, Senate Bill No. 1187 amended section 4019 to allow defendants receiving competency treatment in county jail treatment facilities, but not in state hospitals, to receive conduct credit.…

View Full Summary
Name: People v. Edwards (2023) 88 Cal.App.5th 1259
Case #: C094784
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 03/07/2023

Sanctions were appropriate against the California Department of State Hospitals (DSH) because lack of hospital beds did not establish good cause or substantial justification for the delays in admitting defendants found incompetent to stand trial (IST). DSH failed to admit three IST defendants in a timely manner, and the defendants filed petitions for writs of habeas corpus. After an order to show cause, the trial court issued sanctions of $1,000 for each day past the trial court’s deadline that the defendants were not admitted, totaling $91,000. DSH appealed. Held: Remanded. Code of Civil Procedure section 177.5 gives the trial court…

View Full Summary
Name: Medina v. Superior Court
Case #: G059331
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 06/29/2021

The trial court and departments providing services must follow Penal Code section 1370.1 in providing treatment to those found incompetent to stand trial due to a developmental disability. In 2017, a trial court found Medina incompetent to stand trial due to a developmental disability (as opposed to a mental illness) and ordered him to receive services under section 1370.1. However, the regional center (RC) and the Department of Developmental Services (DDS), which have the responsibility for providing services for people with developmental disabilities, found Medina did not have a developmental disability and was therefore not eligible for its services.…

View Full Summary
Name: Stiavetti v. Clendenin
Case #: A157553
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 06/15/2021

Persons found incompetent to stand trial and committed to the Department of State Hospitals (DSH) or the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) have a constitutional due process right to substantive services within a reasonable fixed period of time. When a criminal defendant is found mentally incompetent to stand trial (IST), the trial court must suspend criminal proceedings and order the defendant to a DSH or a DDS facility for treatment. In this case, family members of IST defendants and two organizations filed a petition for writ of mandate and a complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief challenging statewide delays in…

View Full Summary
Name: People v. Tejeda
Case #: D075364
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 10/02/2019

When the trial court is confronted with circumstances that are inconsistent with assumptions on which defendant's competency findings were based, it has a duty to declare a doubt as to his competency. Defendant confessed to robbing a convenience store on three occasions and killing the owner of the store during one of the robberies. He claimed his acts were the result of a government mind control project. He also admitted he had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. He was initially found incompetent to stand trial and criminal proceedings were suspended. In a subsequent hearing the trial court found…

View Full Summary
Name: People v. Hooper
Case #: A153313
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 09/30/2019

The State Department of Hospitals (DSH) can be fined for failing to comply with a standing order to timely transport individuals incompetent to stand trial (IST) from jail to a hospital. In this case, a class of IST defendants sought sanctions against DSH, arguing they were not timely admitted to a state hospital. The trial court imposed monetary sanctions. DSH appealed. Held: Affirmed in part. A court may not try or sentence a defendant in a criminal proceeding while the defendant is incompetent. If the defendant is found IST, the court shall commit the defendant to DSH, which oversees state…

View Full Summary
Name: People v. Gonzales
Case #: B289385
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 05/02/2019

After trial counsel declares a doubt regarding defendant's competency and the trial court suspends criminal proceedings, counsel may not withdraw the declaration and the trial court must make a finding regarding competency. Defendant was charged with the fatal stabbing of an elderly disabled man. On the day of the preliminary hearing, defense counsel expressed a doubt regarding defendant’s competency and criminal proceeding were suspended (Pen. Code, § 1368). The trial court appointed a doctor to examine defendant and prepare a report, and set the matter for a competency hearing, which was continued 14 times. On the day set for the…

View Full Summary