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Name: Diversion - Mental Health
Case #: F084397
Opinion Date: 06/13/2023
Attorney: Paul Kleven
Summary

The Court of Appeal agreed with the parties that the order denying appellant’s application for mental health diversion must be reversed in light of amendments to Penal Code section 1001.36 by Senate Bill No. 1223 (2021-2022 Reg. Sess.). First, the trial court could not properly rely on the nature of appellant’s offenses because they do not per se disqualify him from diversion under section 1001.36, subdivision (d). Second, there was no evidence appellant was likely to commit a super-strike offense and thus no evidence he posed an unreasonable risk of danger to public safety. Finally, the court’s finding that appellant’s offenses are not mental health related was an abuse of discretion in light of amended section 1001.36, which now includes a presumption that appellant’s mental disorder was a significant factor in the commission of the offense. This presumption may be rebutted only by clear and convincing evidence the appellant’s mental disorder was not a motivating factor, causal factor, or contributing factor to his involvement in the alleged offense. The Court of Appeal remanded the matter for the trial court to reevaluate appellant’s application under amended section 1001.36.