Carr v. Superior Court (Department of Developmental Services), 042817 CAAPP1, A147957

Docket Nº:A147957
Opinion Judge:Siggins, J.
Party Name:MARC ANTHONY-TOISAAN CARR, Petitioner, v. THE SUPERIOR COURT OF CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, Respondent THE DEPARTMENT OF DEVELOPMENTAL SERVICES et al., Real Parties in Interest.
Attorney:Diana Alicia Garrido, Department of the Public Defender; Robin Lipetzky, Contra Costa County Public Defender for Petitioner. Kamala D. Harris, Attorney General, Julie Weng-Gutierrez, Senior Assistant Attorney General, Susan M. Carson, Supervising Deputy Attorney General, Gregory D. Brown, Deputy ...
Judge Panel:We concur: Pollak, Acting P.J., Jenkins, J.
Case Date:April 28, 2017
Court:California Court of Appeals
 
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MARC ANTHONY-TOISAAN CARR, Petitioner,

v.

THE SUPERIOR COURT OF CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, Respondent

THE DEPARTMENT OF DEVELOPMENTAL SERVICES et al., Real Parties in Interest.

A147957

California Court of Appeals, First District, Third Division

April 28, 2017

Contra Costa County Superior Court No. 2-319321-6, Patricia M. Scanlon, Trial Judge

Diana Alicia Garrido, Department of the Public Defender; Robin Lipetzky, Contra Costa County Public Defender for Petitioner.

Kamala D. Harris, Attorney General, Julie Weng-Gutierrez, Senior Assistant Attorney General, Susan M. Carson, Supervising Deputy Attorney General, Gregory D. Brown, Deputy Attorney General for Real Parties in Interest.

Siggins, J.

Petitioner Marc Anthony-Toisaan Carr seeks a writ of mandate or prohibition directing the respondent superior court to vacate his competency trial, and to instead order that he be placed in either the Porterville Developmental Center or Patton State Hospital for evaluation and treatment. Because the statutory scheme surrounding competency determinations envisions the speedy attainment of mental competence and vests responsibility for competency certification in state mental health officials, Carr's competency evaluation and certification by the Department of Developmental Services and the Department of State Hospitals while he was awaiting transfer for treatment at Porterville or Patton was permissible. The declaration and certificate of competency filed in the superior court March 17, 2016 was adequate to initiate proceedings to determine whether his competency was restored. The petition for writ of mandate or prohibition is denied.

BACKGROUND

While Carr was in county jail awaiting trial on charges that included murder with special circumstances, kidnapping and attempted murder of a peace officer, the court determined he was incompetent to stand trial and referred him to the Regional Center of the East Bay for a placement recommendation. Based upon the Regional Center's report, on August 18, 2015, the court committed Carr to the Porterville Developmental Center, the only secure treatment facility in California for individuals with intellectual disabilities. An assessment by the Department of Developmental Services diagnosed Carr with schizophrenia and mild intellectual disability.

When Carr was not yet transferred to Porterville by October, the court ordered his transfer within 21 days, and required the directors of Porterville and the Regional Center to show cause before the court if he was not transferred. On November 3, 2015, the court heard the order to show cause. Shortly before the hearing, the district attorney and Carr's counsel were informed by state officials that Carr was not suitable for placement at Porterville because he required involuntary medication. The court issued an involuntary medication order, and put the hearing over for 30 days to allow the state to determine Carr's medically appropriate placement.

When the case was before the court 30 days later, the state sought to have Carr evaluated by a psychologist from the Department of Developmental Services and a psychiatrist from the Department of State Hospitals. At the time, Carr was on the institution waiting list and had been waiting four months for a transfer. His wait was not as long as the year the court had observed in some cases, and the court noted the state was not willfully disregarding its placement order.

The court determined that in light of the conflicting opinions on whether Carr was feigning symptoms when he was originally adjudicated incompetent to stand trial, a further evaluation would not be prejudicial as he would remain on the wait list and it would not further delay his appropriate placement. So, the court permitted a further evaluation.

When the medical director of the Department of State Hospitals reviewed file material pertaining to Carr obtained from the Department of Developmental Services, she formed an opinion that he was feigning his incompetence to stand trial and that his malingering coupled with his potential for violence made him unsuitable for treatment at a state...

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