Maldonado v. Superior Court of San Mateo Cnty., No. S183961.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court (California)
Writing for the CourtBAXTER
Citation274 P.3d 1110,12 Cal. Daily Op. Serv. 4366,53 Cal.4th 1112,140 Cal.Rptr.3d 113
PartiesReynaldo A. MALDONADO, Petitioner, v. The SUPERIOR COURT of San Mateo County, Respondent;The People, Real Party in Interest.
Docket NumberNo. S183961.
Decision Date23 April 2012

12 Cal. Daily Op. Serv. 4366
140 Cal.Rptr.3d 113
274 P.3d 1110
53 Cal.4th 1112

Reynaldo A. MALDONADO, Petitioner,
The SUPERIOR COURT of San Mateo County, Respondent;The People, Real Party in Interest.

No. S183961.

Supreme Court of California

April 23, 2012.

140 Cal.Rptr.3d 116] Paul F. DeMeester, San Francisco, under appointment by the Supreme Court, for Petitioner.

Law Offices of J.T. Philipsborn, San Francisco, and John T. Philipsborn for California Attorneys for Criminal Justice as Amicus Curiae on behalf of Petitioner.

Stephen P. Lipson, Public Defender (Ventura) and Michael C. McMahon, Chief Deputy Public Defender, for California Public Defenders Association and Public Defender of Ventura County as Amici on behalf of Petitioner.No appearance for Respondent.Edmund G. Brown, Jr., and Kamala D. Harris, Attorneys General, Dane R. Gillette, Chief Assistant Attorney General, Gerald A. Engler, Assistant Attorney General, Stan Helfman, Brent W. Wilner, Laurence K. Sullivan and Jeffrey M. Laurence, Deputy Attorneys General, for Real Party in Interest.BAXTER, J.

[274 P.3d 1113

[1] [53 Cal.4th 1116] A criminal defendant who tenders his or her mental state as a guilt or penalty issue waives the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination, and the Sixth Amendment right to counsel, “ ‘to the extent [53 Cal.4th 1117] necessary to permit a proper examination of that condition.’ ” ( People v. Carpenter (1997) 15 Cal.4th 312, 412, 63 Cal.Rptr.2d 1, 935 P.2d 708 ( Carpenter ); see Buchanan v. Kentucky (1987) 483 U.S. 402, 422–423, 107 S.Ct. 2906, 97 L.Ed.2d 336 ( Buchanan ).) In order to afford the prosecution a fair opportunity to rebut mental-state evidence proffered by the defense, a recent amendment to California's criminal-case reciprocal discovery statute (Pen.Code, § 1054. 3) 1 specifically provides that when the defendant “places in issue his or her mental state at any phase of the criminal action,” the prosecution may seek and obtain a court order “that the defendant ... submit to examination by a prosecution-retained mental health expert.” ( Id., subd. (b)(1) ( § 1054.3(b)(1)).) Here we must decide what general limits, if any, may properly be imposed on prosecutorial access to court-ordered examinations and their results, both before and after the defendant actually introduces mental-state [140 Cal.Rptr.3d 117] evidence in the criminal trial, in order to vindicate or protect the

[274 P.3d 1114]

defendant's Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights.

Petitioner Reynaldo A. Maldonado faces charges of first degree murder with a special circumstance. (§§ 187, subd. (a), 190.2, subd. (a).) In compliance with his statutory pretrial discovery obligations, he notified the prosecution of his intent to introduce evidence, through designated expert witnesses, that he suffers from neurocognitive deficits as a result of childhood brain trauma or congenital brain dysfunction. In response, the prosecution obtained an order for his examination by a psychiatrist, a psychologist, and a neurologist chosen by the prosecution.

Invoking his federal constitutional rights to counsel (U.S. Const., 6th Amend.) and against self-incrimination ( id., 5th Amend.), petitioner sought various protective orders as conditions of his submission to court-ordered pretrial mental examinations. Urging that a Fifth Amendment waiver would occur only if and when he presented mental-state evidence at trial, petitioner sought to bar the prosecutors from observing the examinations directly, from discussing them with the examiners, and from otherwise learning anything about them, unless and until he actually introduced such evidence. Even then, he proposed, prosecutors should not have contact with the examiners, or learn anything about the examination results, until the court first inspected the examination materials in camera to determine what information the prosecution was entitled to receive as potential rebuttal evidence.

The trial court agreed that prosecutors should not be present in the examination room itself, but the court otherwise denied these requests. It reasoned that the prosecution is entitled to the examination results under the reciprocal discovery statute, and that petitioner's Fifth Amendment privilege [53 Cal.4th 1118] is protected despite such disclosure because the prosecution cannot make direct or derivative use of the examinations or their results at his criminal trial, except as necessary to rebut any mental-state evidence he introduces in his own behalf.

Petitioner sought a writ of mandate, and the Court of Appeal granted partial relief. The majority acknowledged that the Fifth Amendment bars not mere disclosure, but actual use, direct or derivative, of a declarant's compelled utterances to convict or criminally punish that person. The majority also agreed with the People that the prosecution need not wait to receive and evaluate the examination results until petitioner actually presents mental-state evidence at trial. However, the majority expressed concern that if information about the examinations is prematurely disclosed, the prosecution may use it for purposes prohibited by the Constitution. The majority therefore concluded that the constitutional bar itself is not an adequate protection of petitioner's Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination, and that further “prophylactic” measures are required.

Accordingly, the majority directed the trial court to modify its prior orders to provide that (1) prosecutors be precluded from monitoring the examinations as they occur in “real time,” (2) pretrial access by the prosecution to the examiners and the examination materials be prohibited until, within times specified by the trial court, petitioner files, under seal if he desires, motions asserting privilege objections to full or partial disclosure of any statements he made during the examinations, whereupon (3) the court will inspect the examination materials in camera, resolve issues of privilege, redact the materials accordingly, and disclose only the remainder to the prosecution, subject to any conditions [140 Cal.Rptr.3d 118] necessary to preserve further valid assertions of privilege, and to preclude improper derivative use.

The Court of Appeal dissenter contended at length that use and derivative use immunity, enforced as necessary during the trial itself, are sufficient safeguards of petitioner's constitutional rights. In the dissenter's view, the elaborate prophylactic procedures adopted by the majority are unnecessary, impractical, and unfair to the prosecution, and would produce needless delay in the trial proceedings.

We agree, for the most part, with the conclusions reached by the Court of Appeal dissent. By forcing the trial court to resolve defense claims of privilege prior to trial,

[274 P.3d 1115]

without prosecutorial access to the evidence in dispute, the Court of Appeal majority has imposed procedures that are neither required nor justified by the Fifth and Sixth Amendments, and are manifestly unfair to the prosecution. We will therefore reverse the Court of Appeal's judgment with directions to deny the petition for mandamus.


In January 2008, the San Mateo County District Attorney charged petitioner with first degree murder and alleged a lying-in-wait special circumstance. (§§ 187, subd. (a), 190.2, subd. (a)(15).) 2 Petitioner retained three mental health professionals to evaluate him for purposes of a possible mental-state defense. Thereafter, in compliance with its obligations under the criminal-case reciprocal discovery statute ( § 1054.3, subd. (a)(1)), the defense furnished the prosecution with an outline of the mental-state evidence it intended to tender at trial. This included evidence that, as the result of a childhood fall, petitioner was rendered unconscious and now suffers chronic headaches. Also provided were the examination reports of Jeffrey Kline, Ph.D., a psychologist, Peter Cassini, M.D., a psychiatrist, and Robert Perez, Ph.D., a neuropsychologist, indicating that petitioner has a mildly retarded IQ and suffers moderate to severe neurocognitive defects suggestive of acquired brain injury or congenital brain dysfunction.3

In response, the prosecution moved, pursuant to Evidence Code section 730, for an order compelling petitioner to submit to mental examinations by court-appointed experts, including a psychologist, a psychiatrist, and a neurologist. On August 18, 2009, the trial court granted the motion.4 On August 28, 2009, petitioner sought a writ of mandamus/prohibition to bar the examinations. On September 4, 2009, the Court of Appeal summarily denied the petition.[140 Cal.Rptr.3d 119] Petitioner sought review, and we stayed further proceedings pending our consideration of the petition for review. We denied review on September 23, 2009.5

[53 Cal.4th 1120] Meanwhile, on August 18 and August 24, 2009, petitioner moved in the trial court for

[274 P.3d 1116]

various protective measures related to the court-ordered examinations. These included requests that all prosecution or law enforcement representatives be prohibited from attending the examinations, and that the prosecution be denied all access to reports, notes, and recordings of the examinations, and barred from all contact with the examiners themselves, until the close of the defense case, and thereafter until the court (1) inspected the examination materials in camera to determine whether the prosecution should have access to them, and (2) decided issues of admissibility at a hearing at which both parties would have the right to be heard.6

Petitioner premised these requests primarily on his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. He urged that he would waive this privilege only if, when, and to the extent he actually presented mental-state evidence in his own behalf at [140 Cal.Rptr.3d 120] the trial. Until then, he insisted, the prosecution [53 Cal.4th 1121]...

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