Rodriguez, In re

Decision Date06 February 1964
Docket NumberCr. 7579
Citation388 P.2d 881,60 Cal.2d 822,36 Cal.Rptr. 609
Parties, 388 P.2d 881 In re Robert Espinoza RODRIGUEZ on Habeas Corpus.
CourtCalifornia Supreme Court

F. Morton Cameron and S. A. Foushee, San Diego, under appointment by the Supreme Court, and Cameron & Foushee, San Diego, for petitioner.

Stanley Mosk, Atty. Gen., William E. James, Asst. Atty. Gen., and Gordon Ringer, Deputy Atty. Gen., for respondent.

SCHAUER, Justice.

This matter is before us on an order to show cause issued by the District Court of Appeal upon an application for habeas corpus filed in propria persona by Robert Espinoza Rodriguez, who is confined in the California Rehabilitation Center for treatment as a narcotics addict by order of the superior court entered pursuant to article 3, chapter 11, title 7, of part III of the Penal Code (§§ 6500-6510, which deal with commitment to that facility of 'persons not charged with a crime'). Petitioner is represented in these proceedings by appointed counsel.

As the sole ground of asserted illegality of his confinement petitioner cites In re Raner (1963) 59 Cal.2d 635, 637(1)-641(5) 30 Cal.Rptr. 814, 381 P.2d 638, and contends that a court order under which he was detained pending his commitment hearing was unlawful because the physician's examination upon which such order was based was not conducted 'within three days prior to the filing of the petition (for commitment),' as requiried by Penal Code, § 6502. We have concluded that this contention is without merit, that no invalidity is shown in petitioner's commitment proceedings, and hence that the relief prayed for should be denied.

The facts are undisputed. While entering San Diego County at the international border petitioner was observed by police officers to be apparently under the influence of narcotics. With petitioner's consent he was checked for indications of recent narcotics usage, and the officers found numerous needle marks on the lower portion of both legs as well as numerous surface cuts on his right forearm. Petitioner was thereupon arrested and booked on charges of violating Health and Safety Code, §§ 11500 and 11721. The arrest took place at 8 p.m. on September 20, 1962. At 9:05 o'clock on the same evening petitioner was examined in the jail dispensary by Dr. Robert L. Williams, a police physician, who found that the pupils of petitioner's eyes were constricted and reacted very poorly to light, that there were 19 needle marks in the vein of the inner aspect of petitioner's left lower leg and 20 needle marks in the corresponding vein of his right lower leg, and that there were 'Questionable areas' on both of petitioner's arms. Dr. Williams determined that the needle marks in petitioner's legs varied 'from fresh (within a few hours) to 7 to 10 days old,' concluded that petitioner was a 'Heroin addict, now under the influence' of narcotics, and wrote out a report reciting such findings and conclusion. The next day (September 21) the charges against petitioner of violating Health and Safety Code, §§ 11500 and 11721 were formally dropped, and Dr. Williams prepared and signed the affidavit required by Penal Code, § 6502. In that affidavit he set forth the findings of his examination of the previous night and concluded that petitioner is addicted to the use of narcotics and 'unless confined is likely to bring about injury to himself or others or become a menace to the public.'

September 21, 1962, was a Friday. On the following Monday (September 24) proceedings under Penal Code, § 6500 were begun: a petition for commitment as a narcotics addict was filed by the district attorney in the superior court, together with Dr. Williams' affidavit of September 21. The court forthwith made an order for petitioner's detention pending hearing, finding that 'said person is sufficiently addicted to the use of Narcotic Drugs that he is likely (sic) to injure himself or others if not immediately hospitalized or detained.' Petitioner appeared in court and was informed of his legal rights, and an order was made fixing the times and places of petitioner's medical examination and of his commitment hearing. The latter were duly held, and petitioner was found to be a narcotics addict within the meaning of Penal Code, § 6500 and was committed to the custody of the Director of Corrections for treatment. Petitioner thereupon demanded a jury trial (Pen.Code, § 6508); such trial resulted in a unanimous verdict that petitioner was addicted to the use of narcotics, and petitioner was again committed to the custody of the Director of Corrections.

Penal Code, § 6502 provides in relevant part that 'The court may * * * order that the person (sought to be committed) be confined pending hearing in a county hospital or other suitable institution if the petition (for commitment) is accompanied by the affidavit of a physician alleging that he has examined such person within three days prior to the filing of the petition and has concluded that, unless confined, such person is likely to injure himself or others or become a menace to the public.' (Italics added.) The issue presented is whether the petition for commitment filed in the case at bench was accompanied by a timely physician's affidavit within the meaning of Penal Code, § 6502. In In re Raner (1963) supra, 59 Cal.2d 635, 639(4) 30 Cal.Rptr. 814, 381 P.2d 638, we held that jurisdiction to enter an order of commitment depends on strict compliance with each of the specific statutory prerequisites for maintenance of the proceeding. Here, in the light of the applicable statutory law, such compliance is apparent on the face of the record. Dr. Williams' affidavit was based on his examination of petitioner on the evening of September 20, which was a Thursday. Accordingly, if holidays were to be included in counting the time under Penal Code § 6502, the three-day period within which the district attorney could have filed that affidavit (and a petition for commitment) and obtained a pre-hearing detention order based on the findings and conclusion recited therein would have expired on Sunday, September 23. But the relevant code section governing computation of time provides that 'If the last day for the performance of any act provided or required by law to be performed within a specified period of time shall be a holiday, then such period is hereby extended to and including the next day which is not a holiday. * * *

'This section applies (to named provisions of the code) * * * and to all other provisions of law, however stated or wherever expressed, providing or requiring an act to be performed on a particular day or within a specified period of time.' (Code Civ.Proc. § 12a; see also Code Civ.Proc. § 12, Civ.Code, § 10; Gov.Code, § 6800; Alford v. Industrial...

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11 cases
  • Gonzales, In re
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals Court of Appeals
    • November 9, 1966
    ...a jury trial after the first hearing before the court. The Supreme Court denied Habeas corpus to one Rodriguez (In re Rodriguez, 60 Cal.2d 822, 36 Cal.Rptr. 609, 388 P.2d 881). As in the present case, the record in Rodriguez did not show service of a copy of the order fixing time and place ......
  • People v. Moore
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals Court of Appeals
    • April 23, 1968
    ...in a court ordered examination by a physician and led to the commitment proceedings, had been legal. (See also In re Rodriguez, 60 Cal.2d 822, 36 Cal.Rptr. 609, 388 P.2d 881, and In re Raner, 59 Cal.2d 635, 30 Cal.Rptr. 814, 381 P.2d 10. We recognize that the reasoning of the United States ......
  • Shalabi v. City of Fontana
    • United States
    • California Supreme Court
    • July 12, 2021
    ...that a different method of computation was provided for." ( Id. at p. 595, 299 P. 713 ; see also In re Rodriguez (1964) 60 Cal.2d 822, 825–826, 36 Cal.Rptr. 609, 388 P.2d 881.) Put differently: "Consistent with the need for certainty in the method of computing time, a case will not be found......
  • People v. Clayton, A060064
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals Court of Appeals
    • August 30, 1993
    ...rule the intention must be clearly expressed that a different method of computation was provided for.' " (In re Rodriquez (1964) 60 Cal.2d 822, 825-826, 36 Cal.Rptr. 609, 388 P.2d 881; see also DeLeon v. Bay Area Rapid Transit Dist. (1983) 33 Cal.3d 456, 460-461, 189 Cal.Rptr. 181, 658 P.2d......
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