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Bill Detail: SB20-181

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Title Measures On Incompetent To Proceed
Status Governor Signed (06/29/2020)
Bill Subjects
  • Courts & Judicial
  • Crimes, Corrections, & Enforcement
House Sponsors M. Weissman (D)
Senate Sponsors P. Lee (D)
House Committee State, Veterans, and Military Affairs
Senate Committee Judiciary
Date Introduced 02/20/2020
Description

Under current law, a competency report must include an opinion
regarding whether the defendant can be restored to competency. In
relation to that report and opinion:
  • If a court within the previous 5 years has found that the
defendant will not attain competency within the reasonably
foreseeable future and the evaluator provides an opinion

that there is a substantial probability of attaining
competency within the reasonably foreseeable future, the
evaluator shall state why the defendant's circumstances are
different from the prior court's finding;
  • When the defendant is diagnosed with a moderate to severe
intellectual or developmental disability, acquired or
traumatic brain injury, or dementia that affects the
defendant's ability to gain or maintain competency and the
evaluator's opinion is that there is a substantial probability
of attaining competency, the evaluator shall state what
circumstances will reasonably change in the defendant's
condition to believe the defendant will be restored to
competency within the reasonably foreseeable future; and
  • When the defendant has been found incompetent to
proceed 3 or more times over the previous 3 years in the
current case or any other case and even if the defendant is
later restored, the evaluator shall specifically identify those
instances of findings of incompetency in the report.
When the defendant's evaluation includes one of the above
situations, the court shall hold a hearing, within 35 days of receiving the
report, on the issue of whether there is a substantial probability that the
defendant will be restored to competency within the reasonably
foreseeable future. At the hearing, there is a presumption that the
defendant will not attain competency within the reasonably foreseeable
future. A party attempting to overcome that presumption must prove by
a preponderance of the evidence that there is a substantial probability that
restoration efforts will be successful within the reasonably foreseeable
future.
Under current law, when a defendant is found incompetent to
proceed and charged with certain offenses that are not victims' rights act
crimes, the court may dismiss those the charges. The bill removes the
victims' rights act crimes limitation.
When the defendant is in custody on a misdemeanor, petty offense,
traffic offense, or traffic infraction and is incompetent to proceed, the
court, within 7 days of the defendant being found incompetent to proceed,
shall set a hearing on bond. At the bond hearing there is a presumption
that the court shall order a personal recognizance bond. If the court does
not order a personal recognizance bond, the court must make findings of
fact that extraordinary circumstances exist to overcome the presumption
of a release and the clinical recommendation for outpatient treatment by
clear and convincing evidence.
When a defendant is found incompetent to proceed or where civil
commitment proceedings are initiated in a municipal case, the municipal
court shall dismiss the case.
The state court administrator shall appoint a 6-member committee
to review the impacts of enhanced sentencing laws on people with health
conditions, including mental health, intellectual or developmental
disabilities, traumatic brain injuries, and other neurocognitive health
conditions such as Alzheimer's or dementia. The committee shall produce
a report outlining budgetary, legislative, regulatory, and practice
recommendations no later than November 15, 2020. Recommendations
must include ways to help protect the safety and well-being of first
responders and shall also include mechanisms to ensure people with
health conditions are not unnecessarily involved in the criminal or
juvenile justice systems due to unmet health needs.

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