California v. AguirreAnnotate this Case
In separate criminal cases, a trial court found 37 defendants incompetent to stand trial (IST) and ordered the State Department of State Hospitals (Department) to admit them within 60 days of the receipt of an informational packet. The Department failed to timely admit 31 of the 37 defendants. These defendants separately sought sanctions against the Department pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 177.5, claiming violation of the court’s order. The trial court found the Department in violation of the order, and imposed monetary sanctions. The Department appealed, contending the trial court was not authorized to impose sanctions against it under section 177.5. Additionally, it claimed good cause or substantial justification for violating the order even assuming the court could impose sanctions under section 177.5. After review, the Court of Appeal disagreed with the Department’s arguments and affirmed.