Today's Law As Amended

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SB-557 Criminal proceedings: mental competence: expert reports.(2019-2020)



SECTION 1.

 Section 1369.5 is added to the Penal Code, to read:

1369.5.
 (a) A document submitted to a court pursuant to this chapter, including, but not limited to, Sections 1369, 1370, 1370.01, 1370.1, and 1372, is presumptively confidential, except as otherwise provided by law.
(b) A document described in subdivision (a) shall be retained in the confidential portion of the court’s file. Counsel for the defendant and the prosecution shall maintain the documents as confidential.
(c) (1) The defendant, counsel for the defendant, and the prosecution may inspect, copy, or utilize the documents, and any information contained in the documents, without an order from the court for purposes related to the defense, prosecution, treatment, and safety of the defendant, and for the safety of the public.
(2) A motion, application, or petition to access the documents shall be decided in accordance with subdivision (h) of Rule 2.551 of the California Rules of Court.
SEC. 2.
 The Legislature finds and declares that Section 1 of this act, which adds Section 1369.5 to the Penal Code, imposes a limitation on the public’s right of access to the meetings of public bodies or the writings of public officials and agencies within the meaning of Section 3 of Article I of the California Constitution. Pursuant to that constitutional provision, the Legislature makes the following findings to demonstrate the interest protected by this limitation and the need for protecting that interest:
In order to protect the privacy of defendants with respect to personal information contained within expert reports and other documents that are prepared as part of mental competency hearings, it is necessary that those documents be presumptively confidential, except as otherwise provided by law.