In this case we are called upon to determine whether the procedures by which the California Youth Authority is empowered to extend its control over a ward beyond his normal release date are constitutional.
We have concluded that confinement pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code sections 1800-1803
Gary W., who was a minor ward of the California Youth Authority at the time this proceeding commenced, appeals from an order of the juvenile court directing his continued detention by the Youth Authority for treatment. He contends that the statutory scheme of sections 1800-1803 and the judicial procedures by which those sections are implemented permit imprisonment for status and deny due process and equal protection in violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and article I, sections 6, 11, 13 and 21, of the California Constitution. He complains in particular of the denial of the right to trial by jury. In addition, appellant contends that the order appealed from is not supported by substantial evidence and that he was erroneously denied the right to pretrial discovery and to subpoena out-of-county witnesses.
The contentions of the parties and our analysis are better understood if, before reciting the factual background of the case, we summarize the scope and impact of the statutory scheme under review. Sections 1800-1803 apply only to wards of the California Youth Authority, i.e., to minors committed to the Youth Authority by the juvenile court pursuant to the
On November 8, 1967, the juvenile court committed Gary to the Youth Authority after finding that he had molested a child and was thus a person described by section 602.
Punishment for Status
Respondent concedes that if Gary were to be imprisoned as a criminal under these procedures his detention would be unconstitutional under Robinson as cruel and unusual punishment. (In re De La O (1963) 59 Cal.2d 128, 136 [28 Cal.Rptr. 489, 378 P.2d 793, 98 A.L.R.2d 705].) Implicit in this concession is an admission that continued confinement pursuant to section 1800 is predicated on status. As in De La O, therefore, "The issue is whether the statutory scheme here challenged (a) `imprisons' petitioner `as a criminal,' or (b) constitutes `compulsory treatment' of petitioner as a sick person requiring `periods of involuntary confinement.'" (59 Cal.2d at p. 136.) The question is easily resolved, for the Legislature has been at pains to assure that confinement pursuant to sections 1800-1803 shall be only for the purpose of treatment. Thus, we need not decide whether confinement under these sections, with the potential for confinement in a state prison, would be constitutionally permissible solely for the purpose of protecting society.
Section 1800 provides in pertinent part: "Whenever the Youth Authority
In view of the demonstrably civil purpose of sections 1800-1803, and in the absence of any evidence that persons committed thereunder are incarcerated in penal institutions among the general prison population, or are customarily detained without treatment, we conclude that the statutory scheme of sections 1800-1803 and the confinement of Youth Authority wards thereunder does not constitute cruel and unusual punishment within the meaning of Robinson v. California, supra, 370 U.S. 660.
Appellant also contends, however, that he was not given treatment while confined under the original commitment. Indeed, he elicited testimony from respondent's expert, Dr. Alfred Owre, the chief medical officer of the Atascadero State Hospital, where he had been confined for observation, that "he had been kept on ice in the Youth Authority and he hasn't received any significant psychiatric treatment there, either." The evidence of lack of treatment was sufficiently disturbing to the juvenile court judge that in ordering Gary's continued detention he declared his intention to communicate to the Youth Authority his conclusion that it had been derelict in its responsibility to Gary.
The failure of the Youth Authority to provide treatment to a particular ward committed to it under statutory provisions other than those here
Due Process and Equal Protection
However, although the procedures leading to the commitment of various classes of people for treatment or to protect society from them need not be identical in all respects, none may deny to one such class fundamental rights or privileges accorded to another unless a rational basis for the distinction exists. Thus we must evaluate the procedures adopted to implement sections 1800-1803 in light of other statutory provisions governing involuntary commitment. (Cf. Baxstrom v. Herold (1966) 383 U.S. 107 [15 L.Ed.2d 620, 86 S.Ct. 760].)
Chief among these is the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act and related legislation (Stats. 1967, ch. 1667; §§ 5000-5401, 6250-6825) the provisions of which encompass the involuntary commitment of persons who because of mental illness are imminently dangerous, inebriates, mentally disordered sex offenders, gravely disabled persons, persons who are suicidal, and the mentally retarded. In addition we must consider the procedures by which persons may be committed for treatment of actual or potential narcotics addiction pursuant to section 3050 et seq.
Similarly, the alleged narcotics addict, whether or not he has been convicted of a crime, is entitled upon demand to a jury trial and a three-fourths verdict on the question of his addiction before he may be involuntarily committed. (§§ 3050, 3051, 3108.) Apart from those statutory provisions dealing with the mentally retarded and Youth Authority wards, there is no authority for the involuntary commitment of adults without a jury trial if requested.
Respondent does not challenge this analysis, but asserts that the instant proceedings are a continuation of juvenile proceedings, as to which no right to jury trial exists, and that they are not criminal proceedings. Neither factor is dispositive. As has been shown, the commitment proceeding here applies only to adults. It is in no way a juvenile proceeding, nor is it an extension of a prior juvenile court proceeding. The question before the court in juvenile proceedings under sections 601 and 602 is whether the juvenile is a person described by those sections, i.e., is he a minor who refuses to obey reasonable orders "of his parents, guardian, custodian or school authorities, or who is beyond the control of such person, or [a] person who is a habitual truant ... or who ... is in danger of leading
Denial of the right to a jury trial to a person subject to commitment pursuant to section 1800 cannot, therefore, be predicated upon any rational distinction which may be drawn between juveniles and other members of the public.
The necessity for a rational distinction among persons whom the law treats differently is of particular importance in the area of involuntary commitment.
A variety of interests have been held to be so "fundamental" as to impose this burden on the state. Voting (Castro v. State of California, supra, 2 Cal.3d 223), procreation (Skinner v. Oklahoma (1942) 316 U.S. 535 [86 L.Ed. 1655, 62 S.Ct. 1110]), interstate travel (Shapiro v. Thompson (1969) 394 U.S. 618 [22 L.Ed.2d 600, 89 S.Ct. 1322]), and education (Brown v. Board of Education (1954) 347 U.S. 483 [98 L.Ed. 873, 74 S.Ct. 686, 38 A.L.R.2d 1180]) have all been characterized as fundamental for this purpose. The right to a jury trial in an action which may lead to the involuntary confinement of the defendant, even if such confinement is for the purpose of treatment, is no less fundamental. Its fundamental nature is reflected by the absolute right to jury trial accorded by the Sixth and Seventh Amendments to the United States Constitution
Our conclusion finds support in the decision of the United States Supreme Court in Baxstrom v. Herold, supra, 383 U.S. 107. There a New York state prisoner who had been transferred to a hospital for mentally ill prisoners was the subject of a petition for civil commitment shortly before the expiration of his term. In accord with a commitment procedure applicable only to prisoners, a judicial hearing was held at which the court found that the prisoner might be in need of care in an institution for the mentally ill. The state's Department of Mental Hygiene refused to accept him, however, upon an ex parte determination that he was not suitable for care in a civil hospital. He was therefore retained in the hospital operated by the New York Department of Correction. The Supreme Court held: "[P]etitioner was denied equal protection of the laws by the statutory
Respondent argues that the California system is distinguishable because of its complexity and the fact that commitment proceedings differ among the classes subject to them. Respondent also suggests that the classification is reasonable because mentally retarded persons also are not entitled to a jury trial. It is apparent that these contentions must fail. The complexity of the various commitment statutes does not obscure the effect of denial of the right to jury trial. We consider here a fundamental right, not minor procedural differences among the various commitment procedures. The state does not meet its burden of demonstrating a compelling interest in denying the right to jury trial to Youth Authority wards by claiming that other distinctions exist among these procedures or by pointing out that alleged mentally retarded persons are similarly discriminated against. The state having made jury trial on the issue of status a prerequisite to commitment "generally available ... may not, consistent with the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, arbitrarily withhold it from some." (Baxstrom v. Herold, supra, 383 U.S. 107, 111 [15 L.Ed.2d 620, 623].)
Appellant is entitled to a new hearing on the question of whether he is, because of mental or physical deficiency, disorder, or abnormality, physically dangerous to the public. We deem the commitment of Youth Authority wards under section 1800 to be most closely analogous to the civil commitment procedures for suspected mentally disordered sex offenders and narcotics addicts, each of which classes are entitled to a jury trial and a three-fourths verdict. Appellant is entitled to a jury trial in like manner as is made available to those classes.
Discovery and Subpoena Rights
In view of our conclusion that the case must be returned to the juvenile court for a new hearing, it is not necessary to consider appellant's contention that the evidence was insufficient to support the court's finding that he was subject to commitment under sections 1800-1803. We deem it advisable, however, for the guidance of the court on rehearing, to comment on the extent of discovery and subpoena rights available to a defendant in a section 1800 proceeding.
The statute is silent as to the Youth Authority ward's right to discovery in a section 1800 commitment proceeding. The issue has not arisen in the decided cases involving either Youth Authority wards or other persons subject to commitment. We have, however, recently considered the discovery rights available in juvenile proceedings. In Joe Z. v. Superior Court (1970) 3 Cal.3d 797 [91 Cal.Rptr. 594, 478 P.2d 26], we held that despite traditional references to juvenile proceedings as "civil" or "essentially civil" in nature, the juvenile court "should have the same degree of discretion as a court in an ordinary criminal case to permit, upon a proper showing, discovery between the parties." (3 Cal.3d at p. 801. See also, In re Dennis M. (1969) 70 Cal.2d 444, 462 [75 Cal.Rptr. 1, 450 P.2d 296].) Our determination that the civil discovery statutes were inapplicable to juvenile proceedings was based in part on the quasi-criminal nature of such proceedings "involving ... the possibility of a substantial loss of personal freedom." We also noted, however, that a "need for expeditious and informal adjudications ... belies the wisdom or necessity of any indiscriminate application of civil discovery procedures." (3 Cal.3d at p. 801.)
The same considerations are present in other commitment proceedings — the possibility of a substantial loss of personal freedom and the need for expeditious adjudication. Thus, although section 1800 proceedings are not juvenile proceedings, and are not criminal, the same discovery rights should be available to adults subject to commitment as are extended to juveniles and to defendants in criminal prosecutions. In adult commitment proceedings, however, the court also has discretion to authorize, upon a showing of relevance and necessity, any of the discovery tools available in a civil action.
Commitment proceedings are "special proceedings of a civil nature." (People v. Succop, supra, 65 Cal.2d 483, 486 [mentally disordered sex offenders]; In re De La O, supra, 59 Cal.2d 128, 156 [narcotics addicts].) The Legislature has provided that the right to civil discovery shall be
It is also reasonable to require that the same showing be made a prerequisite to issuance of an out-of-county subpoena in a section 1800 proceeding. Section 1801 provides that the court "shall afford ... an opportunity to appear in court with the aid of counsel and of process to compel attendance of witnesses and production of evidence." The requirement that a showing of relevance and necessity be made is found in the statutes governing issuance of subpoenas in mentally disordered sex offender proceedings. (§ 6313.) In proceedings for the commitment of imminently dangerous mentally ill persons a similar requirement exists. (§ 5303; Cal. Const., art. I, § 13.) In such proceedings the defendant has the same right to compel the attendance of witnesses as does a defendant in a criminal proceeding. As to out-of-county witnesses in criminal and juvenile proceedings, the Penal Code provides: "No person is obligated to attend ... unless the distance be less than 150 miles from his place of residence to the place of trial, or unless the judge ... upon an affidavit ... of the defendant, or his counsel ... stating that he believes the evidence of the witness is material, and his attendance at the examination, trial, or hearing is material and necessary, shall endorse on the subpoena an order for the attendance of the witness." (Pen. Code, § 1330.) The court may properly quash subpoenas directed to local witnesses, as to whom the defendant need make no such showing (Pen. Code, § 1326) if the defendant fails to show that the person could offer relevant testimony. (In re Finn (1960) 54 Cal.2d 807, 813 [8 Cal.Rptr. 741, 356 P.2d 685].) It follows that where a showing of relevance and necessity is prerequisite to issuance of the subpoena the court may refuse to endorse the subpoena if it deems the showing to be inadequate.
The petition itself was accompanied by a statement of the facts upon which the board based its opinion that discharge of appellant would be physically dangerous to the public. The petition described generally his contacts with the courts prior to his incarceration, the facts surrounding the present commitment, and briefly outlined the history of his confinement. The allegation that Gary met the standard for continued detention under section 1800 was couched in conclusionary language, but several evaluative reports prepared by staff members of the Youth Authority and of Atascadero State Hospital were attached to the petition.
It is apparent that appellant's discovery requests were far too broad. The court could properly assume that the Youth Authority Board members who voted to petition for continued control of appellant had no personal knowledge of appellant and that their decision was based on the files of the Youth Authority and on the recommendations of various professional personnel who came in contact with him during his commitment to the Youth Authority. Furthermore, the basis of their decision to petition for continued control over Gary is essentially irrelevant to the issue to be decided at the hearing on the petition. It is not why the Board decided to petition, but what evidence the Youth Authority intends to introduce in support of its petition, that is relevant to preparing a defense to the charge. Inasmuch as the question of whether a defendant is physically dangerous because of physical or mental abnormality can be anticipated to be a medical, psychiatric, or psychological judgment, discovery of matters going beyond the basis of the anticipated expert testimony is unnecessary.
The court properly resolved appellant's discovery requests by issuing a subpoena for Dr. Owre, the physician who bore primary responsibility for evaluation of appellant at Atascadero, and who became the primary witness on behalf of the Youth Authority. Dr. Owre brought with him
Appellant does not contend that he sought to compel the attendance of any such persons after Dr. Owre's testimony was received. In the absence of any such request and of any showing of prejudice as revealed by an examination of Dr. Owre's testimony, it cannot be said that the trial court abused its discretion in refusing to issue the additional subpoena and to permit the requested discovery.
The order appealed from is vacated and the matter is remanded to the juvenile court for proceedings not inconsistent with this opinion.
McComb, J., Peters, J., Tobriner, J., Mosk, J., Burke, J., and Sullivan, J., concurred.