State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_15A > GS_15A-1002

§15A‑1002.  Determination of incapacity to proceed; evidence; temporarycommitment; temporary orders.

(a)        The question of thecapacity of the defendant to proceed may be raised at any time on motion by theprosecutor, the defendant, the defense counsel, or the court. The motion shalldetail the specific conduct that leads the moving party to question thedefendant's capacity to proceed.

(b)        When the capacityof the defendant to proceed is questioned, the court shall hold a hearing todetermine the defendant's capacity to proceed. If an examination is orderedpursuant to subdivision (1) or (2) of this subsection, the hearing shall beheld after the examination. Reasonable notice shall be given to the defendantand prosecutor, and the State and the defendant may introduce evidence. Thecourt:

(1)        May appoint one ormore impartial medical experts, including forensic evaluators approved underrules of the Commission for Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, andSubstance Abuse Services, to examine the defendant and return a written reportdescribing the present state of the defendant's mental health; reports soprepared are admissible at the hearing and the court may call any expert soappointed to testify at the hearing; any expert so appointed may be called totestify at the hearing by the court at the request of either party; or

(2)        In the case of adefendant charged with a misdemeanor only after the examination pursuant tosubsection (b)(1) of this section or at any time in the case of a defendantcharged with a felony, may order the defendant to a State facility for thementally ill for observation and treatment for the period, not to exceed 60days, necessary to determine the defendant's capacity to proceed; in the caseof a defendant charged with a felony, if a defendant is ordered to a Statefacility without first having an examination pursuant to subsection (b)(1) ofthis section, the judge shall make a finding that an examination pursuant tothis subsection would be more appropriate to determine the defendant'scapacity; the sheriff shall return the defendant to the county when notifiedthat the evaluation has been completed; the director of the facility shalldirect his report on defendant's condition to the defense attorney and to theclerk of superior court, who shall bring it to the attention of the court; thereport is admissible at the hearing.

(3)        Repealed by SessionLaws 1989, c. 486, s. 1.

(b1)      If the reportpursuant to subdivision (1) or (2) of subsection (b) of this section indicatesthat the defendant lacks capacity to proceed, proceedings for involuntary civilcommitment under Chapter 122C of the General Statutes may be instituted on thebasis of the report in either the county where the criminal proceedings arepending or, if the defendant is hospitalized, in the county in which thedefendant is hospitalized.

(c)        The court may makeappropriate temporary orders for the confinement or security of the defendantpending the hearing or ruling of the court on the question of the capacity ofthe defendant to proceed.

(d)        Any report made tothe court pursuant to this section shall be forwarded to the clerk of superiorcourt in a sealed envelope addressed to the attention of a presiding judge,with a covering statement to the clerk of the fact of the examination of thedefendant and any conclusion as to whether the defendant has or lacks capacityto proceed. A copy of the full report shall be forwarded to defense counsel, orto the defendant if he is not represented by counsel provided, if the questionof the defendant's capacity to proceed is raised at any time, a copy of thefull report must be forwarded to the district attorney. Until such reportbecomes a public record, the full report to the court shall be kept under suchconditions as are directed by the court, and its contents shall not be revealedexcept as directed by the court. Any report made to the court pursuant to thissection shall not be a public record unless introduced into evidence. (1973,c. 1286, s. 1; 1975, c. 166, ss. 20, 27; 1977, cc. 25, 860; 1979, 2nd Sess., c.1313; 1985, c. 588; c. 589, s. 9; 1989, c. 486, s. 1; 1991, c. 636, s. 19(b);1995, c. 299, s. 1; 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 742, ss. 13, 14.)