WHEN CAN I ASK MY COUNSEL TO FILE NOTICE OF WRIT HABEAS CORPUS
The conservatee may, in extraordinary circumstances, challenge placement or conditions of confinement by filing a writ of habeas corpus. However, writ of habeas corpus is not ordinarily available to challenge status as a conservatee, placement in locked facility, or the conservator's powers. The LPS act allows for other remedies and hearing to addresses these concerns. Habeas corpus is appropriate if the conservatee is illegally detained or deprived of basic rights. The case In re Gandolfo (1984) 36 C3d 889, deals with this matter of writ of habeas corpus and LPS Conservatorship. The appellate court in this case reviews the conservatee’s writ of habeas corpus challenging his placement as excessively restrictive. Conservatee contends that his condition was such that there was no reason he had to stay in such a restrictive environment, that he was not gravely disabled to the extent that it necessitated his remaining in a locked facility, that his behavior was not dangerous to himself or others in the preceding weeks, and that third party assistance was willing to help him. The trial court suggested that LPS conservatee would be entitled to habeas corpus relief if "unreasonable consequences should ensue" because of the limitations of the statutory review mechanisms. However, the trial court’s habeas corpus relief was reversed by the appellate court because it considered that the LPS Conservatee had other remedies available (the rehearing process and jury trial processes to challenge unlawful placement) and habeas corpus proceedings are considered an extraordinary remedy, and such proceedings may not be invoked where the conservatee has lower remedies (ie the rehearing process and jury trial) upon which he can rely on for relief. Given that those remedies have been 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 PLEADING TITLE - 2 properly exercised, the LPS Conservatee in most ordinary circumstances cannot also invoke the writ of habeas corpus as the appellate court deemed that such loose provisions would “only invite a hopeless flood of cases which would wreak havoc on the "continuing jurisdiction" of appointing courts”.