HB 112 – FINAL VERSION
HOUSE BILL 112
This bill permits a court to order a qualified psychiatrist other than the treating psychiatrist to conduct a psychiatric evaluation of a defendant for purposes of a subsequent hearing to determine competency to stand trial, if the psychiatrist who conducted the initial evaluation is unavailable.
The bill also permits the court, for good cause shown upon motion of the attorney general or county attorney at any time during the involuntary commitment period and before expiration of the limitations period applicable to the underlying offense, to order a further competency evaluation.
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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.
Matter removed from current law appears [
in brackets and struckthrough.]
Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Five
AN ACT relative to psychiatric evaluations in competency hearings.
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
201:1 Competency Hearings; Psychiatric Evaluations. Amend RSA 135:17-a, III to read as follows:
III. Except for good cause shown, a further hearing to determine the defendant’s competency shall be held no later than 12 months[
, except for good cause shown,] after the order committing the defendant for treatment. The hearing may be held earlier if the court is notified that the defendant has [ regained] been restored to competency, or that there is no longer a reasonable likelihood of such restoration. Prior to the scheduled hearing, the [ treating] psychiatrist who conducted the initial competency evaluation shall conduct a further [ competency] evaluation [ as set forth in] pursuant to RSA 135:17, and furnish a copy of the report of such evaluation to the court and the parties. If that psychiatrist is unavailable or unable to conduct such further evaluation, the court may order that the evaluation be conducted by another qualified psychiatrist other than the treating psychiatrist.
201:2 Competency Evaluations During Involuntary Commitment Period. RSA 135:17-a, VI is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:
VI. If the person is ordered to be involuntarily committed following proceedings pursuant to RSA 135-C or RSA 171-B, the court may, upon motion of the attorney general or county attorney at any time during the period of the involuntary commitment and before expiration of the limitations period applicable to the underlying criminal offense, order a further competency evaluation, to be conducted as prescribed in paragraph III. Such further competency evaluations may be ordered if the court finds that there is a reasonable basis to believe that the person’s condition has changed such that competency to stand trial may have been affected. During proceedings authorized by this paragraph, the person is entitled to the assistance of counsel, including appointed counsel under RSA 135-C:22.
201:3 Effective Date. This act shall take effect January 1, 2006.
(Approved: July 1, 2005)
(Effective Date: January 1, 2006)