IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
April 5, 2010
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA PLAINTIFF,
LANA LE CHABRIER, DEFENDANT.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Morrison C. England, Jr. United States District Judge
GOVERNMENT'S OPPOSITION TO AMICUS' REQUEST TO CANCEL PSYCHIATRIC EVALUATION; ORDER Date: April 8, 2010 Time: 9:00 a.m.
Hon. Morrison C. England, Jr.
Amicus counsel has filed a request that the Court cancel the pending psychiatric evaluation of Dr. Le Chabrier. For the reasons set forth below, the Government opposes this request.
On December 3, 2009, the Court ordered the examination of Dr. Chabrier. The government agreed the examination could occur locally (as opposed to occurring at Federal Medical Center) by Dr. Humberto Temporini, a professional selected by the defendant. Dr. Temporini invested time and effort familiarizing himself with the case, and on December 21, 2009, he drove to Nevada City to meet with the defendant. Dr. Le Chabrier refused to meet with him.*fn1
Subsequently, the government was assured by Dr. Le Chabrier's counsel that she was in fact willing to be evaluated by Dr. Temporini, and that this was preferable to being evaluated at a Federal Medical Center. At a status conference on March 18, 2010, the Court ordered that if the local evaluation of Dr. Le Chabrier was not completed by April 8, 2010, the defendant would be committed to the custody of the Attorney General to be evaluated. Counsel for Dr. Le Chabrier scheduled this evaluation to occur on the morning of April 6, 2010. The government requested, and the US Marshals agreed, to transport Dr. Le Chabrier to Sacramento on April 6, so that the evaluation could occur on the 5th Floor of the Federal building.
Amicus counsel filed a request to cancel the evaluation on April 2. In it, he states that he met with Dr. Le Chabrier earlier that day and found her capable of assisting in her own defense.
The government did not initiate the request for an evaluation of Dr. Le Chabrier. That request came from her counsel, who has represented her in this matter for well over a year. Absent an evaluation, the government has no position, nor any basis for forming one, regarding the Court's decision under §4241. However, the question has been raised and it is both appropriate and in each party's ultimate best interest that the Court make a determination under §4241 one way or the other. A report of a psychiatric examination will help the Court make that determination.
The government has no objection to Amicus' request that he be substituted in as Dr. Le Chabrier's counsel. Further, the government appreciates and respects counsel's comments regarding Dr. Le Chabrier's competency. Those comments are clearly relevant to, and in combination with the results of an evaluation, possibly determinative of the §4241 question. Never-the-less, given the state of the record and the time and resources already invested, there are no grounds warranting cancellation of the pending examination.
For the reasons set forth above, and for independent reasons established by the court, the request by Amicus Counsel to cancel the pending psychiatric evaluation is DENIED.
IT IS SO ORDERED.