Judge's order in Hoggle case

IN THE DISTRICT COURT FOR MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND

STATE OF MARYLAND
.
vs. Case N0.: 2D00338326
3D00317173
CATHERINE HOGGLE 6D00317120
De?ndanf i

912.133

This Court has reviewed the State?s Motion to Request For Independent
Evaluation for Competency Determination of the Defendant and Defendant?s Motion in
Opposition of the State?s Request for Independent Evaluation for Competency
Determination. The State is requesting this Court to grant a motion to require the Defendant to
undergo an additional competency evaluation, performed by a of the State?s
choosing but funded by the State. The Court hereby denies the State?s motion for an independent

evaluation of the Defendant.

Maryland Criminal Procedure ?3-104(a) provides that a determination of competency can
. be triggered at any point in the criminal process. After an initial competency determination has
been made and the defendant has been committed following a ?nding of incompetency, the
Department of Health must provide reports'to the Court every six months from the date of
commitment. (Md. Crim. Pro The Defendant?s attorney properly requested that
defendant undergo a competency evaluation and the evaluation was performed at Clifton T.
Perkins HOSpital Center. Based on the initial evaluation, this Court has continued to seek

competency examinations under CP

In Sir-ransom v. State, 9 Md. App. 594 (1970) the Court of Appeals held that a criminal
defendant has the right to be examined by an impartial, competent at the expense of

the State. The Court of Appeals noted that ?the doctOrs designated to the Department of Mental

Health are not partisans of the prosecution. . .and each staff member has a purely professional job
to do?. Swanson at 601. The Swanson Court highlighted that a motion for an independent
evaluation could be granted if there was less than unanimity in the opinion by the evaluating staff
concerning the mental health of the defendant; if there was a question to the competency of the
staff performing the evaluation; or if there was a question of thOroughness of the examination by

the evaluating staff. Ibid at 600-601. In this case, these issues do not exist. The Defendant is
being evaluated by a team of medical professionals at Clifton T. Perkins State Hospital and-their
opinion of the Defendant?s competency has been unanimous. The Defendant is undergoing
twenty-four hour supervision by staff at Perkins and has a staff member with her at all times.
There is nothing to suggest that the staff at Perkins are performing the evaluation in a mamier

inconsistent with the medical standard proscribed to perform competency evaluations.

In support of their motion, the State provided affidavits from relatives of the Defendant,
asserting that the Defendant is capable of understanding the legal proceedings against her and
that is competent to stand trial. However, competency to stand trial is a medical issue and an
opinion as to the medical fact of competence to stand trial should be reached by a medical
diagnosis. Colbert V.?Sf0t?, 18 Md. App. 632 (1973); Hill v. State, 35 Md. App. 98 (1977).
Therefore, this Court is relying on the unanimous medical opinion of the staff at Perkins that the

Defendant is incompetent to stand trial at this time.

In view of the unanimous medical opinion of the staff at Perkins and absent any showing
that there is a particular need for an additional examination, on this 215? day in April,

2016, the Stateis Motion is therefore, DENIED.

Judge
District Court for Montgomery County of
Maryland