Judge Makes Various Rulings on Granting Mental Health Diversion

By Mihajla Milovanovic

VENTURA, CA – Here in Ventura County Superior Court, various Mental Health Pretrial Diversion-Eligibility cases were heard by Judge Nancy Ayers, who determined the public risk and reviewed the mental health records of the accused.

Defense Attorney Melanie Miles spoke on behalf of most of those accused in the courtroom, which included updating Judge Ayers on the status of potential diversion people.

Judge Ayers based her concerns on repetitive criminal actions—the person’s “rap sheet”—of each accused, she said.

In the case of one man, the court noted repeated violations of law, and threat to the public. Due to these circumstances Judge Ayers declined own recognizance (no bail) release. Because of the man’s history, his bail was set at $40,000.

In another case, the mother of an accused spoke on his behalf to ask for him to move in back with the family due to the progress he has made and anxiety he receives from the rehab facility. She stated, “We have not felt threatened, not fearful at all, we feel very safe. He has progressed very well and has focused on his well-being.”

The mother proceeded to ask for permission from Judge Ayers about her son being able to travel and stay with them over the weekend, since they have been commuting from out of town.

Judge Ayers responded to the mother by understanding her perspective, but believed that moving the son to another sober living home would be the better option. The mother then asked the judge to consider a 30-day trial which was quickly declined.

Judge Ayers negotiated with the requests by allowing the family to continue to visit and allow the son to travel with the family over the weekend. She confirmed that the son has two more months in the sober living home.

Once the family was dismissed, Judge Ayers proceeded to discuss with the public defender that the mental health disorder diagnosis is incorrect for another man, making the plan for correction needing to be changed. Judge Ayers stated that “these are not mutually exclusive diagnoses.”

Judge Ayers concluded with granting the man mental health diversion.

About The Author

Mihajla is a third year undergraduate student at the University of Southern California. She is pursing a major in Spanish and a minor in Immigration law. After graduation, she plans to go to law school and become an immigration lawyer.

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