Can a mentally incompetent defendant defend himself in a civil case?

California, United States of America


The following excerpt is from Quail v. Municipal Court, 171 Cal.App.3d 572, 217 Cal.Rptr. 361 (Cal. App. 1985):

It is true Massey v. Moore and like cases arose in the context of criminal proceedings. Nonetheless, they articulated minimum standards demanded by due process--a clause which applies to civil as well as criminal cases--not the Sixth Amendment which applies only to the latter. If it is not merely difficult but impossible for a mental incompetent to defend himself without counsel in a criminal prosecution, it is just as impossible for him to do so in a civil case. And, even if due process eventually can be twisted to somehow tolerate imposing on normal poor people the difficult task of defending their property rights in the courts without lawyers, it can never be so stripped of meaning as to foist that task on those for whom it would be an impossibility--mentally incompetent poor people. That is tantamount to sanctioning legalized robbery--using the coercive power of the state to force defenseless people to surrender their property without a meaningful hearing.

Other Questions


Does Defendant have any grounds to argue that the Court's recent rulings in a civil case against the Defendant violated the Defendant's civil rights? (California, United States of America)
Is there any case law or case law that would change the disposition of a defendant in a civil case? (California, United States of America)
Is there any case law or case law that would have changed the disposition of a defendant in a civil case? (California, United States of America)
Is there any case law or case law that would have changed the disposition of a defendant in a civil case? (California, United States of America)
Is there any case law or case law that would have changed the disposition of a defendant in a civil case? (California, United States of America)
Is there any case law or case law that would have changed the disposition of a defendant in a civil case? (California, United States of America)
Is there any case law in which a defendant has been found to have used force or coercion against a defendant in a civil case? (California, United States of America)
Is there any case law or case law that would change the disposition of a defendant in a civil case? (California, United States of America)
Is there any case law or case law that would have changed the disposition of a defendant in a civil case? (California, United States of America)
In a contract impairment case arising out of section 340.9(1) of the California Civil Code of Civil Procedure Act, is there any case law where the court has found that the provision does not apply to all cases? (California, United States of America)
X



Whitelogo nobg 300dpi sm


"The most advanced legal research software ever built."


Trusted by top litigators from across North America.