California Penal Code Section 1367 Case

In re R. S. (1985) 167 Cal. App. 3d 946 213 Cal. Rptr. 690 impliedly adopted the test for incompetency found in Penal Code section 1367. A mother appealed to this court from a judgment which terminated her parental rights pursuant to former Civil Code section 232 (now Fam. Code, 7800 et seq.). The mother had mild developmental disabilities as well as a dependent personality disorder. She argued that she received inadequate assistance of counsel because her attorney did not request the court to inquire into her competency. This court rejected the mother's argument, concluding that despite her conditions, the record established that "Neither the trial court nor the mother's trial counsel ignored evidence that the mother's abilities were so limited that she was effectively rendered incompetent to understand the nature of the proceedings or to assist her counsel in representing her interest so as to require appointment of a guardian ad litem." (In re R. S., supra, 167 Cal. App. 3d at page 980.)