What is this service?
The function of the San Luis Obispo County Public Conservator is to act as the court appointed Murphy Conservator for those who have not gained competency to stand trial within the period allowed by law (three years) and who are determined to be dangerous.
Public Conservators are responsible for directing the mental health treatment and placement of their clients who are:
- gravely disabled as the result of a mental disease and/or disorder
- unable to provide for their basic personal needs for food, clothing or shelter, and
- require placement in a state mental institution or other facility for psychiatric care.
A Murphy Conservator has the authority to place a conservatee in a state hospital or psychiatric treatment facility involuntarily.
A Murphy Conservatorship can be established for an individual who has been found mentally incompetent under section 1370 of the California Penal Code using the following criteria:
- The complaint, indictment, or information pending against the person at the time of the commitment charges a felony involving death, great bodily harm, or a serious threat to the physical well-being of another person.
- There has been a finding of probable cause on a complaint pursuant to paragraph 20 of subdivision (a) of Section 1368.1 of the Penal Code, a preliminary examination pursuant to Section 859b of the Penal Code, or a grand jury indictment, and the complaint indictment, or information has not been dismissed.
- As a result of a mental health disorder, the person is unable to understand the nature and purpose of the proceedings taken against him or her and to assist counsel in the conduct of his or her defense in a rational manner.
- The person represents a substantial danger of physical harm to others by reason of a mental disease, defect, or disorder.
Who can use this service?
The Office of the Public Guardian is responsible for providing and directing the mental health treatment and placement of clients who have been deemed gravely disabled due to a mental disease and/or disorder and qualify under a Murphy Conservatorship (section 1370). These criteria are described above.
Is there a charge for this service?
The charge for this service is based on the approved monthly rate by the Social Security Administration, which is currently $44 per month.
When and where is this service offered?
This service is available throughout the year during regular business hours except during scheduled holidays.