CACI No. 4006. Sufficiency of Indirect Circumstantial Evidence

Judicial Council of California Civil Jury Instructions (2024 edition)

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4006.Sufficiency of Indirect Circumstantial Evidence
You may not decide that [name of respondent] is gravely disabled based
substantially on indirect evidence unless this evidence:
1. Is consistent with the conclusion that [name of respondent] is
gravely disabled due to [a mental disorder/impairment by chronic
alcoholism]; and
2. Cannot be explained by any other reasonable conclusion.
If the indirect evidence suggests two reasonable interpretations, one of
which suggests the existence of a grave disability and the other its
nonexistence, then you must accept the interpretation that suggests [name
of respondent] is not gravely disabled.
If, on the other hand, one interpretation of this evidence appears to you
to be reasonable and the other interpretation to be unreasonable, you
must accept the reasonable interpretation and reject the unreasonable
If you base your verdict on indirect evidence, [name of petitioner] must
prove beyond a reasonable doubt each fact essential to your conclusion
that [name of respondent] is gravely disabled.
New June 2005
Directions for Use
Read this instruction immediately after CACI No. 202, Direct and Indirect
Sources and Authority
“[W]here proof to establish a conservatorship for a person alleged to be gravely
disabled is based upon substantially circumstantial evidence, the proposed
conservatee is entitled, on request in an appropriate case, to have the jurors
instructed as to the principles relevant when applying circumstantial evidence to
the beyond a reasonable doubt burden of proof.” (Conservatorship of Walker
(1987) 196 Cal.App.3d 1082, 1088 [242 Cal.Rptr. 289].)
“A proposed conservatee is entitled to procedural due process protections similar
to a criminal defendant since fundamental liberty rights are at stake. The trial
court had a sua sponte duty to correctly instruct on the general principles of law
necessary for the jury’s understanding of the case.” (Conservatorship of Walker,
supra, 196 Cal.App.3d at p. 1092, fn. 5, internal citations omitted.)
“The court has no duty to give the [circumstantial evidence jury instructions
applicable to criminal cases] in a case where the circumstantial evidence
necessary to prove a certain mental state is not subject to any inference except
that pointing to the existence of that mental state.” (Conservatorship of Walker,
supra, 196 Cal.App.3d at p. 1098; Conservatorship of Law (1988) 202
Cal.App.3d 1336, 1342 [249 Cal.Rptr. 415].)
“Where a noncriminal case is to be evaluated by a reasonable doubt standard, it
follows that a party on a proper state of the evidence is entitled on request to
have jurors informed of the manner in which that standard must be established
when the evidence consists substantially of circumstantial evidence.”
(Conservatorship of Walker, supra, 196 Cal.App.3d at p. 1098.)
Secondary Sources
3 Witkin, California Procedure (5th ed. 2008) Actions, §§ 100, 104
2 California Conservatorship Practice (Cont.Ed.Bar) § 23.90
32 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 361A, Mental Health and Mental
Disabilities: Judicial Commitment, Health Services, and Civil Rights, § 361A.33
(Matthew Bender)

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