Minn. R. Crim. P. 20.02

As amended through October 31, 2022
Rule 20.02 - Defense of Mental Illness or Cognitive Impairment-Mental Examination

Subd. 1. Authority to Order Examination. The trial court may order the defendant's mental examination if:

(a) the defense notifies the prosecutor of its intent to assert a mental illness or Cognitive Impairment defense pursuant to Rule 9.02, subd. 1(5);
(b) the defendant in a misdemeanor case pleads not guilty by reason of mental illness or Cognitive Impairment; or
(c) the defendant offers evidence of mental illness or Cognitive Impairment at trial.

Subd. 2. Defendant's Examination. If the court orders a mental examination of the defendant, it must appoint at least one examiner as defined in Minn. Stat. ch. 253B, or successor statute, to examine the defendant and report to the court on the defendant's mental condition. The court may order the defendant to be confined to a hospital or other facility for up to 60 days to complete the examination if special need is shown. If any party has retained an examiner, the examiner must be permitted to observe the mental examination and examine the defendant.

Subd. 3. Defendant's Refusal to be Examined. If the defendant does not participate in the examination and thereby prevents the examiner from making an adequate report to the court, the court may:

(a) prohibit the defendant from introducing evidence of the defendant's mental condition;
(b) strike any previously introduced evidence of the defendant's mental condition;
(c) permit any party to introduce evidence of the defendant's refusal to cooperate and to comment on it to the trier of fact;
(d) make any other ruling as it deems just.

Subd. 4. Report of Examination. The examiner must forward a written examination report to the court. The court must provide copies of the report to the prosecutor and defense. The contents of the report must not otherwise be disclosed except as provided in this rule. The report must contain:

(a) A diagnosis of the defendant's mental condition as requested by the court;
(b) If directed by the court, an opinion as to whether, because of mental illness or Cognitive Impairment, the defendant, at the time of committing the alleged criminal act, was laboring under such a defect of reason as not to know the nature of the act or that it was wrong;
(c) Any opinion requested by the court that is based on the examiner's diagnosis;
(d) A statement of the factual basis on which the diagnosis and any opinion are based; and
(e) If the examination could not be conducted because of the defendant's unwillingness to participate, an opinion, if possible, as to whether the defendant's unwillingness resulted from mental illness or Cognitive Impairment.

Subd. 5. Admissibility of Examination. Evidence derived from the examination is not admissible against the defendant unless the defendant has previously made his or her mental condition an issue in the case. If the defendant's mental condition is an issue, any party may call the court-appointed examiner to testify as a witness at trial, and the examiner is subject to cross-examination by any other party. The report or portions of it may be received in evidence to impeach the examiner.

Subd. 6. Admissibility of Defendant's Statements. When a defendant is examined under Rule 20.01, Rule 20.02, or both, the admissibility at trial of any statements the defendant made for the purpose of the examination and any evidence derived from the statements must be determined by the following rules.

(1) Sole Defense of Mental Condition. If a defendant notifies the prosecutor under Rule 9.02, subd. 1(5), of intent to rely solely on the defense of mental illness or Cognitive Impairment, or if the defendant in a misdemeanor case relies solely on the plea of not guilty by reason of mental illness or Cognitive Impairment under Rule 14.01(c), statements the defendant made for the purpose of the mental examination and evidence derived from the statements are admissible at the trial on the issue of the defendant's mental condition.
(2) Multiple Defenses. If a defendant relies on the defense of mental illness or Cognitive Impairment together with a defense of not guilty, or if the defendant in a misdemeanor case pleads both not guilty and not guilty by reason of mental illness or Cognitive Impairment, the statements the defendant made for the purpose of the mental examination and any evidence derived from the statements are admissible against the defendant only at the mental illness or Cognitive Impairment stage of the trial.

Subd, 7. Trial Procedure for Multiple Defenses.

(a) Order of Proof. If a defendant notifies the prosecutor under Rule 9.02, subd. 1(5), of intent to rely on the defense of mental illness or Cognitive Impairment together with a defense of not guilty, or if the defendant in a misdemeanor case pleads both not guilty and not guilty by reason of mental illness or Cognitive Impairment, the court must separate the two defenses. The defense of not guilty must be heard and determined first. The defense of mental illness or Cognitive Impairment must be heard and determined second.
(b) Jury Instructions. The jury must be informed at the start of the trial that:
(1) the defendant has offered two defenses;
(2) the defense of not guilty will be tried first and the defense of mental illness or Cognitive Impairment will be tried second;
(3) if the jury finds that the elements of the offense have not been proved, the defendant will be acquitted;
(4) if the jury finds the elements of the offense have been proved then the defense of mental illness or Cognitive Impairment will be tried and determined by the jury.
(c) Proof of Elements-Effect. The court or jury must determine whether the elements of the offense have been proved beyond a reasonable doubt. If the elements of the offense have not been proved, a judgment of acquittal must be entered.

If the defendant has been convicted in the guilt phase, then the defense of mental illness or Cognitive Impairment must be tried. The jury must render a verdict or the court make a finding of:

(1) not guilty by reason of mental illness;
(2) not guilty by reason of mental Cognitive Impairment; or
(3) guilty.

The defendant bears the burden of proving mental illness or Cognitive Impairment by a preponderance of the evidence.

Subd. 8. Effect of Not Guilty by Reason of Mental Illness or Cognitive Impairment.

(1)Mental Illness or Cognitive Impairment. When a defendant is found not guilty by reason of mental illness or cognitive impairment , and the defendant is under civil commitment as mentally ill or developmentallv disabled, the court must order the commitment to continue. If the defendant is not under commitment, a petition for commitment must be filed bv the county attorney in the county in which the acquittal took place. The court must commence a civil order the defendant to be detained in a state hospital or other facility pending completion of the proceedings. In felony and gross misdemeanor cases, the court must supervise the commitment as provided in Rule 20.02, subd. 8(4).
(2)Continuing Supervision. In felony and gross misdemeanor cases, the court and the prosecutor must be notified of any proposed institutional transfer, partial hospitalization status, and any proposed termination, discharge, or provisional discharge of the civil commitment. The prosecutor has the right to participate as a party in any proceedings concerning proposed changes in the defendant's civil commitment or status.

Minn. R. Crim. P. 20.02

Amended June 28, 2018, effective 9/1/2018.