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Name: Gray v. Superior Court
Case #: E029464
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 01/16/2002
Subsequent History: Rev. denied 4/10/02.

SVPA case. In his habeas petition, appellant sought to compel dismissal of sexually violent predator (SVP) proceedings against him because recent psychological evaluations reflected a difference of expert opinion on whether he met the statutory SVP criteria. Although the statute is clear that a petition can only be filed where both evaluators agree that the inmate meets the criteria, the statute is not clear where a further set of evaluations is required because an update or replacement results in a split of opinion. Here, the original petition was filed based on the evaluations of two experts who agreed that appellant fit the criteria. Several years later, prior to trial, when one of the evaluators became unavailable, three new evaluations were ordered. Two of the evaluators concluded that appellant did not meet the criteria, creating the split of opinion. The appellate court denied the petition. The fact that the statute is silent as to the remedy for this situation does not reflect a legislative intent for dismissal. Once a petition has been filed and probable cause exists, the matter should then proceed to trial. The question of whether a person is an SVP should then be left to the trier of fact.