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Name: Hubbart v. Knapp
Case #: 03-16877
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 08/13/2004
Subsequent History: 1/10/05: cert. den.

Hubbart was the first person confined as a sexually violent predator (SVP) under Welfare and Institutions Code section 6600 et seq. His challenges to the law were rejected in the state courts. In this appeal from the denial of his federal habeas petition, he claimed that the SVP Act violates due process and equal protection protections. The government argued that the claims were moot because they arose from Hubbart’s original commitment, and he has been recommitted. The court here held that the petition was not moot because the claims are capable of repetition yet evading review. It also rejected Hubbart’s due process claims because there is no Supreme Court authority which is contrary to the state court’s holding that the SVP Act satisfies due process requirements. Further, the court rejected equal protection claims predicated on the differences between the SVP Act and the MDO law. Not every disparity between commitment procedures amounts to a denial of equal protection