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Name: Litmon v. Superior Court
Case #: H027353
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 11/04/2004
Subsequent History: Revw. den. 1/26/05

The trial court has the inherent power to consolidate SVPA recommitment petitions for trial. However, where trials on the earlier petitions were delayed, over petitioners’ objections, solely to accomodate consolidation, the trial court erred and a writ of mandate issued directing the trial court to calendar the first petition for recommitment in each case for trial forthwith. Writ relief was appropriate because the remedy by appeal would be inadequate, and the issues presented were of public importance. It was appropriate to address the issue despite the fact that it was technically moot, as it addressed an ongoing problem. Because the SVPA evidences a legislative intent to provide a trial on every filed recommitment petition as close in time to the expiration of the prior commitment as is practicable, it is error to order consolidation over an objection when a consolidated trial can occur only if the earlier petition is further delayed.