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Name: Murillo v. Superior Court
Case #: G035816
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 09/29/2006

In an action to have Murillo declared a sexually violent predator under the Sexually Violent Predator Act (SVPA), the district attorney served on petitioner a set of 14 requests for admissions regarding his prior convictions as well as his propensity to engage in predatory behavior in the future. Petitioner objected to each request and sought a protective order. The essence of his argument was that the use of requests for admissions deprived him his right to a jury trial because it eliminated the need for proof beyond a reasonable doubt. The court denied the motion and petitioner sought writ relief. Here, the appellate court held that requests for admissions may not be propounded in proceedings under the SVPA because their use would eviscerate the SVPA’s requirement that the state prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt and where there is a jury trial and a unanimous jury verdict. To relieve the State of this burden would deprive a person of liberty interests in violation of due process rights.