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Name: People v. Angulo
Case #: E034875
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 05/11/2005

Appellant was committed to a secured facility after a jury found him to be a sexually violent predator (SVP). Before trial, he requested that the court appoint one or more mental health care professionals to assist in his defense, and moved that any psych evaluations performed be kept confidential. The court appointed an expert, but denied the request for confidentiality. On appeal, appellant contended that the refusal to appoint psychologists whose reports would be kept confidential denied his right to assistance of counsel, to present a defense, and to a fair trial. He also contended that the evaluations were protected from disclosure by the psychotherapist-patient privilege, the lawyer-client privilege, the work product doctrine, and the privilege against self-incrimination. The appellate court rejected his arguments. Evaluations of an alleged SVP by appointed experts are discoverable. Further, the psychotherapist-patient privilege which applies to a court-appointed expert in a criminal proceeding does not apply in a SVPA proceeding, which is civil. Likewise, since this was a civil proceeding Crawford v. Washington does not apply. Therefore, the admission of police reports was not error. Further, Crawford is not violated if the defendant had an opportunity to cross-examine the declarant, which appellant had here.