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Name: People v. Dixon
Case #: E038509
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 03/08/2007

In an SVP jury trial, there is a presumption against opening the courtroom to unlimited media coverage and in determining whether that presumption should be overcome, the court must evaluate the case by considering factors listed in Cal. Rules of Court, rule 1.150. Here, although the appellate court agreed that the trial court had abused its discretion in allowing televised media coverage as it had not considered the factors listed in the rule, it found that appellant had failed to show that the coverage adversely affected his right to a fair trial such that he was denied due process. Because an SVP proceeding is civil in nature, discovery is governed by the Civil Discovery Act. Accordingly, appellant was entitled to contact information for the prosecution’s witnesses. While entitled to discovery, appellant was also required to comply with the Act’s provision as to timeliness of the demand. Because he did not request the information within the time required, the court was under no obligation to grant the request.