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Name: People v. Johnson
Case #: D050751
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 05/14/2008
Subsequent History: Rev. grant/hold: 8/13/08 (S164388)

The extended commitment of a sexually violent predator the day before his release date was constitutional. Johnson challenged an order declaring him to be a sexually violent predator (SVP) because he was not lawfully in custody at the time the prosecutor filed the petition. A hearing was held one day prior to Johnson’s release for the purpose of deciding if there was probable cause to file an SVP petition, and the trial court granted a 45-day hold. Seven days later, the petition was filed. The appellate court found that since Johnson did not object to the imposition of the hold, he waived the error. Even if he did not waive the issue, he was not entitled to a dismissal of the petition unless the hold was ordered in bad faith, which was not the case here. Johnson also challenged the imposition of a indeterminate term as a violation of due process. The appellate court found that neither the imposition of an indeterminate term of commitment nor the placing of some burden on the individual to petition for release violated due process protections. Further, since SVPs are not similarly situated to individuals committed under the LPS Act, MDOs, or persons found to be NGI, they do not have to be treated the same, and therefore there was no equal protection violation. Further, since the SVP Act is not punitive in nature, the principles of former jeopardy and ex post facto do not apply.