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Name: People v. Linder
Case #: C048803
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 05/04/2006

The burden of proof applicable to findings that a statute of limitations may be extended under Penal Code section 803(g) is preponderance of the evidence. Section 803(g) permits prosecution of specified sexual offenses after the statute of limitations has expired under certain conditions, including the existence of independent evidence that clearly and convincingly corroborates the victim’s allegation. The defendant claimed that he was deprived of due process and his Sixth Amendment right to a jury by the trial court’s instruction that the burden of proof applicable to the section 803(g) statute of limitations allegations was preponderance of the evidence, and, as to the corroboration requirement, clear and convincing evidence. The defendant argued that the prosecution should have been required to establish these allegations by proof beyond a reasonable doubt, because the statute of limitations is either an element of the offense or should be treated as if it were an element under Apprendi and Blakely. The court rejected the argument, concluding that the Apprendi line of cases does not call into question the clear California case authority holding that the prosecution’s burden of proof on the statute of limitations issue is a preponderance of the evidence, and as to the independent corroboration requirement, clear and convincing evidence.