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Name: People v. Litmon
Case #: H031348
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 04/23/2008
Subsequent History: Rev. denied 8/13/08

A new statute allowing an indeterminate term for SVP is not retroactive. On March 15, 2007, the superior court issued a retroactive commitment order for Litmon under the new provisions of the Sexually Violent Predator Act (SVPA). (See Welf. & Inst. Code, secs. 6604, 6604.1, subd. (a).) The order committed him to an indeterminate term commencing on May 2, 2000, which was the date of his original commitment. As a result of the retroactive commitment order, the trial on the pending petitions to extend his SVP commitment for two-year terms did not go forward. Litmon argued that the superior court violated his right to due process by denying his motions to dismiss the petitions on grounds of excessive delay, and also challenged the retroactive commitment order. The appellate court agreed and reversed. The changes in the SVP law did not authorize an order imposing an indeterminate term of commitment retroactive to the date upon which appellant was first committed as an SVP under predecessor law. An indeterminate term of commitment may be ordered only following a trial in which a person is determined to be an SVP and that term commences on the date upon which the court issues its order pursuant to the current version of the statute. Further, it was error for appellant to have served an extended confinement period without any determination that he was an SVP under the second and third recommitment petitions filed by the prosecutor.