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Name: People v. Lopez
Case #: H029248
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 01/18/2007

Appellant was committed under the Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) Act following conviction for lewd acts on a child. Following his initial commitment, the prosecutor filed an extension for an additional two years. During trial on the recommitment petition, the prosecutor relied on the doctrine of collateral estoppel to bar Lopez from relitigating the issue of whether he had been convicted of the necessary qualifying convictions. The court instructed the jury that the court had already determined that appellant had suffered the requisite qualifying prior convictions, and therefore the jury need not decide the issue. On appeal, Lopez argued that the trial court erred by instructing the jury in that manner. The appellate court disagreed and affirmed. In the original commitment petition, the same two qualifying prior convictions were fully litigated and decided. The application of collateral estoppel did not violate Lopez’s due process rights.