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Name: People v. Rotroff
Case #: H033527
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 10/22/2009
Subsequent History: rev. granted 1/13/10 (S178455)
Summary

Proposition 83 does not violate the single-subject rule, and imposing an inderminate term of commitment under the new SVPA provisions does not violate due process, equal protection or ex post facto principles. Rotroff appealed from a commitment order as a sexually violent predator (SVP), challenging the constitutionality of the imposition of an indeterminate term under the SVP Act as amended by the passage of Proposition 83. The appellate court rejected his challenge based on the single subject rule, because there were no provisions which were not germane to a common purpose. It also rejected Rotroff’s claim that the SVPA violated due process by providing an indeterminate term because it creates an unacceptable risk that an SVP who no longer qualifies will have his commitment continued. The SVPA contains numerous procedural safeguards which ensure that the duration of SVP commitment bears a reasonable relation to the committed person’s continuing qualification as an SVP. The court also rejected equal protection, ex post facto, and double jeopardy challenges. Further, the court rejected appellant’s claims that the SVPA violates the federal First Amendment right to petition the court for redress of grievances by limiting access to the court and not providing a reasonable opportunity to present violations of fundamental constitutional rights to the courts.