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Name: People v. Shields
Case #: D050034
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 09/21/2007

The indeterminate term provisions of Welfare and Institutions Code section 6604 apply to persons confined as Sexually Violent Predators (SVP) for two years under the former version of section 6604. Prior to 2006, a person deemed to be an SVP was committed for a two-year term with the prosecution required to obtain a new order determining the person to be an SVP for each successive two-year commitment. In 2006, the statute was amended to provide for an indeterminate period of confinement. The amendment did not expressly reference those individuals confined under the former two-year scheme. In 2003, appellant had been recommitted for a two-year period of confinement and in 2005, the prosecution filed another petition to extend appellant’s confinement. Appellant claimed that based on the plain language of the amended statute, i.e., the failure to address the SVP who had been committed for two years, he could not be subject to an SVP petition under the amended statute. The appellate court rejected the claim, noting that inasmuch as the intent of the legislature in amending the statute was to continue the confinement of the SVP for an indefinite term, the statute applied to a person in appellant’s position.