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Name: People v. Taylor
Case #: E044368
Opinion Date: 06/04/2009
Division: 2
Citation: 174 Cal.App.4th 920
Summary

Retroactive application of amendments to SVPA allowing for indeterminate term of commitment is not unconstitutional where a defendant is afforded a trial to determine if he or she currently meets SVP criteria. Appellants in four appeals were convicted in separate criminal proceedings of sexual offenses and sentenced to state prison. Each was found to be a sexually violent predator (SVP) and was subjected to a civil commitment prior to November, 2006. On November 7, 2006, the SVPA was amended to change the commitments to an indeterminate term. Each appellant in this case was the subject of petitions to extend their two-year commitments when the amendments when into effect. The court in each case granted a motion to retroactively convert the first SVP commitment to an indeterminate term. This consolidated appeal challenged the constitutionality of the statutory changes and the propriety of their retroactive application to individuals whose initial commitments predated the amendments. The appellate court held that imposing an indeterminate term under the amendments did not violate due process, equal protection, or ex post facto principles where a defendant is afforded a trial to determine if he or she currently meets SVP criteria. But, because no such trials were afforded in these cases, remand was required.