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Name: People v. Whaley
Case #: H031647
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 03/03/2008
Subsequent History: Rev. denied 6/18/08

Amendments to Sexually Violent Predator Act allowing for an indeterminate term do not apply retroactively. Whaley was committed to the Department of Mental Health as a sexually violent predator in 1999. A petition to extend his commitment was granted, and he was recommitted for an additional two-year term. In 2007, while another recommitment petition was pending, the prosecutor brought a motion to retroactively convert Whaley’s first commitment from a two-year term to an indeterminate term pursuant to section 6604.1, subdivision (a). The trial court imposed the indeterminate term retroactive to the first order committing Whaley in 1999 without a trial on the most recent recommitment petition. Whaley appealed, contending that the indeterminate term in section 6604.1, subdivision (a) may not be applied retroactively. The appellate court agreed and reversed the order. The amendment to the SVPA providing for an indeterminate term of commitment applies prospectively, not retroactively. Since Whaley was initially committed as a SVP in 1999, before the 2006 amendments, he was entitled to an extension proceeding at which there would be a determination of his continued status as an SVP.