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Name: Turner v. Superior Court of San Diego County
Case #: D039787
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 01/30/2003
Subsequent History: Rev. denied 4/16/03.
Summary

SVPA case. Mr. Turner was convicted in 1984 of numerous violent criminal acts, including rapes and assaults. After serving 14 years in prison, the district attorney filed an SVPA petition. Following a probable cause hearing and then a trial, a jury found that Turner was not an SVP and he was released on parole into the high risk sex offender program. Three months later, Turner violated his curfew condition by disappearing from electronic monitoring for 2 days. His parole was revoked. The D.A. then filed a new SVPA petition. At a new probable cause hearing, the D.A. submitted evidence of the 1984 offenses and reports of two psychologists who supported the original petition. Although their reports referenced the subsequent curfew violation, they reached their conclusions that Turner was likely to engage in future SVP behavior based primarily on the original facts that the jury considered. This case raises the question of whether collateral estoppel principles apply to the subsequent petition filed. This court concludes that a prior jury finding on the SVP question does not absolutely bar a later petition seeking to show that the person is an SVP at a later time. The People are barred from relitigating the specific finding reached by the jury in the prior proceeding with respect to the same individual and the same time. However, they may establish probable in a subsequent proceeding by presenting evidence of a change of circumstances, i.e., that despite the fact the individual did not possess the requisite dangerousness in the earlier proceeding, the circumstances have materially changed so that he now possesses that characteristic. Here, the prosecution did not meet its burden to show a change in circumstances that there is now a serious and well-founded risk that Turner is likely to engage in sexually violent criminal conduct upon his release. (Cooley v. Superior Court (2002) 29 Cal.4th 228.) Accordingly, the finding of probable cause for the second SVPA petition was vacated.