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Name: People v. Martinez
Case #: H021193
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 04/11/2001
Subsequent History: Modif. of opn. at 88 Cal.App.4th 1267a; Rev. den. 7/25/01

The court rejected the claim that the prosecutor's review of defendant's psychological records concerning medication and treatment at Atascadero State Hospital (ASH) 15 years earlier, done in the course of a Sexually Violent Predator Act prosecution, violated the defendant's state constitutional right to privacy. The SVPA makes psychological records, especially those generated at ASH, relevant in determining whether a prisoner qualifies as an SVP. Defendant signed written consent forms for both evaluations of him done in the SVP initial proceedings. Thus, his expectation of privacy in them and the records relied on to perform the evaluations, was…

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Name: People v. Superior Court (Preciado)
Case #: D036024
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 03/19/2001
Subsequent History: Rev. den. 6/27/01

Although a petition alleging a person is a sexually violent predator (SVP) should not be filed until two psychotherapists have evaluated the person and concluded he meets the statutory criteria, the failure to do so may be cured by the People after the petition is filed. The trial court erred in dismissing the petition where it was timely filed and the required evaluations were performed prior to the end of the person's previous SVP…

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Name: Leake v. Superior Court
Case #: C036542
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 03/06/2001
Subsequent History: Rev. den. 5/23/01

The Civil Discovery Act of 1986 applies to Sexually Violent Predator Act. The Discovery Act applies to civil proceedings and an SVPA proceeding is civil in nature. There is no statutory language exempting the SVPA from the Discovery Act. A comparison of the Mentally Disordered Offender Act (which states that the rules of criminal discovery also apply) indicates the Legislature knows how to choose other methods of discovery than the Discovery Act, but did not do so in the SVPA. The Court distinguished a case holding civil discovery did not apply in delinquency proceedings. Unlike SVPA…

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Name: People v. Gordon
Case #: H021806
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 09/17/2001
Subsequent History: Petitions for review GRANTED 12/12/01

The SVPA law does not violate the state and federal guarantees of equal protection and the prohibitions against ex post facto laws and double jeopardy. Instruction requiring the jury to find defendant was likely to engage in sexually violent criminal behavior, instead of predatory behavior, was harmless error. But the court found that a proper instruction should use the word predatory, not criminal. The trial court did not err by refusing to accept a stipulation to defendant's convictions of two predicate sexually violent offenses because the testimony about the details of these offenses was highly probative of whether…

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Name: Seling v. Young
Case #: 99-1185
Court: US Supreme Court
District USSup
Opinion Date: 01/17/2001
Subsequent History: None

In this case the United States Supreme Court reviewed the constitutionality of Washington state's sexually violent predator law, which Seling challenged as being punitive "as applied" to him in violation of the double jeopardy and ex post facto clauses of the United States Constitution. The Ninth Circuit had held that the Court's decision in Kansas v. Hendricks (1997) 521 U.S. 346, which held that a similar Kansas statute was nonpunitive, and therefore constitutional, did not preclude the possibility that a similar statute could be punitive as applied. It therefore remanded the case to the District Court to determine…

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Name: Garcetti v. Superior Court (In re Blake)
Case #: B141817
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 12/29/2000
Subsequent History: Review denied 4/11/01

The Court of Appeal rejected the argument that the constitutionality of Kansas' Sexually Violent Predator Act, upheld in Kansas v. Hendricks (1997) 521 U.S. 346, was based upon the scope of the application of the statute, and that the addition of those previously found to be mentally disordered sex offenders impermissibly expanded the statute's scope. While Blake contended that nonviolent misdemeanants, such as those convicted of possessing obscene matter, could be included, the Court of Appeal cautioned that the MDSO finding, standing alone, was not sufficient to trigger treatment under the SVPA, but that there must also be evidence of…

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Name: People v. Otto
Case #: S088807
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 07/23/2001
Subsequent History: Rehearing denied 9/12/01

Welfare and Institutions Code section 6600, subdivision (a)(3), which permits the details of predicate offenses to be proven by documentary evidence in a sexually violent predator proceeding and allows the admission of multiple hearsay that does not meet any exception to the hearsay rule, does not deny due process. Here experts relied in part on police reports and presentence reports in making determinations about the predicate…

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Name: People v. Hardacre
Case #: B143800
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 07/25/2001
Subsequent History: Rehrg. den. 8/20/01, as modified; Rev. den. 10/24/01

The trial court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to appoint the defense its own expert witness at the "show cause" hearing in this SVP proceeding. After one year (of a two year commitment), there is a mental exam and unless the defendant waives the right to petition for annual release, the court must set a "show cause" hearing to determine if there has been a change so that the defendant is no longer a danger to others. However, the mental exam showed the defendant participated only minimally in therapy, and denied he needed any treatment. …

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