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Name: People v. Hydrick
Case #: B256043
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 07/21/2016

The 45-day "hold" allowed to complete a full evaluation to determine whether a defendant is a sexually violent predator (SVP) includes the prosecutor's decision to file a petition. Hydrick was convicted a multiple sex offenses committed against more than one victim and sentenced to prison. He was scheduled to be released on September 10, 2008. The day before his scheduled release, the Board of Parole Hearings (BPH) issued a 45-day hold (Welf. & Inst. Code, § 6601.3). On October 8, the prosecution filed an SVP commitment petition. Hydrick appealed, claiming the petition was untimely. Held: Affirmed. An SVP petition may…

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Name: People v. Superior Court (Troyer)
Case #: B263146
Court: CA Supreme Court
District 2 DCA
Division: 8
Opinion Date: 09/18/2015

Sexually violent predator (SVP) failed to show that evaluations supporting recommitment petition were infected with "material legal error" where the evaluations were substantially copied from previous reports. Troyer, a convicted sex offender, was committed as an SVP. Prior to the expiration of his commitment, the former Department of Mental Health (DMH) recommended that the D.A. file a petition to recommit and provided two psychological evaluations in support of a petition. Both evaluators found Troyer presented a high range of risk for predatory offenses. Troyer moved to dismiss, challenging whether the two doctors were "designated" to perform the evaluations and claiming…

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Name: Taylor v. San Diego County
Case #: 12-55030
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 09/09/2015

The indefinite term of commitment for SVPs (Welf. & Inst. Code, § 6604) does not violate equal protection under clearly established federal law because SVPs are not similarly situated to other civilly committed individuals who are treated more favorably. In 2006, Taylor was recommitted to an indeterminate term as an SVP under the amended version of section 6604. He appealed on both due process and equal protection grounds. The Court of Appeal rejected both claims and the California Supreme Court denied review. He sought federal habeas relief, arguing that section 6604 violates equal protection because it treats SVP's less…

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Name: People v. Kisling
Case #: C076047
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 08/06/2015

The Court of Appeal is not required to conduct a Wende review of the record in an appeal from the denial of petition for release from a sexually violent predator (SVP) commitment. Kisling appealed from the trial court's denial of his petition for release from his commitment as an SVP under the Sexually Violent Predator Act (SVPA). Appointed counsel filed a Wende brief, and the appellate court requested supplemental briefing on whether the Wende review procedure applies to appeals from denials of petitions for release from an SVP commitment. Held: The Wende review procedure is inapplicable and the appeal was…

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Name: People v. LaBlanc
Case #: E059589
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 07/22/2015

Trial court abused its discretion by finding sexually violent predator's (SVP) petition for unconditional discharge to be frivolous and by failing to hold an evidentiary hearing. LaBlanc, who is serving an indeterminate SVP civil commitment, petitioned for unconditional discharge (Welf. & Inst. Code, former section § 6608, subd. (a)). He supported his petition with a report by a psychologist who concluded that LaBlanc did not have a diagnosed mental disorder that rendered him a danger to others if released (see Welf. & Inst. Code, § 6600, subd. (a)(1)). The psychologist based this conclusion, in part, on (1) debate concerning…

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Name: Seeboth v. Allenby
Case #: 12-17062
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 06/18/2015

It was not objectively unreasonable for California courts to hold that the Sexually Violent Predator Act (SVPA) does not violate equal protection principles with respect to the timing of recommitment trials. Seeboth, a convicted sex offender who is serving an indefinite civil commitment under the SVPA, filed a state habeas petition arguing that the SVPA is unconstitutional on its face because it does not provide a time within which to hold a trial extending the term of his commitment. He claimed the statute denied him equal protection of the laws because other civilly committed persons (MDOs and NGIs) have a…

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Name: People v. Curlee
Case #: A136337
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 06/12/2015

Sexually violent predator (SVP) commitment case remanded so People may attempt to show that compelling SVPs to testify at their commitment hearings does not violate an SVP's right to equal protection. The Alameda County District Attorney filed a petition to commit Curlee as an SVP. During the trial, the People called Curlee as a witness in its case-in-chief. The jury found that Curlee was an SVP and the trial court committed him to the California Department of Mental Health for an indefinite term. Curlee appealed, arguing that his compelled testimony violated his right to equal protection. Held: Remanded to trial…

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Name: People v. Johnson
Case #: A140310
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 03/13/2015

Defendant committed as sexually violent predator (SVP) may not vacate his commitment based on the fact the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) fails to allude to the psychiatric diagnosis upon which his commitment was based. On several occasions since 1983, Johnson committed violent sexual assaults against women. As he neared completion of a prison term for a rape conviction, the prosecution petitioned to have Johnson committed as an SVP. The jury found Johnson to be an SVP and he received an indefinite commitment. In several writ petitions he claimed newly discovered evidence as…

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Name: Litmon v. Harris
Case #: 12-15261
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 10/14/2014

Requiring sexually violent predators to register in person every 90 days does not violate constitutional protections. In 2008, Litmon was released from treatment after having been adjudicated a sexually violent predator (SVP). Pursuant to Penal Code section 290.012, subdivision (b), it was ordered that he report to his local police station every 90 days to register. Litmon sought injunctive relief from the registration requirement, contending that his equal protection rights were violated because mentally disordered offenders (MDOs) and mentally disordered sex offenders (MDSOs) only have to register annually. The district court dismissed the complaint. Litman appealed. Held: Affirmed. MDOs and…

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Name: People v. Christman
Case #: A138287
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 09/10/2014

The "one-quarter mile" residency restriction in Welfare and Institutions Code section 6608.5, subdivision (f) should be measured by a straight-line method, rather than a pedestrian-route method. After approximately 15 years of inpatient treatment as a sexually viokent predator (SVP) (based on multiple sex offenses against boys), Christman was conditionally released (Welf. & Inst. Code, § 6608) and the Department of State Hospitals located housing for him near an elementary school in Contra Costa County. Using a straight-line method to calculate the distance between the proposed residence and the school, the residence was less than one-quarter mile away from the…

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