Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Langhorne v. Superior Court of Santa Clara County

November 16, 2009

WILLIAM LANGHORNE, PETITIONER,
v.
THE SUPERIOR COURT OF SANTA CLARA COUNTY, RESPONDENT; THE PEOPLE, REAL PARTY IN INTEREST.
ERNEST VASQUEZ, PETITIONER,
v.
THE SUPERIOR COURT OF SANTA CLARA COUNTY, RESPONDENT; THE PEOPLE, REAL PARTY IN INTEREST.
MIKE SANCHEZ, PETITIONER,
v.
THE SUPERIOR COURT OF SANTA CLARA COUNTY, RESPONDENT; THE PEOPLE, REAL PARTY IN INTEREST.
ARTHUR ROBLEDO, PETITIONER,
v.
THE SUPERIOR COURT OF SANTA CLARA COUNTY, RESPONDENT; THE PEOPLE, REAL PARTY IN INTEREST.



(Santa Clara County Super. Ct. No. 192118, 210617, 210255 & 210648). The Honorable Alfonso Fernandez.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Bamattre-manoukian, Acting P.J.

CERTIFIED FOR PUBLICATION

I. INTRODUCTION

Petitioners William Langhorne, Ernest Vasquez, Mike Sanchez, and Arthur Robledo (hereafter collectively petitioners) have been subjected to involuntary two-year commitments under the Sexually Violent Predator Act (SVPA) (Welf. & Inst. Code, § 6600 et seq.).*fn1 In 2006, the SVPA was amended to provide that a sexually violent predator‟s term of commitment is indeterminate, rather than two years. (§§ 6604, 6604.1, subd. (a); People v. Whaley (2008) 160 Cal.App.4th 779, 785-787 (Whaley).) In 2007, during their most recent two-year commitment terms, the People filed motions to convert each petitioner‟s commitment term to an indeterminate term. The trial court granted the motions.

In 2008, this court ruled in Whaley that a motion to convert a two-year commitment term to an indeterminate term is improper, because a person already committed as a sexually violent predator before the 2006 amendments to the SVPA is entitled to an extension hearing at which there will be a new determination of whether the person is a sexually violent predator. (Whaley, supra, 160 Cal.App.4th at p. 803.) In response to Whaley, the People filed petitions to extend the commitments for an indeterminate term (sometimes hereafter, the recommitment petitions). Petitioners then filed motions to dismiss the recommitment petitions on the ground that their previous commitments had expired before the recommitment petitions were filed and the trial court therefore lacked jurisdiction to proceed. The trial court denied the motions to dismiss after finding that the district attorney had made a good faith mistake of law that allowed the court to retain jurisdiction pursuant to the good faith exception provided by section 6601, subdivision (a)(2) (hereafter, section 6601(a)(2)).

Petitioners challenged the trial court‟s order denying their motions to dismiss the recommitment petitions by filing petitions for writs of mandate and/or prohibition in this court. For the reasons stated below, we find that the trial court did not err in denying the motions to dismiss and therefore we will deny the petitions for writs of mandate and/or prohibition.

II. BACKGROUND

A brief summary of the procedural background of each original proceeding*fn2 follows.

A. Langhorne v. Superior Court (H033845)

In 1986, Langhorne was convicted of 10 counts of lewd and lascivious conduct upon a child under 14 years of age (Pen. Code, § 288, subd. (a)), four counts of oral copulation with another person under 16 years of age (Pen. Code, § 288a, subd. (b)(2)), and two counts of oral copulation with another person under 18 years of age (Pen. Code, § 288a, subd. (b)(1)). (People v. Langhorne, supra, H031887.)

Langhorne was initially committed as a sexually violent predator in 1997. He was thereafter recommitted for additional two-year terms, with the most recent two-year term extending to November 14, 2007.

On June 8, 2007, before the expiration of the most recent two-year commitment period, the People filed a "motion to retroactively apply an indeterminate term to respondent" under the 2006 amendments to the SVPA. (§§ 6604, 6604.1, subd. (a).) The trial court granted the motion on July 27, 2007, and ordered Langhorne to be committed to the custody of the State Department of Mental Health for an indeterminate term as a sexually violent predator. Langhorne appealed, and this court reversed the order imposing an indeterminate term of commitment in an opinion filed on August 14, 2008. (People v. Langhorne, supra, H031887.)

B. Vasquez v. Superior Court (H033846)

Vasquez was convicted of unlawful intercourse with a minor in 1973, assault with intent to commit rape in 1982, and lewd conduct with a child in 1993. In 2001, Vasquez was committed as a sexually violent predator and subsequently recommitted, with the most recent two-year term of commitment extending to December 18, 2007. (People v. Vasquez, supra, H031864.)

On June 8, 2007, before the expiration of the most recent two-year commitment period, the People filed a "motion to retroactively apply an indeterminate term to respondent" under the 2006 amendments to the SVPA. The trial court granted the motion on July 19, 2007, and ordered that Vasquez be committed to the custody of the State Department of Mental Health for an indeterminate term. Vasquez appealed, and this court reversed the order imposing an indeterminate term of commitment in an opinion filed on July 10, 2008. (People v. Vasquez, supra, H031864.)

C. Sanchez v. Superior Court (H033847)

Sanchez was convicted of one count of lewd act on a child in both 1979 and 1982. He was initially committed as a sexually violent predator in 2000. Thereafter, Sanchez was recommitted for additional two-year terms, with the most recent two-year commitment term extending to January 19, 2008. (People v. Sanchez, supra, H031856.)

On June 8, 2007, before the expiration of the most recent two-year commitment period, the People filed a "motion to retroactively apply an indeterminate term to respondent" under the 2006 amendments to the SVPA. The trial court granted the motion on July 19, 2007, and ordered that Sanchez be committed to the custody of the State Department of Mental Health for an indeterminate term. Sanchez appealed, and this court reversed the order imposing an indeterminate term of commitment in an opinion filed on July 10, 2008. (People v. Sanchez, supra, H031856.)

D. Robledo v. Superior Court (H033848)

In 1976, Robledo was convicted of two counts of violating Penal Code section 288a, subdivisions (b)(2) and (c), and one count of violating Penal Code section 286, subdivision (b). In 1988, Robledo was convicted of three counts of violating Penal Code section 288, subdivision (a). (People v. Robledo, supra, H031879.)

Robledo was initially committed as a sexually violent predator in 2001. He was thereafter recommitted for additional two-year terms, with the most recent two-year ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.