Seeboth v. Mayberg

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Civil Commitment
  • Date Filed: 10-27-2011
  • Case #: 09-15330
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Bea for the Court; Circuit Judges O’Scannlain and Graber
  • Full Text Opinion

Despite changes to California’s Sexually Violent Predators Act (“SVPA”) brought about by Proposition 83, a properly filed renewal petition and the final resolution to a jury proceeding to commit a sexually violent predator under the SVPA renders moot an appeal from a denial of a federal habeas petition seeking release from custody.

Seeboth was classified as a sexually violent predator (“SVP”) in a 1997 civil proceeding under California’s Sexually Violent Predators Act. Formerly, a recommitment petition filed every two years was the procedure to renew custody of a SVP. In 2006, Proposition 83 changed the confinement period to an indefinite term. Recommitment proceedings pending upon passage of Proposition 83 were considered petitions for an indefinite commitment. Seeboth was held in custody under a renewal petition that was properly filed before the end of his 2005 term but he was not tried on it until 2010. In 2008, Seeboth filed a habeas petition in federal district court which was denied. The Ninth Circuit held that his appeal from the district court ruling was moot because he was committed to an indefinite term in 2010 under the properly filed 2005 petition, he only sought release from custody, and no challenge to the result of the 2010 trial was brought on the appeal. However, the Court said that they did not decide the question of whether the delay violated Seeboth’s due process rights.

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