Aug. 8, 2022 – Needham v. Superior Court (4th Dist., Div. 3, G060670)

The Court of Appeal issues a writ of mandate directing the superior court to vacate its order denying defendant’s motion to exclude the testimony of the prosecutor’s privately-retained expert in SVP Act civil commitment proceedings. The court holds that given the “obvious dangers to essential liberty interests,” courts must adhere to the SVP Act’s detailed process that requires multiple evaluations by independent experts. The dissent asserts that since the defense has a right to retain its own expert, the prosecution also has such a right.