In Conservatorship of Ben C. (2007) 40 Cal.4th 529, the California Supreme Court applied a three-part test in determining whether Wende review applied as a matter of due process to appeals from conservatorship proceedings conducted under the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act (LPS) ( 5000, 5350 et seq.):
"'(1) the private interests at stake; (2) the state's interests involved; and (3) the risk that the absence of the procedures in question will lead to an erroneous resolution of the appeal.'" (Conservatorship of Ben C., at p. 539.)
The high court found the LPS served significant public and private interests including the prompt treatment of those with serious mental disorders and protecting public safety. (40 Cal.4th at p. 540.) While LPS conservatees had important liberty interests at stake (40 Cal.4th at p. 540.), protections from them in the LPS, such as the right to trial and appellate counsel, and the proof beyond a reasonable doubt standard mitigated the prospect of improper commitments (40 Cal.4th at p. 541). This balance of interests led the Supreme Court to conclude that Wende review was not needed in appeals from LPS commitment proceedings. (Conservatorship of Ben C., at p. 543.)
Wende applies only to "appointed appellate counsel's representation of an indigent criminal defendant in his first appeal as of right." (In re Sade C. (1996) 13 Cal.4th 952, 978.)
Since proceedings under the Sexually Violent Predator Act (SVPA) ( 6600 et seq.) are civil matters (People v. Hurtado (2002) 28 Cal.4th 1179), it follows that the proceeding in this appeal does not directly implicate Wende.