The Dobbs Wire: It’s a WIN in the Minnesota Supreme Court–a new ruling concerning the Minnesota sex offense civil commitment program (MSOP)! The case is about the interminable delays by which the state consumes constitutional and human rights to liberty, and often the lives of those locked up in MSOP. Below are news stories, a summary of the ruling and a link to the court’s decision. –Bill Dobbs, The Dobbs Wire Drop us a line if you would like to join The Dobbs Wire email list or have something to say: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @thedobbswire
CBS Minnesota: The possible ripple effects of MN Supreme Court’s ruling on state sex offender program (VIDEO)
A win in the Minnesota Supreme Court for patients in the state’s sex offender program could potentially speed up the process for their release, and impact taxpayers.
WDAY Radio: Minnesota Supreme Court ruling could speed up release process for State’s Sex Offender Program
Minnesota Lawyer: Minnesota Supreme Court Digest — McDeid v. Johnston
The Minnesota Commitment Appeals Panel (CAP) ordered two patients in the Minnesota Sex Offender Program (MSOP), respondents, to be transferred to Community Preparation Services (CPS)—a reduction in custody. Respondents claimed that the Commissioner of the Department of Human Services and the Executive Director of the MSOP violated their due process rights by delaying transfer of respondents to CPS for over 2 years following the CAP transfer orders and sought relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The state officials sought to invoke qualified immunity against respondents’ section 1983 claims. The District Court concluded respondents each sufficiently alleged a violation of their Fourteenth Amendment due process rights to a transfer to CPS within a reasonable amount of time following a CAP transfer order. The District Court also determined, however, that qualified immunity shielded the state officials because the right to transfer to CPS within a reasonable time of the CAP transfer orders was not clearly established when the CAP transfer orders were issued. Consequently, the District Court granted the officials’ motions to dismiss. In affirming the District Court, the Court of Appeals assumed, without deciding, that respondents had sufficiently alleged violations of their due process rights. But the Court of Appeals agreed with the District Court that the right to a transfer within a reasonable time of the CAP transfer orders was not clearly established. The Supreme Court held that respondent MSOP patients had a clearly established right to transfer to Community Preparation Services within a reasonable time following issuance of a Minnesota Commitment Appeals Panel transfer order. What amount of time is reasonable in any given set of circumstances is an issue of fact to be determined by the District Court. Reversed and remanded.
Link to the court’s decision in McDeid v. Johnston: